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Rocky Dawuni Launches New Album “Beats of Zion” featuring Sarkodie, Stonebwoy, Alika & Wiyaala

Rocky Dawuni, the international music star/global ambassador and humanitarian activist, releases his highly anticipated 7th studio album Beats of Zion on March 8,2019 with Six Degrees Distribution.  [Pre-Order: https://rockydawuni.lnk.to/beatsalbum] The thirteen-track set follows the GRAMMY nominated album Branches of the Same Tree, (“Best Reggae Album” in 2016) and expands Rocky’s “Afro Roots” sound to include the diversity of the Ghanaian […]

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Rocky Dawuni, the international music star/global ambassador and humanitarian activist, releases his highly anticipated 7th studio album Beats of Zion on March 8,2019 with Six Degrees Distribution. 

Rocky Dawuni Launches New Album "Beats of Zion" featuring Sarkodie, Stonebwoy, Alika & Wiyaala
Rocky Dawuni Launches New Album “Beats of Zion” featuring Sarkodie, Stonebwoy, Alika & Wiyaala

[Pre-Order: https://rockydawuni.lnk.to/beatsalbum] The thirteen-track set follows the GRAMMY nominated album Branches of the Same Tree, (“Best Reggae Album” in 2016) and expands Rocky’s “Afro Roots” sound to include the diversity of the Ghanaian music scene and its current global outreach.

Although Rocky’s music has had CNN naming him “Africa’s Top 10 global stars” and Ziggy Marley stating “Rocky’s music is creative inspiration that knows no boundaries,” it’s only one part of what drives his mass appeal. Dawuni’s eloquence, cultural diplomacy and passionate activism have led him to become a moving spokesperson for various global causes. Recently, Rocky was designated a UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador for Africa at a beautiful concert at the UN Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya in August 2018 at the Global Landscapes Forum with dignitaries from all over the world. This is on top of the social campaigns and activism he’s done including work with Product (RED), ONE, UNICEF, The Carter Center, Clean Cooking Alliance and the United Nations Foundation. Additionally, with UNESCO’s recent designation of Reggae music as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, Rocky Dawuni represents one of the leading African global voices of Reggae.

Rocky’s travels around the world helped shape the new album Beats of Zion. He elaborates, “Beats of Zion was born out of my desire to use my diverse global musical influences and exposure to various traditions to paint a multi-cultural musical vision of the world that I perceive. The beginning of the year saw me visit Ethiopia and India. In Ethiopia, I visited Lalibela, witnessing ancient Christian rites and my journeys in India also exposed me to its diverse spiritual culture and the shared similarities I saw to Africa.” He adds, “The title Beats of Zion is inspired by a vision of the drumbeat of awareness and elevation of consciousness; a musical call to arms for my audience to be proactive in this day and age as to each person’s responsibility to be an active instrument for positive change.”

The album was recorded in the span of almost 2 years in various studios in Ghana – Accra, Nairobi – and Los Angeles, California. In LA, Rocky was gifted studio time at the legendary Village Studios that has recorded the most influential artists including Bob Dylan, Elton John, The Rolling Stones, John Lennon, and Fleetwood Mac. Rocky ended up recording in the same room as Fleetwood Mac and created the magic of the title track “Beats of Zion” and “Wickedest Sound.” Rocky found out that Fleetwood Mac visited Ghana in the 1970s which made the experience more special and inspired the Ghanaian traditional highlife song “Kyenkyen Bi Adi Mawu” as a homage to his heritage. These 3 tracks recorded at Village Studios kicked off the entire album making process.

The title track and lead single “Beats of Zion” came out well from the Village Studios session, but was missing something on the drum tracking. Rocky states, “We travelled to Zanzibar for a concert shortly after the recording session. At the time, I was still wanting the full African tribal effect that I had imagined. On the eve of my concert at the amazing Sauti za Busara Festival, we saw Batimbo Percussion Magique of Burundi mount the stage and blow the minds of everyone in the audience. I turned to my manager; Cary Sullivan who was also watching and we thought the same – ‘these are the guys for Beats of Zion’ and so the story unfolded.” The lead single video debuted with PopMatters who stated, “Rocky Dawuni aims to re-energize the forces of love and hope.”

“Wickedest Sound” is another song that speaks volumes, featuring Ghanaian dancehall star Stonebwoy. The track combines elements of modern Afrobeats with Reggae music. With production paying homage to the organic recordings of classic Highlife music, it also combines a groove driven melodic approach with the traditional call and response style of singing. “Kyenkyen Bi Adi Mawu” features Ghanaian hip-hop star Sarkodieand is a sprawling remake of the Highlife classic originally recorded by Ghanaian maestro K. Frimpong which is all sung in Twi. “Let’s Go” fuses pop sensibilities, Reggae and the grooves of New Orleans to create a feel-good anthem of forward mobility and positive vibrations. The hand claps add an organic Gospel feel to this exhilarating song. PRI of The World caught up with Rocky Dawuni to talk about the song and video that supports a bicycle program for girl child education initiatives in Ghana..

Other tracks that show more dimensions to the album include the Reggae Cumbia track “Freedom Train” featuring Argentinian Dancehall queen Alika who joins Rocky with her powerful Spanish raps and “Burn One” a homage to the social transformative power of the legalization of marijuana in the spheres of medicine, recreational use and as a primary tool for economic emancipation. There will be videos coming out for many of the tracks on the album including “Elevation” which was shot on location in southern India. It is an inspirational groove filled with a message of hope and uses the traditional Rastafarian Nyabinghi sounds. “Champion Arise,” a track that easily fits into the current Roots Reggae revival sound, paints a spiritual picture with biblical imagery and inspirational lyrics about spiritual warfare for the upliftment of all people. “Sunshine Day” is the 1970’s Ghanaian pop group Osibisa classic song re-imagined as an up-tempo Reggae song with featured Ghanaian artist the “Young Lioness of Africa” Wiyaala. The diversity and features found on the new album are in step with Rocky’s vision of constantly evolving the boundaries of his sounds and expanding its global palettes and reach.

In a time when divisive rhetoric is on the rise and the political climate prefers to build walls over bridges, Rocky’s album Beats of Zion is a refreshing message about global unity and a worldview of oneness. Rocky passionately states, “We live in a time when the elements of international morality need to be proclaimed as a guiding principle for how we engage and deal with each other, between individuals, between communities and among nations. It is a time for global mobilization for action on challenging socio-political issues like the environment and the refugee crisis. Beats of Zion is the drumbeat of war against apathy and re-energizing the forces of love and hope.” He concludes, “Beats of Zion is the rhythm of change beating from a distance and getting louder to awaken positive consciousness.” 

“Influenced by sounds from across the African diaspora – everywhere from Dawuni’s native Ghana to the Caribbean – and beyond, the artist cements his role as a central voice in the contemporary African reggae scene by expanding its very scope.” – PopMatters

“Rocky Dawuni is one of Ghana’s best-traveled musicians these days. He lives between Los Angeles and Accra, but his signature “Afro Roots” sound—a blend of reggae, highlife, Afrobeat and more—brings him to concert stages and recording studios in places like Zanzibar, Nairobi, and Harare, Zimbabwe, as well as throughout Europe and the United States.” AfroPop

“What a tremendous performance from international reggae star Rocky Dawuni. It has been a joy to watch his maturation as a writer and performer, and this Ghana-based video shows him at the absolute height of his powers, chanting an irresistibly danceable melody that expands the range of his syncretic powers. First rate and a pure joy!” –Roger Steffens, author of the award-winning “So Much Things to Say: The Oral History of Bob Marley”SALES:
Pre-Order now all platforms worldwide with instant gratification tracks “Beats of Zion” and “Let’s Go:”:  https://rockydawuni.lnk.to/beatsalbum
Album pre-order in Ghana and Africa available at: Play Africa and Aftown

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Ini Edo welcomes baby girl via surrogacy

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Nollywood actress, Ini Edo has welcomed a baby girl.

In an interview with Stella Dimoko Korkus, the actress revealed that she used a surrogate mother to carry and birth her daughter.

She said, “I do have a daughter and I had her through surrogacy. The eggs are mine and so genetically, she’s my blood. I chose this path to fulfil my dream of becoming a mother.”

On her baby’s father, Edo said, “I opted for a donor for me and my baby’s peace of mind.”

Credit: Instagram | Stella Dimoko Korkus

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Onua FM/TV Captain Smart arrested over ‘unsavoury’ radio commentary

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Controversial broadcaster, Blessed Godsbrain Smart popularly known as Captain Smart of Media General has been arrested over his commentary on radio. (more…)

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Yvonne Nelson wins GH¢500,000 defamation case against Mona Gucci

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An Accra High Court has awarded Yvonne Nelson GH500,000 in a defamation case against Mona Gucci for malicious statements she made about the award-winning actress on Accra-based Neat Fm. (more…)

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Rock Dawuni speaks passionately against fan wars, calls for unity among Ghanaian musicians

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Two-time GRAMMY-nominated artist, Rocky Dawuni has sent out a plea to Ghanaian musicians and their fans to focus less on ‘beef’ and more on collaboration to help grow the music industry. (more…)

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Global Citizen Reveals 117 Million Lives Benefited Three Years On From Commitments Announced At The Epic Mandela 100 Festival

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To mark the third anniversary of the Mandela 100 festival, international advocacy organisation, Global Citizen, has announced that over 12 million lives have been impacted this year across Africa, and the world, adding to the 105 million lives reported last year. Impact from commitments announced at Mandela 100 now totals over 117 million people having benefited from pledges made at the ground-breaking festival in 2018 – which brought together world leaders, philanthropists, and the private sector to make commitments towards achieving the UN’s Global Goals, to end extreme poverty and its systemic causes.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, more than $4.7 billion of the total $7.2 billion in funding announced during the Mandela 100 campaign have been disbursed and allocated to key organisations on the front line of ending extreme poverty, in all its forms, and to communities in need around the world.

Over 70,000 Global Citizens, artists, and global leaders came together at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 2nd December 2018, united behind one mission to honour the life of Nelson Mandela in his centenary year. The event commemorated the legacy of a man whose extraordinary vision for peace and equality still resonates today with the hearts and minds of Global Citizens across the world.

Hosts of the event included Trevor Noah, Sir Bob Geldof, Naomi Campbell, Gayle King, Bonang Matheba, Tyler Perry, and Forest Whitaker, with ground breaking performances by Beyoncé & JAY-Z, Cassper Nyovest, Ed Sheeran, Sho Madjozi, and more.

During the festival Global Citizen and partners announced 60 key pledges across Health, Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH), Food Security, Agriculture, Environment, Education, Education, Finance and Innovation.

By 2020, more than 105 million lives had been impacted by the commitments announced as part of the Mandela 100 campaign in 2018. Now one year on, Global Citizen can announce that a further 12 million liveshave been impacted from delivery of these pledges. Through pledges made at the festival, interventions have been vast, urgent, and critical for communities experiencing the compounded effects of extreme poverty and COVID-19.

Pledges have resulted in accelerated action to end child marriage, and the delivery of antiretroviral therapeutics to more than 5.1 million South Africans; efforts are underway to map the spread of river blindness in Guinea, Nigeria and Senegal, and computers and other educational equipment and facilities that enabled students to continue attending classes online during COVID-19.

Released this week, Global Citizen’s 2021 impact report highlights the latest disbursed commitments including:

  • USD $40 million has been spent by the Motsepe Foundation towards the provision of quality education, an increase of USD $20 million over the last 16 months. USD $50 million had been spent since 2018, contributing to the development and growth of agriculture and farming projects in traditional communities and poor rural and urban communities in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, Free State and Northern Cape. The funding has been for tractors, farming equipment and implements, irrigation systems, the digging and construction of several hundreds of boreholes, the provision of water tanks and water storage facilities, as well as the provision of fertilisers, seeds and other agricultural and farming inputs.
  • The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the Elma Foundation UK, UK Aid, Virgin Unite, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation committed US$105 million to tackle neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) by 2023. Supported by the funding announced at Mandela 100, Sightsavers’ Accelerate programme has addressed neglected tropical diseases such as trachoma in 14 African countries, including Benin, Guinea-Bissau and Ethiopia. The program has delivered 7.4 million treatments for river blindness, lymphatic filariasis, and schistosomiasis and in the first quarter  of 2021, surgery activities were underway in 95 of the programme’s targeted 180 districts for the year, which has allowed for the treatment of 5,100 cases of trachoma.
  • Vodacom pledged ZAR 500 million (US$34.8 million) toward combating gender-based violence, teacher and learner digital literacy, and early childhood centers. In 2021 Vodacom’s Mandela 100 commitment has supported programmes that have had a profound  impact across key areas in gender, education, and literacy.
  • As a result of one of these programmes, more than 1,900 female farmers have been trained in relevant ICT skills to enable them to communicate with other farmers, access relevant products and services online, and ultimately provide them with access to economic opportunities by connecting them to potential buyers.
  • A Gender-Based Violence Command Centre (GBVCC) and website has provided victims of violence in South Africa with a source of support, by providing counselling, service referrals, and immediate response in the event of imminent danger, all free of charge.
  • Germany committed $72.4 million to support the International Fund for Agriculture and Development (IFAD).  Germany’s commitment helped support IFAD overall efforts, ensuring that from 2019 to 2021, 23.4 million people gained access to financial services, such as savings and credits, and almost 1.7 million hectares of land were brought under climate resilient practices. IFAD’s ongoing projects reached over 128 million people, surpassing the year’s goal of 120 million. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, IFAD has repurposed $179 million in the form of 58 projects across 36 countries to help relieve the pandemic’s profound impacts thanks in part to funding announced at Mandela 100, in other partners. Recently in Eritrea, for instance, $1 million has been repurposed through the “Fisheries Resources Management Programme” to provide temporary cold storage to make sure those affected by COVID-19 were able to store their harvests.

Precious Moloi-Motsepe, Co-founder and Chairperson of the Motsepe Foundation said:
“We are pleased with the progress we’ve made relating to our Global Citizen Mandela 100 commitments despite the Covid-19 challenges. We are committed to contributing to improving the living conditions and standards of living of millions of people in South Africa, the rest of the African Continent and the world.”

Chebet Chikumbu, Global Citizen’s Africa Regional Director said:
“Despite the ongoing pandemic, we’ve been working closely with our partners to ensure funds are being dispersed to communities most in need in Africa and across the world. Over the next year, we will continue to deliver on the accountability tied to Mandela 100 campaign pledges made, helping millions of the world’s most vulnerable combat poverty daily, while mitigating the ongoing personal implications and economic impacts of COVID-19.”  ​​

Global Citizen remains committed to bring Nelson Mandela’s dream into reality by ending extreme poverty. In order to achieve the United Nations’ Global Goals, including Global Citizen’s mission to end extreme poverty by 2030, we must end poverty in all its forms.

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Gyakie to sign-off 2021 with The Live Experience concert

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The FLIP THE MUSIC star’s terrific run of form has been a performance worth commemorating, and with the year down to its final month, Gyakie is ready to sign-off with a memorable showdown.

Slated for December 19, which happens to fall on a Sunday – a week shy of Christmas Day, the Ballantine’s sponsored concert will have the ‘Forever’ singer give fans a buzz at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel, 7pm prompt. Dubbed ‘’The Live Experience with Gyakie’’, the concert will be curated by the artist’s label, FLIP THE MUSIC and is tipped to be one for the books.

This year, Gyakie’s presence has been strong and unrelenting. She inked a deal with Sony Music Entertainment/RCA Records UK, threw in a sassy virtual performance at the MTV Base YouTube African Day concert, featured on BBC World Service’s ‘’Focus on Africa’’ and was the first female African artist to partner with digital streaming platform (DSP) giant, Spotify on their EQUAL music program which got a billboard slot at the Times Square in New York City.

Her feats haven’t been any less extravagant on the music aisle either. She enjoyed great success with her ‘Forever’ remix for-which debuted on UK’s official Top 20 Afrobeat chart. Gyakie also emerged as 3Music Awards’ ‘’Woman of the Year’’ winner, next to her two-time feature on Billboard’s ‘’Top Triller’’ chart. The biggest highlight of her year however was on the back of her ‘’SEED’’ EP’s streaming numbers – a total of over 11 million streams across all DSPs.

Get your tickets here: https://tix.africa/gyakie

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