Even if you're only a casual fan of reggae we urge you to check out Ghana's international reggae star Rocky Dawuni, one of the heavyweights we mentioned in our overview of the African reggae landscape a few weeks ago.
But you don't have to take our word for it, coz he just beat off competition from K'naan, Sunny Ade, 2Face Idibia and Angelique Kidjo to win the "Best African Artist" Award at the 30th Annual International Reggae & World Music Awards in Trinidad. (Give him a virtual high five on his Facebook wall.)
"Winning the Best African Artist Award is a great honour for me in terms of a broader recognition for my music. At the same time, It also brings me renewed inspiration and serves as a catalyst for me to aspire to break new musical boundaries," Rocky told This Is Africa.
Rocky's fusion of reggae, soul and traditional African sounds has gained him worldwide popularity and he's leveraged this to champion a range of social causes, serving as a personality for Product (RED), travelling on behalf of UNICEF and The Carter Centre, using his annual music festival - Rocky Dawuni Independence Splash - as a rallying point for his humanitarian and advocacy work on clean water, HIV AIDS, poverty eradication and girl child education issues, among other such activities.
Rocky also received a "Best Album" nomination for Hymns for the Rebel Soul, an album he crafted to reflect and articulate the common spiritual, political and social aspirations of ordinary folks around the world. The album has also received nominations from the NAACP (Image Award) and the Ghana Music Awards.
The Ghanaian star has some European and American spring and summer dates lined up, and we asked what fans can expect from the first of these in Hannover, Germany on the 12th of June:
"The fans at the June 12 show in Hannover should expect a powerful concert of inspiration and celebration at the show. My brand of Reggae and Afrobeat fusion will rock and uplift all who will be there." [Location: New Rathaus Platz. Rocky's on stage at 6pm, so don't be late coz you don't wanna miss this.]
Other shows include the much anticipated Hollywood Bowl concert with Stevie Wonder, Janelle Monae and Sharon Jones on July 24th, and the 13th August gig in De La Perriere, France with Shaggy & other special guests. Check Rocky's schedule for all dates and locations.
ROCKY DAWUNI ONLINE