The Connect4Climate team is honored to welcome humanitarian and international music star Rocky Dawuni as a judge for the Voices4Climate photo/video/music video/podcast competition. Dawuni’s successful melding of celebrity with humanitarian action has made him a spokesperson for various global causes, and Voices4Climate is a natural fit for his compassion and passion for the planet.
"I am thrilled and eager to review the creative work of young people from around the world who are using their voices to raise awareness about climate change by participating in the Voices4Climate competition," says Dawuni. "I’m especially excited to watch and listen to the music video entries, as I believe in the universal power of music to inspire change and action."
Dawuni has leveraged his popularity across the African continent to bring his unique Afro Roots sound to global audiences and champion social causes. Over the course of his career and the release of five albums, his infectious grooves and dance-inducing anthems have consistently excited fans, including some of music’s biggest stars with whom he has performed and collaborated. Having appeared at many of the biggest World and Reggae music events, Dawuni has worked alongside superstars Stevie Wonder, Peter Gabriel, Jason Mraz, Sharon Jones, and Janelle Monae.
Dawuni’s activism reached new heights when he was recently invited to meet with Ghana’s top leaders on a broad range of issues and was appointed the country’s Tourism Ambassador and World Music Ambassador for MUSIGA (Musician’s Union of Ghana). He was just announced as an Ambassador for the UN Foundation’s Global Alliance For Clean Cookstoves, joining ambassadors Julia Roberts and Chef Jose Andres to raise awareness. These efforts are in addition to his ongoing involvement with Product (RED), UNICEF, the Carter Center & the UN Foundation. In 2012, Rocky was also chosen by CNN as one of the top ten African musicians alongside Youssou N’Dour and Cesaria Evora and was featured on CNN’s African Voices.
On his fifth studio release Hymns for the Rebel Soul (Aquarian Records, 2010), Dawuni was inspired by his travels, particularly in Israel, Finland, Jamaica, the U.S. and throughout his native Ghana. Hymns’ 11 songs reflect his quest to articulate common spiritual, political and social aspirations and is a musical exploration in global consciousness. Hymns For the Rebel Soul was nominated for a prestigious NAACP Image Award for "Outstanding World Music Album" and "Best Album" at the 2011 International Reggae & World Music Awards in Trinidad. Rocky also won "Best African Artist" and was again nominated in 2012.
In the US, Dawuni’s progressive fusions of Reggae, Soul and traditional African sounds have been making steady inroads and he can be heard alongside U2’s Bono in the remake of “War /No More Trouble” for the highly successful “Playing for Change: Songs around the World” album and accompanying videos.
On the live music front, some of Rocky’s recent performances include the 18,000 strong "We Day" event in Toronto, Canada alongside Somalian superstar K’Naan at the Air Canada Center for Free The Children and at the Freedom Awards in Los Angeles with pop sensation Jason Mraz.
*Banner photo by Rachel Samuel