The unspoken guarantee with any Rocky Dawuni song is that it will take you higher, that it will move your heart and body in equal measure. New single “Beats of Zion”, from Dawuni’s upcoming album of the same name, is no exception, delivering fast rhythms and warm harmonies. 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.
“The title Beats of Zion is inspired by a vision of the drumbeat of awareness and elevation of consciousness,” says Dawuni, “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.”
Dawuni’s vision of a world that embraces its diversity comes from firsthand experience; the musician and UN Goodwill Ambassador recently traveled to India and Ethiopia to better immerse himself in fresh surroundings, and time in Tanzania gave “Beats of Zion” much of its titular percussion.
“On the eve of my concert at the amazing Sauti za Busara Festival [in Zanzibar], we saw Batimbo Percussion Magique of Burundi mount the stage and blow the minds of everyone in the audience,” Dawuni relates. The decision between Dawuni and his manager to add their tribal sounds to “Beats of Zion” was a unanimous one, and one that emphasizes Dawuni’s hopes to keep roots alive through music, both in Africa and beyond. The video itself is one full of color and movement, a perfect match for Dawuni’s impassioned messages.
“It is a time for global mobilization for action on challenging sociopolitical issues like the environment and the refugee crisis,” Dawuni concludes. “Beats of Zion is the drumbeat of war against apathy and reenergizing the forces of love and hope. Beats of Zion is the rhythm of change beating from a distance and getting louder to awaken positive consciousness.” On his new single, Dawuni shows that he is amply prepared to take the lead for his cause.