Music

Rocky Dawuni Aims to Re-energize the Forces of Love and Hope on "Beats of Zion" (premiere)

Ghanaian roots-reggae star Rocky Dawuni leads the charge against apathy on new single "Beats of Zion".

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.

Music


Books


Film


Recent
Television

What 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' Taught Me About Unlearning Toxic Masculinity

When I first came out as trans, I desperately wanted acceptance and validation into the "male gender", and espoused negative beliefs toward my femininity. Avatar: The Last Airbender helped me transcend that.

Music

The Texas Gentlemen Share the Powerful and Soulful "Last Call" (premiere)

Eclectic Texas band, the Texas Gentlemen return with a vibrant, imaginative LP that resists musical boundaries. Hear their latest epic single, "Last Call".

Music

Vincent Cross Pays Tribute to Folk Hero via "King Corcoran" (premiere)

Gangs of New York-era James "The Rooster" Corcoran was described as the terror of New York's east side. His descendent, Vincent Cross, retells his story with a "modern dark fairy tale".

Music

Eddy Lee Ryder Gets Lonely and Defiant with "Expected to Fly" (premiere)

Eddy Lee Ryder explores the loss of friendship and refusal to come of age, cloaked in the deeply dramatic and powerful song, "Expected to Fly".

Playlists

Rock 'n' Roll with Chinese Characteristics: Nirvana Behind the Great Wall

Like pretty much everywhere else in the pop music universe, China's developing rock scene changed after Nirvana. It's just that China's rockers didn't get the memo in 1991, nor would've known what to do with it, then.

Film

Creative Disruption in 'Portrait of a Lady on Fire'

Portrait of a Lady on Fire yearns to burn tyrannical gendered tradition to ash and remake it into something collaborative and egalitarian.

Music

Fave Five: The Naked and Famous

Following two members leaving the group in 2018, synthpop mavens the Naked and Famous are down to a duo for the first time ever and discuss the records they turned to help make their aptly-named fourth record, Recover.

Evan Sawdey
Books

Fleetwood Dissects the European Mindset in His Moody, Disturbing Thriller, 'A Young Fair God'

Hugh Fleetwood's difficult though absorbing A Young Fair God offers readers a look into the age-old world views that have established and perpetuated cultural rank and the social attitudes that continue to divide us wherever we may reside in the world.

Music

Art Feynman Creates Refreshing Worldbeat Pop on 'Half Price at 3:30'

On Half Price at 3:30, Art Feynman again proves himself adept at building colorful worlds from unexpected and well-placed aural flourishes.

Music

The Beths Are Sharp As Ever on 'Jump Rope Gazers'

New Zealand power-poppers the Beths return with a sophomore album that makes even the most senior indie-rock acts feel rudimentary by comparison.

Music

Jessie Ware Returns to Form on 'What's Your Pleasure'

On What's Your Pleasure, Jessie Ware returns to where it all began, the dance floor.

Music

The Jayhawks Offer Us Some 'XOXO'

The Jayhawks offer 12-plus songs on XOXO to help listeners who may be alone and scared by reminding us that we are all alone together.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.