“Inspiration. Its the genesis of creation. Writing, painting, song, life. It’s how people create a world that changes yours; expands yours. Musical inspiration and creation are the cornerstone of our lives. It makes us human. Our experiences, perspectives, stories, all communicated through song. This is what music is there for, our mirror. We continue to search for that one perfect album, song, record that defines our moment in time.
This is why we were so excited to sit down with Rocky Dawuni recently. Dawuni had a good year, his moment garnered much deserved recognition. The Ghananian musician’s sixth studio album, Branches of the Same Tree, was nominated for a Grammy in the category of “Best Reggae Album.” The record is the culmination of Dawuni’s work and his most complete record to date. His brand of Afro Roots, which combines African roots, Caribbean tempos and US rock and roll, has reached the world over; and his brand of political awareness has seen that his sound and message resonate.
We caught up with Dawuni, to explore these themes and discuss his recent Grammy nomination.
KNG2LA: As a songwriter, where do you draw your inspiration from?
Rocky Dawuni: My inspiration comes from everyday interactions and observing various life situations that imprints on my conscience. It is driven by my personal spiritual experiences as well as an aspiration to interpret and communicate a universal message as distilled through my personal experiences.
KNG2LA: How did you create your sound?
RD: My sound was forged from my early influences which were basically traditional African music, Highlife music of West Africa, Afrobeat and Reggae music. These are the various styles that I was exposed to growing up in Ghana. I call this my signature “Afro Roots” sound. The influences and parameters have also grown from my travels and exposure to various styles of the diaspora from Hip Hop, Gospel, Samba, Cumbia and beyond. It is living music.
KNG2LA: With the Grammy nod, does that change your ceiling? Your aspirations?”