"African Thriller" is the first single from the Afro Roots star Rocky Dawuni's GRAMMY nominated album "Branches of the Same Tree," which was released in March 2015 on Cumbancha.
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"African Thriller," sung in West African pidgin English, embodies Rocky Dawuni's unique "Afro-Roots" sound, a funky blend of soul, pop, Afrobeat and reggae grooves that have made him a household name in his native Ghana and earned him a wide following across the globe. Jeremy Sole, a DJ, producer and host on the taste-defining Los Angeles radio station KCRW, remixed the single version of "African Thriller". Sole has previously remixed tracks for Femi Kuti, David Bowie, Thievery Corporation, and Quantic, among others.
Shot in Los Angeles, the highly polished music video, directed by Glen Wilson, and choreographed by Kara Mack, offers an explosion of West African inspired dance moves, rich colors, and a celebratory atmosphere. Wilson, who directed Dawuni's earlier "African Reggae Fever" video, was inspired by one of his favorite documentaries, When We Were Kings, which documented the famous Ali/Foreman "Rumble in the Jungle" bout that took place in Kinshasha, Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo) on October 30th, 1974. The video also references Afro Funke', Rocky's world renowned cross cultural dance club in Los Angeles, and offers visual tributes to Nigerian Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti.
According to Rocky Dawuni, "'African Thriller' is a persona, a concept and a vision of what contemporary beauty and excitement will emerge from the confrontation and collision of cultures. The video hints at historical and cultural signposts in a metaphoric expression of how the dance floor is one of the ultimate and most colorful places for global unity, celebration and liberation."
Rocky Dawuni and his team are excited for this video to inspire others to "shake it till it go be hot, hot!" Rocky is asking fans to post their “African Thiller” inspired dance-videos to his Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/rockydawuni) and will soon be announcing an upcoming remix contest. Sign up for the email list for more details: http://eepurl.com/bKNe
Rocky Dawuni is a musician and humanitarian activist from Ghana, West Africa. Named one of Africa's Top 10 global stars by CNN, his recordings and thrilling live performances have attracted thousands to his concerts around the world at top festivals and prestigious venues such as The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Dawuni has collaborated and performed with Stevie Wonder, Peter Gabriel, Bono, Jason Mraz, Janelle Monae and John Legend, among many others.
Dawuni's eloquence, cultural diplomacy and successful melding of music and activism have led him to become a passionate spokesperson for various global causes. He has joined forces with Product (RED), UNICEF, the Carter Center and the UN Foundation. In 2012, Dawuni was appointed the Tourism and Cultural Ambassador of Ghana and World Ambassador for the Musicians Union of Ghana. The same year, he was named a United Nations Foundation Ambassador for the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, alongside actress Julia Roberts and chef José Andrés.
Influenced by the soulful beats of Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti, the positive messages and deep grooves of Bob Marley and the infectious, sing-along anthems of Michael Franti, K'naan and Matisyahu, Rocky Dawuni's songs straddle the musical boundaries between Africa, the Caribbean and the US to create a universally appealing sound that unites generations and cultures.
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