Ghanaian international Reggae/Afro Roots artiste, Rocky Dawuni, has said he left Ghana to pursue his music career in Los Angeles, U.S.A. because there were no institutions in Ghana to promote musicians internationally, adding that his producers told him his genre of music will fail at home.
Dawuni said although he listened to “incredible” Ghanaian musicians while growing up, none of them was able to go international since the structures were not there to support them to reach that far.
To avoid suffering the same fate, Dawuni noted that he travelled to Los Angeles to learn more about the industry so that he could get an international appeal.
Speaking to Prince Benjamin on the Class Drive on Class91.3FM, the award-winning artiste said: “Ghana is home but Los Angeles was part of my outreach. I travelled out there because having all these great legends here who should have had the opportunity of travelling and being very well known beyond the borders of Ghana, the institutions were not there to push these incredible musicians.
“But you only had to turn to Mali, Ivory Coast or any of the French-speaking countries and certain artistes that cannot be compared to those we had here, will find their way through France, and all of a sudden, globally, because, there was a French system that was helping francophone artistes to really access the international market.
“So, when I saw that the systems were not there, even producers told me in the beginning that this music is not going to be successful in Ghana, they told me about my style and said it had to be successful somewhere, and I was like its Ghanaian music and I’m going to make sure that I create that success on my own terms because if everybody is telling you that but you trust and believe in who you are and you trust in your talent and you know what you are capable of, nobody can tell you otherwise.
“So, I knew that I had to, and I knew that my key will be to learn; education, learning to be a great, better musician will be my key. So, moving to Los Angeles was part of it because that is the hub of music. That’s where all the record labels are. A lot of the musicians were there, so, being in Los Angeles and being in that scene, I started learning from the best musicians in the clubs and eventually I started my own club there and my club eventually became the central point for everybody because I recognised that nobody was going to give African music a right platform, so, I created my own platform and I used it to break into America”.
Rocky Dawuni is in Ghana to promote his new album Beats of Zion, which is expected to be released on 8 March 2019. But the first single on the album will be released on Friday, 25 January 2019.