Rocky Dawuni Joins UN “Play It Out” Concert June 1 in Antigua with Ashanti, Machel Montano &
“We are at a decisive moment in the history of humanity where we need action across cultures,
peoples and nations to address the urgent issue of plastic pollution. As musicians and players of
instruments we have a unique and pivotal role to amplify this urgency and spur people to immediate
action.” Rocky Dawuni
Office Of The President Of The General Assembly
H.E. Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa
New York, The President of the UN General Assembly, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, today joined
Molwyn Joseph, Environment Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, and Mona Juul, Permanent
Representative of Norway, to welcome special guest Ashanti as a headliner at the upcoming ‘Play it
Out’ concert to tackle plastic pollution.
“At the heart of my Presidency is a firm belief that multilateral solutions, involving a diverse group of
stakeholders, are the only sustainable and efficient way to deliver results,” noted President
Espinosa. “The challenge of plastics is one that spans the entire globe…every region, every ocean,
every environment is impacted. We must work on this together. Play it Out purposefully brings
together Member States, the private sector, philanthropic groups and individuals, and focuses this
combined energy on a joint solution.”
“We have all seen the images of turtles choking on straws, or birds wrapped in plastic, and it’s
devastating,” noted Ashanti. “But these images, while emotional, don’t capture how massive this
problem really is. This concert is about raising awareness, it’s about educating people to the
seriousness of the situation.”
Up to 15 million tons of plastic litter are dumped into the ocean each year. Most of this has the
potential to persist in the ocean for long periods, to travel with ocean currents across long distances,
and to accumulate in habitats far from its point of origin. In fact, while most plastics are designed to
last, their breakdown has been shown to result in microplastics that have been found everywhere
from the insides of marine wildlife to the deepest parts of the ocean.
Along with Ashanti, the concert, which aims to Play it Out to Phase it Out, will be joined by soca star
Machel Montano, along with GRAMMY Nominated Rocky Dawuni – Ghana’s premiere reggae artist
and UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador to Africa. Also joining the concert will be a lineup of
artists and performers covering different regions demographics and music styles. They include
American indie-rock band St. Lucia; Bomba Estéreo, an electric-duo hailing from Colombia; Nico &
Vinz, an R&B act from Norway; and Grammy nominated German DJ/producer Robin Schulz. The
event will also feature top local artists, including Ricardo Drue and Claudette Peters. Antigua’s
Kanneh-Masons, who recently performed at the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle, will
Additionally, the concert will feature an array of speakers including dignitaries, policymakers,
celebrities, and representatives from the scientific, philanthropic and academic communities. This
includes actor, co-founder of Lonely Whale, and UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador, Adrian
“We are thrilled to have this amazing lineup of artists and speakers,” said Minister Joseph. “Being
the first country in the region to ban single-use plastic, Antigua and Barbuda is proud to host this
event and we hope that this festival will bring international awareness to the harmful effects of
plastics to our oceans.”
“It’s shocking how prevalent plastic litter in our oceans really is,” stated Mona Juul, Norway’s
Ambassador to the United Nations. “And yet, people are taking action, and we see that very clearly
in the Caribbean. Norway’s hope is that this concert will not only highlight the problem but
showcase the opportunities for clean and healthy oceans. Norway believes that we need a new
global agreement to combat marine litter. We hope that the concert will be a platform to also move
that agenda forward. It is also an excellent opportunity to demonstrate how important regional
cooperation is for contributing to solving this growing problem.”
The concert, set for 1 June in Antigua, will see an audience of up to 20,000 people attend live, with
thousands more following online at http://webtv.un.org/.
“Plastics have revolutionized our world, offering affordability and convenience, and no one disputes
that,” stressed President Espinosa. “But poor consumption and production patterns, the lack of
environmentally sounds waste management systems, and use of single-use plastics, is devastating
our ecosystems, and our own health and well-being. Our campaign, of which this concert is a part,
will hopefully bring about change in behaviors from producers and consumers alike.”
Note To Correspondents:
The ‘Play it Out’ concert is part of the Campaign Against Plastic Pollution, launched by the President
of the UN General Assembly in December of 2018, and is aimed at tackling plastic waste both on the
global level as well as within the UN itself. The concert will be hosted by the Government of Antigua
and supported by the Government of Norway. Other campaign supporters include the Government
of Monaco, the Government of Qatar, UN Environment, UNOPS, TKG | The Krim Group, National
Geographic and Lonely Whale.
Quotes From Supporters
“We can no longer afford the cost of single-use plastic, on our health, oceans and ecosystems.
Initiatives like ‘Play it Out’ are important because they galvanize people, communities and leaders to
take the kind of transformative action we need to secure the future for people and planet.” – Joyce
Msuya, Acting Executive Director, UN Environment Hashtags: #PlayitOut #BeatPlasticPollution
“Our work to put an end to plastic pollution is critical now more than ever, which is why I am
supporting the President of the General Assembly’s concert and its message of collaboration and its
spotlight on tangible solutions. We have seen excellent examples of collaboration in the Caribbean
where regional governments, the UN, and civil society groups have worked together to ban single-
use plastics. I look forward to celebrating what we can achieve together alongside the President of
the General Assembly, the UN Environment and my organization Lonely Whale.” – Adrian Grenier
About Rocky Dawuni:
GRAMMY nominated musician and activist, Rocky Dawuni, straddles the boundaries between Africa,
the Caribbean and the U.S. to create his appealing Afro Roots sound that unites generations and
cultures. A galvanizing performer, Dawuni has shared the stage with Stevie Wonder, Peter Gabriel,
Jason Mraz, Janelle Monae and John Legend, among many others. Named one of Africa’s Top 10
global stars by CNN, he has showcased his talent at prestigious venues such as The Kennedy Center,
Lincoln Center and The Hollywood Bowl. Rocky is a UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador for Africa
as well as a UN Foundation Ambassador for the Clean Cooking Alliance. Through these designations
he uses his music to shine a light on crucial issues facing humanity cross the globe through live
concerts, speaking roles, panels, youth empowerment, leadership circles and more.
Dawuni’s infectious, sing-along sixth album, Branches of the Same Tree, (Cumbancha) was
nominated for a GRAMMY for “Best Reggae Album” (2016) featuring the Afro Dancehall mashup
video “African Thriller.” Branches highlights Dawuni’s ability to communicate a universal, uplifting
message that crosses borders and reaches out to the hearts of millions. In March 2019, Rocky
released his much anticipated 7th album entitled “Beats of Zion” (Six Degrees Distribution) with its
striking accompanying video shot in Jamestown, Accra (Ghana). “Beats of Zion” was named “Top
Tune of the Day” on tastemaker station KCRW. Another track from the album “Let’s Go” is the
theme song for Cadbury Canada’s Bicycle Factory Campaign 2018 and the beautiful 360 degree video
from the song has already reached over 1 million views on You Tube. In a time when divisive
rhetoric is on the rise and the political climate prefers to build walls over bridges, Rocky’s album
“Beats of Zion” is a refreshing message about global unity and a worldview of oneness.
“Wickedest Sound” featuring Stonebwoy
Press release & links & quotes:
“Beats of Zion” Sales Link for all platforms:
KayNu – Hustle (Prod.by UnkleBeatz)
DJ Neizer & Kojo Manuel Inspire Kumasi With Music At Road To Detty Rave Concert
The Road To Detty Rave show in Kumasi, was headlined by Sarkodie, Joey B, King Promise, Shaker , Kojo Cue, Fameye, Tulenkey and many more but one of the big highlights of the night was DJ Neizer’s spiritual yet inspirational session with Kojo Manuel.As an accomplished and working engineer plus DJ, Neizer has combined two very tough lives and is excelling at both, a point the MC for the Road To Detty Rave Concert, Kojo Manuel expressed and used to inspire the students on being whoever they want to be, because they can.
With the lights off and the thousands of students had their phone lights on, DJ Neizer proceeded to play prayerful songs including Kwesi Arthur’s Pray for Me which had everybody singing along with emotion before switching to an energetic back-to-back jams that had the thousands of fans jumping and screaming all night.The 2017 Campus DJ of the Year definitely has the Midas touch
“I’m The Only Serious, Business Minded Artiste In Ghana. – Shatta Wale
Award-winning dancehall artiste, Shatta Wale, has explained that his constant criticism of his fellow artistes and for that matter, the Ghanaian music industry is because of his desire to see the industry thrive on the global stage.
According to him, the attitude and mentality of his colleagues do not depict people who are serious-minded and business-focused. In a television interview on Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana programme, Shatta Wale said although his criticisms are hurtful, they are the hard truth.
“My criticism is for change in the industry; change of attitude and mentality towards our work. I believe most of them are not serious when it comes to music. People have sung since time immemorial and have made people see musicians as band boys and so we are not taken seriously.
“I’ve taken music seriously so when I see some artistes pretending that life is good for them, it makes me feel that pain. Osibisa was one of the successful groups globally. When it comes to my colleagues, we have not taken music serious,” he said.
Explaining further, Shatta Wale, known in real life as Charles Nii Armah Mensah blamed the media for compounding the problems in the music industry. According to him, the media has over hyped musicians and have created the impression that “they’ve made it.”
“Presenters make them feel swollen-headed even with a single song and so when they move out there they move with some hype and they think they’ve made it. I’ve been there before. When I came out as Bandana, that was the same thing I went through. But I was living in a single room and I wasn’t making money,” he said.
According to him, what hurts him most is that some of these musicians who are seen playing on the international stage are paid as low as £100 and £200.
“Some of these artistes are paid £100, £200. You’ll see this person is travelling and I go like, when you went there how much money did you make? Do not lie to the next generation. Do not let them feel like travelling and meeting people out there is the business. The business is how much money are you putting in your pocket? How much are you saving? Cos we are all growing…it’s a seasonal thing.
“I’ll grow one day and see that at this age I have to stop doing music so when I stop what am I going to do? So, I’ve started now, doing businesses here and there. If you think that this is going to be forever… that is why you find old musicians coming out and complaining and it makes me feel sad,” he lamented.
In 2018, Shatta Wale was billed to perform at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Awards held at the Accra International Conference Centre but he failed to turn up.
Explaining why he did not perform at the awards, he said he had no contract with CAF and that he wanted to prove to them that “I’m a very serious artiste who takes his business seriously.”
“CAF didn’t sign a contract with me. They didn’t link any of my management team so when that whole thing came up I was a bit surprise that how come they would want to pay me some money without contract.
“It wasn’t because they paid my Nigerian counterparts more than they offered me. It wasn’t because of the Nigerians. I wanted to show them that this is a serious artiste who takes his business serious. If you wanna put me on a show there are procedures that you have to go through,” he explained.
In his opinion he is the only serious musician in Ghana and it was evident from his collaboration with American singer, Beyonce
“I’m very, very serious,” he said.
Asked if there was no other person in the industry he would consider serious, Shatta had this to say: “I don’t know who to mention. I can’t mention any.”
“What I’m saying now is the truth and it’s the hard truth. They will find it difficult to understand. All those names you are mentioning they are names that I have spoken to and I have educated them on how we should move this music thing,” he explained.
According to him, a serious artiste does not “chase” foreign artistes for collaborations.
“All those artistes you are mentioning are chasing Nigerian artistes. I don’t go chasing Nigerian artistes. They come to me. They love me for the work I do so they come to me with a good heart. It’s not just about talent. I take my business serious.
“When you know what you have, you’ll always sit down and wait for the right time. Like I waited for Beyonce’s collaboration to happen,” he added.
“There Are No Greener Pastures Anywhere. — Wiyaala
International Ghanaian Afro-pop singer Wiyaala, popularly known as the Lioness of Africa has advised young people to stay home, seek opportunities and work hard at home rather than go abroad.
She thinks that, being optimistic and putting the same effort into working back at home can equally lead you to achieving greater heights. She said, ‘Europe, USA and even Accra are not all that they are made out to be. I’ve seen many young Africans struggling to survive. It’s a myth to think of these places outside as the promised land.’
Watch the video at https://www.t2tinternational.org/event
Speaking in an exclusive interview with the host of 3FM Drive, Giovani Caleb, she said that ‘‘ young people, especially females who seem to face more problems than the boys, need to work harder and realise that the same energy you use in the big city or going outside you could also use in your regions and towns. There are huge opportunities coming in farming and tourism’
The Lioness also related how the Wiyaala Gala Concert in the UK raised significant funds for Teach2Teach, an NGO which trains unemployed SHS leavers to teach basic education to children in deprived communities in Northern Ghana. This helps reduce youth unemployment and improve primary school education in some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities.
(Source: Nancy Hatie Nwadei)