Friday, May 1, 2015

PopCorn UNHINGED- Movie Review with
Comic Book Artist
Jess Hurley

*Entertainment... our favorite pastime and one enjoyed globally. Whether it is music, ballet, art, sports, performances, or movie time we cherish our entertainment.  Recently, I caught comic book artist and owner of Cat Wants In, movie reviews blog called, "Popcorn Unhinged."  

I asked Jess if he would be interested in giving us movie updates and reviews from time to time, he agreed. 

So, get your favorite box of candy, your buttered popcorn and lets go to the movies!- Song River 







Jess Hurley is the owner of “Cat Wants In” a comic book creation team responsible for “Angelwolf” and “Dark 30”. Jess also runs the blogs “Popcorn Unhinged” which focuses on movie reviews and end of the year entertainment TOP 10 lists and “It Came Out Of The Ice” which covers mostly the Phoenix Coyotes. I am also currently working with JPools Gnerd Corner doing Podcast movie reviews for a show called “Netflix Gems”. Jess grew up in Phoenix, AZ and has a background in IT, counseling, poetry and graphic design.  




For more information on Jess Hurley visit: 
PopCorn UNHINGED





AVENGERS : AGE OF ULTRON (2015)

01/05/2015- Jess Hurley

My son and I went to see Avengers: Age of Ultron, on opening night at our local cinema. There is a ton to say on this thing, but I am going to keep it as short as possible. First thing to know is that if you don't quite understand what the heck is happening in the opening scene, that would probably be because you ignored all my begging to watching AGENTS OF SHIELD in the first place. In fact you will feel a lot better about the first 15 minutes of this movie if you watch at least the last 5 or 6 episodes of AGENTS OF SHIELD. After that, this movie pretty much stands on its own.
The Weaknesses: Most likely due to the fact that no one really knows who is running SHIELD in the MCU or on TV, their visibility in this movie just feels very much like a wonky afterthought. In fact they are probably being run by the freaking League Of Assassins from the DC Universe for all we know.  The writing at times feels like it was completely geared towards 4 characters and the rest were given "generated" lines from some internet site that fit, but don't feel quite as genuine. 

Plot wise we get the feeling that there may be another hour of explaining thing, but was cut out. Overall, you can follow along, as long as your mind has already been trained to quickly fill in the gaps.

The Triumphs: The characters that are given the most to say I fell in love with all over again. I also really, really liked both Elizabeth Olson (Scarlet Witch) and James Spader (Ultron) characters. There is something magically sinister about Ultron that makes you almost enjoy his fearless arrogance and want to see him again, but also want to see him lose at the same time. 

All the things we like about the Avengers are pretty close on target here... with a few exceptions. Black Widow gets some really nice depth and Hawkeye has a much bigger presence as well. Action wise, I am not sure they could have crammed any more into this thing, it felt like it was 4 or 5 other movies put together. Plot wise it does feel a little off, as it was trying too much to balance backgrounds and philosophy and set ups for movies down the road. With Ultrons nutty freaking method of trying to destroy the world, perhaps it was necessary. 

None of the weaknesses however make this a movie not to run and see as fast as you can.

I didn't feel as emotionally moved after this one as I did after the first AVENGERS movie, but it was a thrill ride none the less with some really strong moments. Comic book fans that haven't accepted the division between MCU and the comics might be upset with some of the origin stuff in this, but they really need to get over it. Should this movie make 2 billion dollars…heck yes, I am going to see it again tomorrow

GRAPHICS ARE THE PROPERTY OF MARVEL STUDIOS AND ARE USED FOR REVIEW PURPOSES ONLY.



Thursday, April 30, 2015

Riding in Tune- Artist to WATCH For!
Leah Capelle

Leah Capelle: Self-Entitled EP
30/04/2015- Song River
(Vents Magazine 5/2015)

Leah Capelle



Clouds, clouds floating by against a warm sunny robin's egg blue sky. Stretched out on a hill of new spring grass- life is alive, and the memories of life enrich our roots under the musical voice of Leah Capelle.

Leah Capelle's self entitled freshman EP entwined these feel good and sometime complex memories as they give exhalation and find their way through each instrumental accompaniment. The band enlightens our souls and spins a truism. Would You Know opens in a catchy little race of bopping along to a diddy brought to life. Strings and piano entice you into the vocal opening of In a Boat, “Take me to the sea where no one can find me that’s where I want to be...” Heartbreak and pain after a lover has left one under the storms of passion breaks the silence and spins, Natural Disaster.

Members: Leah Capelle - vox, piano, guitar Jason Berk - background vox and lead guitar Simon Jay - background vox and rhythm guitar Rodrigo Moreno - upright and electric bass Hayley Brownell - background vox, drums and percussion

My Love is Dried Up, is the praise Leah's vocal's deserve as she is the focal point in the song and the gentle caress of the guitar is enough support to compliment her strength's. The song I found least likable at first was the track that stepped out of the previous formula, My Confession, however after listening to it a few times, the understanding of its complex diversity and measures involved gave way to an artist showing their many sides and challenges through their own capabilities, My Confession does just that. It is a lilting song that really displays Leah's songwriting and vocal abilities, and showcases the bands various abilities. It now has become my favorite in its strength. Finally rounding out this warm flowing album is, This Storm. It is by far the most haunting with the gentle soothing pulls of strings motioning the dreamy captivating vocals and instrumental prowess it certainly leads and holds one in.

Leah Capelle's self entitled EP has the stretch your soul needs to lie across the spring green grassy hill as the sun sets and your soul melts into the roots of Leah Capelle's music. Her posture in vocal range and powerful indie pop places her on the list of new artists to watch for.




Social Media Leah Capelle


Website Leah Capelle






Song River is the owner of CowGirlZen Photography. She is also a freelance photojournalist. Currently working with L3 Magazine, Vents Mag, Silverplatter. You can follow her interviews, reviews of great musicians, writers, artists on her blog, http://cowgirlzenphoto.cowgirlzenphotojournalist.com/.  She is also quite active in social media working as a copywriter for several companies, and individuals. Never wrong, always right... and filled with a twisted satirical outlooks on life sometimes... you have to be thinking out of the box most of the time to catch her.  A mess of delight and quandary at times, but known for her love and compassion to help others succeed. A die hard Nikon proficient! 

Contact Info: cowgirlzenphoto {at} gmail dot com
Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/CowGirlZen.Photojournalist 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/cowgirlzenphoto 


Charity Involvements (past and present) : Playing for Change, Be the Change, Human Society Fundraiser, Tsunami Relief Fund, Red Cross, Grieving Parents Photography, Missionary San Felipe, Mexico- A Hammer and A Heart. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

NEW MUSIC TEASERS!
Mister Lucky Soon to be Released EP: Tryant

*Featuring some teaser's into the new music coming out soon on the independent scene.  


Mister Lucky is Ready to Roll


Photo Credit: CowGirlZen Photography 

30/04/2015- Song River



Something brings together the rock n rhythm sounds of Mister Lucky each time they write and perform an original tune, the sparks fly and the melody holds on tight. What else can one expect from one of Arizona's favorite Indie bands, but the rocking goods blending to a measure of southern rock with a southwest desert- punk flavor. It's pop, wave, indie, SW, punk, desert rock!


Photo Credit: Phoebe Preston 
Mister Lucky will be releasing their next EP entitled, Tyrant, with a total of three tunes available for download: Miles to Go, After All This Time, and Letters from Maria. According to lead vox Douglas Preston, they are writing new material and will be going into the recording studio to release a full album of new tunes late this year. “We recorded this EP in our own studio and tried to go for a little lo-fi/classic with the sounds. It was tracked directly to tape...and by tape, I mean a really nice Mac computer running a fairly nice “tape” emulator.”



The three tracks I heard off their forthcoming EP have a simple rock beat to spend a summer's sunrise to a summer's sundown grooving to. Douglas's voice is effortless, as it seems to come across comfortable and knowing that you are in a place that is solid. A motion towards a southern easy rock- reminiscent to the days of Allman Bros. and Marshal Tucker lightly splashed with a midnight tequila. Smooth brother...so smooth!



Photo Credit: CowGirlZen Photography



As Mister Lucky moves forward in their music development Douglas, assures his fans that yes they are still that Indie Rock band, but Douglas shared, “The new material is meant to be less straight ahead pop/rock. We're aiming to reflect some different choices from our record collection and pull from some different influences than we've done before. Hopefully that will result with a new record of new sounds.

Mister Lucky... is looking to take aim at exploring some different avenues, and alleyways of rock n roll, but still giving their fans that high energy good feeling rock they love.








To purchase Mister Lucky's new EP, Tyrant, and follow them on tour visit their website and social media sites.  





Musicians and Bands are you interested in having your music reviewed and a S/O prior to public release? Email: cowgirlzenphoto at g mail. Mp3's, bio and links. 

One Healthy Foot-Step At A Time
Interview with Founder Kenton Lee
The Shoe That Grows


The Shoe That Grows began back in 2007 as founder, Kenton Lee, was busy living and working in Nairobi, Africa.

The story goes that Kenton, while on the way to worship, had noticed a young girl in a white dress with shoes on that were far too small for her feet, this led him to think about why, and what could be done. As he ponder the idea came to him... what if a pair of shoes could be designed to grow with a child, and be practical, as well as durable? It was then and there the idea was born for, The Shoe That Grows!


Forming the company to enable this project and more to come, in 2009 Because International was formed, and the next steps... leaps for humanitarian kindness really began. Read on about the story, the shoe, the solution, and how to get involved!


29/04/2015- Song River
(L3 Magazine May Issue 2015)

Song River: Your shoes have been blasted out via the media globally, did you expect such a strong support system for this project?

Kenton: It is hard to believe, we never thought we would have this kind of publicity. There was a local news story that ran out of Portland, and somehow it was picked up. We had an idea, it made sense and essentially we wanted to be a resource, now it seems to have gotten much bigger. Its great!

SR: Kenton takes us back to your college daya. Where were you and what were you doing?

Kenton: Back during my college days, well my friends and I, we cared about others, and wanted to get involved and to be honest I wanted to travel too. Yes, I wanted to help people, and to some degree push back at the attitude thought of American's abroad, the term “Americanslacktivist” imagery. I wanted to listen to others needs, and live with them to learn. I had heard so much about AIDS in Africa, and I wanted t see it all and learn. That was the crux of the trips I wanted to take. To listen and learn. I wish everyone could experience this type of thing. 

Reflecting even a little further back, I think it was my junior year of college, I visited my friend in Costa Rica. While visiting I sat in on a couple of college classes. I remember seeing the words, “Apartheid,” written on the board, and I have to admit (paused) I had no idea what it meant. I felt so dumb, not knowing- nothing about it and if I claimed to want to make a difference I need to get out my own little world and live it.








SR: Was compassion something you learned at home?

Kenton: Yes, it was taught as my parents were very much compassionate individuals. They lived it. They focused on local compassion, and set a great example.

SR: You saw a need, you're meeting the need by asking the world to reach in their pockets and pull out ten bucks. Ten dollars can buy a meal, even possibly feed a whole family for a day or two. What is it about these shoes that you feel reaches in to a persons pocket? Where did the inspiration for The Shoes That Grows come from?

Kenton: I had traveled to Ecuador and Kenya, Nairobi to work in various orphanages. Seeing a variety of problems, working to find solutions.

Honestly, for me personally, I used to think shoes were no big deal. When I saw it though first hand, children with shoes far too small for their feet, or without shoes at all... well, I thought about the lack of sanitation around them. The kids would get cuts or scrapes on their feet, leaving the foot open to infection. What happens then when a child gets ill? They can't go to school, they can't help the family by working to assist supporting the group. I realized proper shoes could make such a huge difference in so many aspects to their daily living. Being healthy has many components, and having their feet covered properly is just one of those factors to help the individual, family and community.    





SR: The term “Practical Compassion” is a phrase one hears on your video promo's and branding. Describe the term 'practical compassion.”

Kenton: "Why do we do, what we do?" A question put to us at our board meeting by a marketing coach we had brought in. “What is your why?” he asked. Practical everyday reasoning kept coming back to us. We listened to what was needed, it was practical and we applied compassion... “practical compassion” makes sense. It doesn't do any good to give others what you think they need, does it?

SR: What materials did you decided to utilize to make these shoes, comfortable, durable, and manageable?

Kenton: First we took the idea to some former Adidas shoe creators who work on ideas like this, and asked them to create a prototype. The shoes were constructed of leathers, and the bottoms of the shoe compressed rubber. There are snaps that are set at points to grow with the child's foot. We wanted practical, and durable. In the autumn of 2014 the first shipment went out, and in July we have the next shipment going out. By connecting with worship organizations, and other humanitarian organizations we are getting shoes out to the children of Haiti, Guatemala, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa and more and more places.


SR: Why two sizes, and why up to five sizes of growth?

Kenton: Well first we wanted the shoes to be created to last 100 years and up to 20 sizes (laughed), but we think the two sizes we have created to: cost little, expand the most with the period time of a child's growth, and long lasting was reached.

 The sizes most needed, after listening to people in need, were the ages of around Kindergarten through about third grade time in growth (small)... and then the size of growth from around fourth grade to ninth grade (large). In the smaller size, that is when most children are running and walking everywhere. The large size fits up to the period where studies show most children's feet have finished growing.

SR: You formed a company called, Because International. With a variety of projects being developed under it ie. (The Shoe That Grows). What is your next step, no bad pun intended.

Kenton: We filed under a 501c3 for Because International and our main focus right now is The Shoe That Grows, but we are currently developing our second project. We saw a need, listened to the children, and are developing something we are terming, “A Better Bed-net.” In high mosquito infested areas people will sleep with a mosquito netting draped from their ceilings over their beds to help protect themselves. We all know mosquito bites itch like crazy, but more serious than that is the deadly diseases they carry. In the countries we have been working with and orphanages many times children do not have the typical bed. They may have a mat on the floor, or sleep on the ground... wherever they can find a spot. So, we are working on an idea for a bed net that would be free standing.




SR: What are some other ways people might get involved, aside from donating ten dollars?

Kenton: We are looking into setting up a volunteer program. Maybe calling the volunteers...“The Shoe Crew!”



Social Media:



Website:



Practical Compassion- The Shoe That Grows

Song River is the owner of CowGirlZen Photography. She is also a freelance photojournalist. Currently working with L3 Magazine, Vents Mag, Silverplatter. You can follow her interviews, reviews of great musicians, writers, artists on her blog, http://cowgirlzenphoto.cowgirlzenphotojournalist.com/.  She is also quite active in social media working as a copywriter for several companies, and individuals. Never wrong, always right... and filled with a twisted satirical outlooks on life sometimes... you have to be thinking out of the box most of the time to catch her.  A mess of delight and quandary at times, but known for her love and compassion to help others succeed. A die hard Nikon proficient! 

Contact Info: cowgirlzenphoto {at} gmail dot com
Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/CowGirlZen.Photojournalist 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/cowgirlzenphoto 


Charity Involvements (past and present) : Playing for Change, Be the Change, Human Society Fundraiser, Tsunami Relief Fund, Red Cross, Grieving Parents Photography, Missionary San Felipe, Mexico- A Hammer and A Heart. 

Episode Dos of Spoken Word for the Broken Nerves: Radio DJ Devin James


*Editors Note: The aim and desire here is to offer a wide-variety of music styles, and creative genres.  A place where anyone who has a heart and soul for the arts can find out about someone new, or read about their long time favorites. The arts are a place wide-open to venture into, experiment, try-on, discover- whether writer, lyricist, painter, inker, makeup artist, poetry in motion, instruments, rock, soul, blues, funk, country, pop, rap, reggae, brush, pen, or clay... it's all collectively the beat that keeps the world in motion, the dreamers dreaming, and the faithful believing.- Song River 


Each Wednesday's Feature will be: 
Spoken Word for the Broken Nerves- Feat. Devin James.  

Devin James started a project called "Spoken Word for the Broken Nerves."  It features poetry, and adapted songs in spoken word format caught on video.  Six episodes have been filmed so far in Portland and Seattle, and more will be coming out as the year goes on.  The poetry is based on life, and has no specific theme or subject matter.  "Anything goes, for anything prose."- Devin James

Devin James will be having a new radio show coming soon on SkyHigh Radio. Follow Devin on social media for more information.


M Matic Art








To contact or find out more information on Devin James:









Bio:


Devin is a lyricists' lyricist who is ever-expanding his delivery and constantly innovating his flow stylistically. With speeds ranging from 60-160 BPM, Devin James is a beat rocker extraordinaire who plans to be the most versatile rapper his city has seen in awhile. No matter what the song subject is, Devin "Gatsby" James always brings heart to the table.

Devin is also writing verse for the Imago Theatre's (https://www.facebook.com/imagotheatre) adaptation of Beauty and the Beast called "La Belle" that will be out in December of 2015 in Portland, OR.


His recent involvement with Tim Skellenger and disc golf, has literally just happened out of the blue.  In late 2014, Devin approached Tim about recording a hip-hop anthem for him calling it "Skelly."  Tim was blown away by what he heard, and they've just wrapped production on the music video now called "FLY," debuting Zaei Apparel's (https://www.facebook.com/zaeiapparel) creator Sheree Corniel as the Director of Photography.  "FLY" showcases Oregon disc golf culture featuring Tim and local disc golfers around the Portland area.  The music video will be released in the spring/summer of 2015.

Click here to support Help Send Tim Skellenger To Europe! by Tim Skellenger 


Song River is the owner of CowGirlZen Photography. She is also a freelance photojournalist. Currently working with L3 Magazine, Vents Mag, Silverplatter. You can follow her interviews, reviews of great musicians, writers, artists on her blog, http://cowgirlzenphoto.cowgirlzenphotojournalist.com/.  She is also quite active in social media working as a copywriter for several companies, and individuals. Never wrong, always right... and filled with a twisted satirical outlooks on life sometimes... you have to be thinking out of the box most of the time to catch her.  A mess of delight and quandary at times, but known for her love and compassion to help others succeed. A die hard Nikon proficient! 

Contact Info: cowgirlzenphoto {at} gmail dot com
Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/CowGirlZen.Photojournalist 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/cowgirlzenphoto 


Charity Involvements (past and present) : Playing for Change, Be the Change, Human Society Fundraiser, Tsunami Relief Fund, Red Cross, Grieving Parents Photography, Missionary San Felipe, Mexico- A Hammer and A Heart.  

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Interview with Rocky Dawuni

Singer/Songwriter/Philanthropist/Humanitarian/Entrepreneur/Visionary.

Walking a path that branches out into several different directions, may be the key to greater human understanding... and quite possibly a song in the heartbeat of Rocky Dawuni- Singer/Songwriter/Philanthropist/Humanitarian/Entrepreneur/Visionary. 

26/04/2015-Song River
(L3 Magazine May Issue)


Song River: Reading back over your life, you have had quite an adventure. I am looking to ask you to help paint a picture in your own words of your life growing up, and your arrival to where you are now.
Photo Credit: Robert Kozek
Rocky: It's been an interesting journey from my birth at Michel Camp, a military base in Ghana and growing up in a sheltered but intense environment . This was during the time when the Ghanaian military was active in various military coups and political uprisings. Music was my first love from an early age and my attraction to various  melodies , mostly from radio and records, evolved to a point where I felt I could craft my own songs.  I also had the fortitude of growing up in a religiously diverse environment as is the case on bases. The various social groups were fully represented  - meaning various Ghanaian ethnicity and tribes, religious faiths from Christianity to Islam to Buddhism to traditional African religion. All these experiences and the discovery of Reggae music helped shape me as an artist and define my world view. By the time I formed my first band in college, I had a clear vision of using my music as a force for good. This is what I am today. 

Song River: Would you say your upbringing was diverse and unusual or was it just like any other childhood?

Rocky: Everyone's path has its uniqueness in terms of what experiences they go through. My upbringing was always instilled with a sense of adventure and diversity, but generally it was like any other childhood.

Song: If you are open to it, I didn't read anything about your mother, and other family members (one mention of your brother). Would you care to share a bit about who they are, and how your relationships entwine?

Rocky: My mom is one of my foremost inspirations. I am the second child of eight children - five boys and three girls. She currently lives in Southern Ghana. My older brother Chief Wumbe Dawuni, is the Chief of the people of Bumbon in Northern Ghana. I have a sister who lives in England, but most of my siblings live in the town where my mom lives. We are very close and tight knit family. My travels make it difficult to constantly be in Ghana, but we all stay in touch regularly.

Song: Your father, it would seem, has been a grand influence. Talk a little bit about it.

Rocky: My father was born a twin and the last born child of the Chief of Bunbon Nayili. He grew up in a traditional royal setting and was one of the most adventurous of his siblings. He left his
Photo Credit: Robert Kozek
traditional home and joined the Ghanaian army where he became a cook. He quickly rose through the ranks and became the preferred Chef for the upper echelons of the military base. During his tenure he traveled as part of the UN Peacekeeping forces during the Arab Israeli Wars of 1973 and 1978 where he was stationed in Egypt. After his time in the military he returned to his ancestral home where he became the Chief of his people. He was the main influence in my international view and to some extent inspired my personal collaborations with UN organizations and peace building initiatives. 

Song: Kids today grow up differently in the States, than they did even twenty, thirty, fifty years ago. Has life progressed and changed much over the same course of time from where you come?

Rocky: Yes, Ghana has changed a lot. Everyday new buildings go up and the road networks get more extensive. The global impact of technology is also evident, as everybody uses cellphones these days, both from the very rural communities to the cities. The electrification projects also changed the social dynamics . We are not immune to the global march towards progress. My major concern is to promote a sustainable model for our progress, not development for development sake. I am also very wary of the slippery slope of technological progress when ethics are sacrificed for moneymaking.

Song: Did the levels of diversity, contain any notable moments of adversity within them, that you yourself witnessed? If there were, how did it affect you? 

Photo Credit: Robert Kozek
Rocky: Yes, there is always the issue of cultural and social confrontations and an underlying  challenge to  existing paradigms when you embrace diversity. I've definitely experienced this on so many occasions . My belief is that it is a necessary part of the growth process . It helps build a strong sense of character based on compassion, understanding and patience. 

Song: Has it affected your outlook upon humanity? Has it moved you to make personal changes, driven you to challenge yourself? 

Rocky: In terms of my outlook on humanity, it definitely has fostered a deeper awareness of the oneness of all of us. It has made me accept my own shortcomings and recognize the power of forgiveness, both for myself and others. It has also inspired in me a sense that any generation has the potential to rise above its challenges to become true architects of hope. I believe this generation can do that if we are guided by a true sense of international morality. 

Song:Think about those moments you've been through, as you pause, what have been some of the most significant?
Rocky: My first  experience of Jerusalem will be that moment. I visited The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Wailing Wall and the Dome of the Rock.
Song: As you've lived, and breathed this journey, the marked influences that you would see and each shift you've experienced has added another layer to your insight, how has it all related to who you've become, and how does it affect your songwriting? 

Rocky: My experiences have given me unique insights that have gone a long way to enrich my world view. This is definitely apparent in my songwriting style and my music - distilled in snippets of inspiration, rhythm and melody from various cultures and places.

Song: You have worked musically alongside some of the greatest humanitarians, and philanthropist known. Talk a little about some of them you've been involved with, and the objectives you were exploring.

Rocky: I had the honor of performing with Stevie Wonder at the Hollywood Bowl and collaborating with Bono on a Playing For Change project which builds music schools around the world. I am also an Ambassador for the United Nations Foundation Global Alliance For Cleancookstoves alongside Julia Roberts and Chef Jose Andres to bring attention to the importance of clean cook-stoves and its health impact. I've been involved in various causes that in the long run helps to strengthen communities and aid development. 

Song: If you were to use a “title” to encapsulate who you are, you could choose from so many. Is your music driven to be political, cultural, societal, to tell a point of view, to help, or assist... is there any element that isn't touched by what has touched you?

Photo Credit Jody Zung
Rocky: I think the term "Global Citizen" will be fitting for me as I am so interested in exploring various cultures. My music is just an expression of my personal truths. My hope is that in exploring those dimensions I also serve as a positive catalyst for others to shine their light.

Song: Education empowers. Whether there is a piece of paper that has been 'stamped' with an accomplishment, or a person is driven to be a life long learner by their own need. In your expectational experiences into the realms of education- how important do you see it to all of humankind, and how can we help give the individuals this power? 

Rocky: Education transfers power into the hands of the person who wields it. Education gives the individual the ability to access knowledge for growth. On a much more universal level education facilitates communication which is the key to understanding. It is a developmental tool and a human right. In can be also used as a tool for mental slavery and negative indoctrination, but then the individual will still hold the keys to unlock those chains. 

Song: Lets move from education to, Today- describe your political viewpoints, and can they be or how would you implement them to help this world maybe be a little more at peace with itself, and others?

Rocky: Well I don't claim to be any sort of politician. My viewpoints are humanitarian . My intention is to be an instrument of hope and an apostle of peace. I believe in using my voice as a means to inspire people to speak truth to power and advocate for others what they desire for themselves. There are so may challenges today and mere legislation and treaties cannot guarantee peace if there is no fundamental shift in the hearts of people to all uphold true justice. That is the space where I operate with my music.

Song: Moving from the heavier elements... lets talk a little bit more about your music. As I understand there are six albums, correct? Talk a bit about them musically.

Rocky: My  albums are " The Movement ," " Crusade," "Awakening," " Book of Changes," "Hymns For the Rebel Soul," and the new "Branches of the Same Tree." All the albums have correlated with my growth as an artist . They started out leaning a lot on reggae rhythms to an embrace of a more global  and eclectic sound while perfecting my own personal "Afro Roots" sound. One thing that ties them all together are the positive themes.

Song: Is the recording label, Cumbancha, your venture? Talk about the label, and its influences? Others on it?

Rocky: Cumbancha is the label releasing my new album. The CEO, Jacob Edgar,  is on a mission to present the best of global music. The label has artistes like Idan Raichel, Joe Driscoll and Sekou Kouyate, Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars, Daby Toure, among many wonderful global artistes.

Song: The release of, Branches of the Same Tree, speaks from the heart. What to Rocky is the tree and how deeply do the roots of that tree represent all of who you are?

Rocky: On a personal level the tree represents life. The branches are the everyday affirmation of love, gratitude, goodwill and pursuit of happiness . The roots are the wellsprings of purpose and faith that nourishes my soul. 



Song: If you would talk a little about each track on the new album. As well, why did you choose  African Thriller to be the first to be released, and a video. Are you pleased with its interpretation? How much influence did you have over the making of the video?

Rocky: African Thriller was the first single because it is a song of celebration. The song also represented a unique fusion of styles, namely funk, dance, afrobeat and reggae. It is a true representation of my "Afro Roots" sound so I felt it was the best way to set the album tone. In terms of the video I will give lots of the credit to my friend and visionary director Glen Wilson, who came up with amazing concepts to complement my musical vision. The fantastic talents of our choreographer Kara Mack, producers Cary Sullivan and Kelley Lee as well as the incredible dancers, family and friends who all came together to realize the video.

Song: You don't strike me to be a person who sits and waits for 'things' to come to you. What projects are now in the works with your new album, more music, touring... and most importantly in your charity projects and involvement in various organizations? If you would, please share too how we might become more involved with some of the projects you are working on, so we too can assist others.

Photo Credit: Robert Kozek
Rocky: For now the new album is out so the main objective is to continue to promote and increase awareness about it. We will be touring and working as hard as we can to bring the message of the music everywhere.  I am also currently involved in bringing attention to women's issues and promoting girl child education. My focus is also to help shed light on environmental awareness and our shared responsibility to preserve and protect what sustains human life. I've collaborated with Whole Planet Foundation, ONE, UN Foundation, the United Nations Foundation, Global Alliance For Clean cook-stoves, AEGIS Trust, Product (RED), UNFCC and other organizations.

I am also developing a natural product line called "Leaf of Life" to launch a series of natural products and promote a culture of wellness.

Song: This may seem to be an obvious question, what is it you really want to tell people? What is it at your core, that you want others to see, and know?

Rocky: It's simple and we've all heard it before. We are truly the ones we've been waiting for. Our future is now but we have to own it - together as one! 



Rocky Dawuni's "Branches Of The Same Tree" is out now! Pick up your copy at the official store and receive a free bracelet from Ghana with your order while supplies last:http://bit.ly/1NGZE7

“Rocky’s music is a creative inspiration that has no boundaries.” - Ziggy Marley

Song River is the owner of CowGirlZen Photography. She is also a freelance photojournalist. Currently working with L3 Magazine, Vents Mag, Silverplatter. You can follow her interviews, reviews of great musicians, writers, artists on her blog, http://cowgirlzenphoto.cowgirlzenphotojournalist.com/.  She is also quite active in social media working as a copywriter for several companies, and individuals. Never wrong, always right... and filled with a twisted satirical outlooks on life sometimes... you have to be thinking out of the box most of the time to catch her.  A mess of delight and quandary at times, but known for her love and compassion to help others succeed. A die hard Nikon proficient! 

Contact Info: cowgirlzenphoto {at} gmail dot com
Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/CowGirlZen.Photojournalist 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/cowgirlzenphoto 


Charity Involvements (past and present) : Playing for Change, Be the Change, Human Society Fundraiser, Tsunami Relief Fund, Red Cross, Grieving Parents Photography, Missionary San Felipe, Mexico- A Hammer and A Heart.