Julio Mwansa Nkowane, a.k.a Rootwords is the epitome of a “world citizen” , he was born in the USA of Zambian heritage and raised in Switzerland. Rootsword began rhyming at the age of sixteen; after initially studying international relations and law, he dropped out in order to pursue his passion for music.
The rapper has gathered a fair amount of underground experience in Switzerland’s hip hop community. He has graced the stages of many regional and international festivals; including Paleo Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival, Rototom Sunsplash, Reggae Sun Ska, and Selvamonos Festival. He released his first solo album The Rush in 2014 and this year will see the release of his second offering.
Rootwords, with his band The Block Notes, will be touring the SADC region this May.
The tour will kick off at Lusaka arts centre Modzi Arts on 19 May. Rootwords will form part of the centre’s aims to “grow the contemporary art and cultural scene, making it more visible in Zambian society…”.
Still in Lusaka, the tour will move to Club Zed on the 20th of May. The newly refurbished venue is focused on fostering a culture of live music performance, and an unmistakably local clubbing experience.
On the 24th May the ensemble will entertain audiences at The BAT Centre, hosted by KZN Music Imbizo in Durban, South Africa. The event will feature Robin Third Floor, Supah Mpondo, Gaba, Brand Leo. KZN Music Imbizo is a fast-growing annual international music business conference and exhibition that has hosted the likes of jazz singer Sibongile Khumalo, Prof Joseph Tshabalala of Ladysmith Black Mambazo and many others. The Imbizo aims to create a platform for cultural and business exchange in Africa, develop and export talent from the continent, build a common understanding of issues affecting the African music industries.
The group will be at the dynamic Trackside space in Soweto, outside Johannesburg on the 25th of May. The creative hub is a venue for artists to use food, crafts, music, graffitti, photography, film, fashion, animation, motion & graphic design, comics, web/app development and events to imagine, create and collaborate.
The tour will culminate in a performance at the world-renowned MTN Bushfire Festival in Swaziland. Named by CNN as one of the 7 African must-attend festivals, MTN Bushfire boasts a line-up of big acts such as Hugh Masekela, Msaki, GoodLuck, Kwesta, and Femi Koya.
19 May Modzi Arts [Lusaka]
20 May Club Zed [Lusaka]
24 May The BAT Centre [Durban]
27 May Bushfire Festival [Malkerns]