Freedom of Speech
Julio Mwansa Nkowane, a.k.a Rootwords, was born in the United States (of Zambian origin) and grew up in Switzerland. Since the age of 16, he’s cultivated his love for hip-hop, the underground scene and explosive beats. “A world citizen rapper” is a good way to define the aesthetics of this artist who, through his texts and music, expresses his attachment to multiculturalism, diversity and the world in general.
He released his first solo album The Rush in 2014. This project revealed a rich urban sound with modern influences of hip-hop, soul and reggae. Tracks such as “Keep On”, “Freedom of Speech” and “Cold Crush” were broadcasted on national radios in Switzerland and France, and got a great response from the crowd during his live shows in Europe and America.
Rootwords had already seduced the critics with his first projects (Press Rewind to Begin in 2011 and All Good in 2013), particularly in Switzerland where he was elected “Best Underground Artist” at the RepreZent Awards in 2010, won the “Demotape Clinic Urban” prize at M4Music in Zurich in 2013 and took home the first “Urban Award” at Swiss Live Talents in Bern at the end of 2013.
Since 2012, he has shared the stage with high profile artists, such as IAM, Cypress Hill, Public Enemy, Dead Prez, Method Man and Redman, Jay Electronica, Dj Shadow and Cut Chemist, Groundation, Tiken Jah Fakoly, The Original Wailers, Naughty Boy, The Procussions, Dope D.O.D, Akua Naru, and more. He has performed with his live band, The Block Notes, at major festivals and venues such as Montreux Jazz Festival, Paleo Festival, Rototom Sunsplash, Reggae Sun Ska, m4music, Caribana Festival, Festi’Neuch, Bars en Trans, Caprices Festival, CMJ in New York, Yaam in Berlin, le Bikini in Toulouse, Rote Fabrik in Zurich, La Bellevilloise and Centre FGO in Paris.
Rootwords is releasing his new EP Inappropriate Behaviour this year : one song of this new project will be released every 25th of the month, starting from January 2016. It will be available for free download along with a video shared on various social media platforms.
“It is all about World Hip Hop”