Adwela was encouraged by his mother Etta at a young age in the area of the arts. Adwela began writing, singing, and playing music at the age of 13. The Culpeper native also has roots from Kingston, Jamaica where his father was born and raised. Adwela Started performing singing in the Antioch Baptist Church choir.
He began writing raps and songs at age 13 and blossomed into one of the locally proclaimed best artists in the area by the time he started high school in 1998. Adwela received most of his formal musical training in the CCHS choir, where he performed at the Disney Christmas program at Epcot Center in 1999. That same year he also was named to the all-state chorus. During his college years he was signed by Streetsquad records, an independent label in Danville, VA and recorded over 95 total songs in a 2 year period. A 5 year Arena Football career sidelined his musical endeavors until his retirement from professional sports in 2010. Since then, Adwela came back on the scene after being asked by locals to sing at local open mics and karaoke nights in the Fredericksburg area.
Now named, “A.D.” the devout Rastafarian, recorded the singles “Wolves” and “When Best Friends Become Strangers” in 2013. He has performed in the Caribbean and all up and down the East Coast. Mentored by legendary reggae guitarist “Ras” Mel Glover, A.D. is looking forward to the new challenges presented by the music industry.
The now seven piece band, Adwela & the Uprising, with Adwela Dawes on vocals also includes Erik Arnoldson as lead guitarist, Alex Kivlehan as rhythm guitarist, Samanah Brown on the keys, and Rockei Henry as our co-vocalist, and Marcus “Hollywood” Harris on the drums. Adwela & the Uprising won Best New Artist of 2015 by the Virginia Reggae Awards. Adwela & the Uprising has made the local newspapers and several magazine articles, as well as the opportunity to appear on the World Reggae Party radio show with Goddess Genise. They have had the distinct pleasure of opening for legends in the reggae music scene Third World and the Wailers. The response to Adwela & the Uprising has been incredible and they are excited about the opportunity to share a positive, strong message to the world.