MAKONNEN RETURNS FROM CANADA
C0mposer/Producer Makonnen Blake Hanna, returned December 1 from a 3 month stay in Toronto, Canada where he signed with EZ Mak Records, founded by well-known Trini-Canadian artist Kamakaze. Makonnen worked as production manager and in-house producer for artists on the label, including tracks for a new album and mix tape for Canadian rapper QUANCHE, just signed to EZ Mak Records and heralded as ‘the next big thing to Drake” in the North American music market.
The EZ Mak Record label has just negotiated a distribution deal with Universal Records, Canada and plans for the launch of the artist and album in 2012 are being manged by Universal Records Canada which also handles noted rapper Drake. This signing comes in the vein of previous label deals such as Cash Money Records and Rick Ross Mayback Music Group, which were all independent entities before signing with major music companies.
THE WEEKEND, WUTANG KLAN & MORE
Makonnen arrived in Toronto for the Red Carpet launch of the studio on September 17, held at the Kelly Rowland After party celebrating the end of her ‘Motivation’ tour. While in Toronto, Makonnen got to work closely with and do a remix for rising Ethiopian-Canadian star The Weekend, recorded with a number of EZ MAK artists including Soca-Dancehall artist Study Rider, Neza The Songbird – an African-Canadian singer, crossover singer SamC and had the privelege of having the rap legend Raekwon of Wu-Tang Clan record some tracks on his riddims during an extended visit to the EZ MAK Studio.
The direct links with Universal Records management provides connections for distribution and promotion of the Jamaican artists Makonnen works with and opportunities to cross over to the North American market. EZ MAK Records includes the already-established film division that will see developments including the use of Jamaica as locations for feature films and videos
In January 2012 Makonnen joins the EZ MAK Records booth at MIDEM, the major international music gathering in Cannes, France.
HITZ & MORE
Since 2001 Makonnen has helped to bring hits to such artists as Capelton (“Pain”), Andrew & Wadda Blood (‘Money Print”), Teflon (“Jailhouse Rock’), Vybz Kartel (“Tenth Stage of Evil’) and more recently Keke-I (“Go Round Dem”, “Tivoli Worries”) . He has also participated in starting the careers of several artists including Aidonia, Turbalance, Droop Lion and Abdel Wright.
Makonnen has recently been producing tracks for Sugashak Records solar-powered studio in Mango Valley, St. Mary, where the singles he produced for artist Keke-I have cemented the artist’s name and further proved him as one to watch in 2012. The roster of MultiCast artists extends to Africa, with the signing of Ghana artist Fujy De Konero, whose first single “Queen of the Night” will be an early 2012 release. Upcoming Jamaican reggaeton artist DonRico, a co-founder of MultiCast Entertainment whose single and video “Dally Mammy” is enjoying some popularity, has welcomed the opportunities generated by the company’s expanded business connections.