February 15, 2023
MUSIC producer Makonnen Blake-Hannah is urging the Government to remove taxes from music equipment to foster growth within the industry.
His comments come during Reggae Month celebrations in Jamaica.
“If only equipment didn’t cost so much because of the tax, more young people would be making music, and it’s in the youth where our music develops. We need to give them more opportunities to make music by making it easier for us to buy equipment. It’s our biggest industry and Government should earn from our music â€” not from the money paid to Customs and the tax to bring gear into Jamaica. Also, certain people need to stop ‘gate-keeping’ the youth and make the industry more inclusive, more unity,” he told the Jamaica Observer.
Blake-Hannah is the son of veteran journalist Barbara Blake-Hannah.
According to him, music production has been his passion since he was a child, and though his mother was a little apprehensive at first, she eventually supported his decision.
“My mother was glad to see me interested in something as well as computers. Did she push me to pursue it? Not exactly. But, seeing all the music makers at the studio and in Jamaica, she knew I could earn a living making music. When computers made music production digital she was glad to see my two interests combined into one,” he explained.
Blake-Hannah spent his first four years in Port Antonio, Portland, and was homeschooled by his mother. The self-taught musician composed his first piece at age seven for a film called Kids’ Paradise. He is principal of Lead Out Productions and Multicast Entertainment.
He shared some high points of his career, so far.
“I am proud to have been a part of the Tropical House Cruises to Jamaica Album series which reached number one on the Billboard Reggae Album chart in February 2018 and spawned multiple charting albums since then. This includes the latest Asia edition, which debuted at number one on the iTunes Reggae Chart and includes the song Team Work by Sizzla, produced by me, which reached number two on the iTunes Reggae Singles chart on January 24 this year,” he said.
Blake-Hannah has also produced Vybz Kartel ‘s Tenth Stage, Capleton’s Pain, Sizzla’s Baddest Man, Aidonia’s March Out, and Masicka’s Way We Roll.
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