Makedah was raised in Kansas City, Missouri, in a humble part of town near the 18th and Vine historic jazz district. This area was famous for its barbeque, jazz and blues music, frequented by such greats as Duke Ellington and home of famous saxophonist Charlie Parker and the legendary Count Basie and Lester Brown.
Her vocal influences range from the jazzy vocals of Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughn, to the sweet gospel harmonies of Wanda Hutchinson & The Emotions and the sultry R&B of Phyllis Hyman, Cheryl Lynn and Roberta Flack. Following the lead of such vocal trailblazers, the talented young songstress won a host of local talent shows and a recording contract with Intrepid Records by age 16.
As a youth during the turbulent 70’s in America, Queen Makedah’s passion for reggae music was kindled through her mother, a veteran of the Black Panther Party, who introduced her to the truth and rights message and revolutionary sound of the legendary Bob Marley and The Wailers, backed by the soulful harmonies of the I-Three’s reggae queens Judy Mowatt, Marcia Griffiths and Rita Marley.
After her college years, Makedah learned of her heritage as a descendant of the Black Jews of Nigeria, which led her to embrace Judaism, Torah and eventually make aliyah to Israel, where she resides with her husband and children.
Makedah brings all of these influences to her vocal style and music today.
Notable performances include:
Makedah’s talent as a songwriter began to bud in Israel, out of which her freshman album ‘The Awakening' arose, co-produced by veteran nyabinghi specialist Ras Michael (a contemporary of Bob Marley) and the Sons of Negus.
She co-produced a sophomore album ‘Spiritual Healing,’ from which her Youtube hit video ‘Yah Yireh’ emerged, an EP entitled ‘Bless Africa’ released during the crisis in the Congo, and now her 3rd album ‘Peace Process,’ in response to the plague of gun violence in America.
Her video single ‘Clean Hands (Psalms 24)’ - filmed in Israel and directed by award winning videographer Noam Chojnowski - along with other singles like 'Holy Mount Zion' and "Lay Down your Guns' from the Peace Process album, are getting positive reviews and airplay internationally. See the Press page for reviews, press and links to music.
Through her non-profit, Empress Meditations, Queen Makedah worked with othemale artists and organizations to bring recognition to women in reggae/world music, while raising donations and awaremess for charity. The ‘Women for Peace’ tour visited Sebastapol, Nevada City, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Berkeley, Pacifica, Point Richmond’s Summer Concert Series and Oregon’s Northwest World Reggae Festival and collected in-kind goods and donations for A Safe Place - Oakland’s oldest shelter for victims of domestic violence.
Makedah also worked with other non-profit organizations such as the Worldbeat Center of San Diego (Earth Day, Marcus Garvey, Legends in Reggae festivals), Reggae Gyals of the Bay Area (International Women’s Day benefit concerts), Bread and Roses (musical prison outreach), A Woman’s Place (SF Women’s homeless shelter), Mothers of Murdered Children (SF), One Billion Rising festival of Monterey, CA (to stop violence against women) and Yisrael Family Farm of Sacramento (from Farm to Fork day) to do good works while spreading her healing and conscious music.”