Hot Right Now In: USA: ILOVEMAKONNEN

The Internet is one of the most important tools for an up-and-coming artist, and iLOVEMakonnen’s success is a perfect example of how a few thousand streams can lead to greatness. To plenty of people, it probably seems like the Atlanta native by way of Los Angeles has been working toward a record deal since he started making music on house arrest several years ago. All you have to do is go to “that cotdamn YouTube” and see how hard he’s been working. His hit song “Club Going Up on a Tuesday” produced by Sonny Digital and Metro Boomin started blowing up, and after a few weeks, Drake remixed it and the rest, as they say, “is history.” After a brief bidding war with respective labels, Makonnen chose to team up with OVO Sound.

With his signature still wet on the contract, he’s performing during the tail end of the Drake vs. Lil Wayne tour, a great look and also a good way to sharpen his live performances. Expectations are sky high, but he’s already set the bar with a Soundcloud filled with tracks, all influenced by his grandmother’s background in opera, a sound that can be heard in everything from “Maneuvering,” released on Drink More Water 4 four months ago, to the opening track of the EP that aided in his fast-track to success two months ago.

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Makonnen Sheran, better known by his stage name ILoveMakonnen, is an American R&B and hip hop recording artist from Atlanta,Georgia. He grew to prominence in 2014, after being co-signed by Miley Cyrus and having Drake remix his song “Tuesday”.

Makonnen was born in Los Angeles, California and moved to Atlanta in 2002 when he was 13 years old. He is of mixed race background, having African American, Indian, Irish, Belgian, German and Chinese heritage. Despite his name being the last name of the last royal family of Ethiopia, he has no Ethiopian connections. His mother was a nail instructor and has worked in the beauty business for over 30 years. He described his childhood as “semi-nice, semi-poverty” During his high school years, Makonnen was inspired by local rappers Young Jeezy and Gucci Mane to try out making music. His early songs were a mix of pop, rock and hip-hop

After graduating from North Clayton High School, Makonnen was planning to join the US Air Force. However, the day after graduation, he got involved in an accident, which resulted in the death of one of his high school friends. After partying all night, his friend started acting reckless with his hand gun. Makonnen tried to take the gun away, but it accidentally fired and hit his friend in the head. Even though the magazine had been taken out of the gun, it still had a bullet loaded in the chamber. Police initially ruled out the shooting as an accident, but later issued a warrant and Makonnen was arrested. After spending four weeks in jail, Makonnen was sent to house arrest for the next two years.

In late August 2014, after hearing “Club Goin’ Up on a Tuesday”, Drake reached out to one of the song’s producers Sonny Digital to ask to remix the song. Makonnen agreed to send the beat to Drake, but didn’t think much of it. However, two days later Drake released a remix to the song, much to Makonnen’s surprise.The Atlanta singer later commented: “Yeah, I surprised. Shocking. Drake listens to Makonnen. It was great. I was excited. Surprised, shocked. Just overwhelmed.”The remix, simply titled “Tuesday” went viral and lead to increased media interest in Makonnen