Donna Makeda is definitely a musical force to be reckoned with. She was born in Kwakwani and grew up in New Amsterdam, Berbice, Guyana. Donna started singing and performing over 25 years ago, her foundation in music came from the church, which she attended when she was a little girl. Donna started out as a dancer; she was trained in Afro-Caribbean Dance, Modern Dance, Folk Dance, Kathak and Classical Ballet. At age 16, she opened her own dance & aerobics school called “Burning Flame International”.
Donna migrated to Canada in the early 1990 and has been working tirelessly since her very first recording “Gun Bust” in 1993. She went on to release several albums and singles over the years and some of her earlier awards include: “Top Reggae Newcomer” in 1993, “Top Reggae Dancehall DJ (female) in 1995, 1996 and 1999 and 2003 and “Top Reggae Music Video (for her video “Jah Great Woman”) in 1995 from the Canadian Reggae Music Awards. An “Arts & Entertainment Award” for her contribution to the Arts from her home country – Guyana in 2000, and an “Artistic Award of Excellence” from the Inter-City Multicultural School of Excellence Reading Club in 2001.
Donna has performed internationally at several shows and festivals such as Ajax Caribbean Day, Reggae Muskoka, Hamilton Sunfest, Jamaica Day, Rasta Fest, Marcus Garvey Day, The Canadian Reggae Music Awards, The Bashment Community Appreciation Awards, The Toronto Street Festival, Irie Music Festival, Afrikadey in Calgary, To Africa With Love in Barbados, Toronto Street Festival, Beaches Jazz Festival and Caribana on Olympic Island to name a few. Donna has performed extensively in Canada in places like Toronto, Brantford, Hamilton, Ottawa, Montreal and Calgary, also internationally in Barbados, Guyana, New York. Manhattan and Jamaica.
At the Calgary International Reggae Festival – August 2004, Donna created quite am impact with the 6000-strong audience with her dynamic and impressive stage show. With the very talented back up dancers ‘The Caribbean Dance Theatre’, she created quite a stir and together they had the audience mesmerized with their stage act. Her performance was referred to as “a storybook’ and “dreamlike” by the viewers, who said that it was the most memorable performance they had ever seen. Donna received the very prestigious Consul General’s Award at the Guyana Awards held in Toronto, Canada in appreciation for her steadfast commitment and service to the Guyanese community; she also walked away with the Female Dancehall DJ of The Year Award at the 20th and final Canadian Reggae Music Awards also in 2004.
In 2007, Donna released another single entitled “Hold On” which was mixed in Kingston Jamaica by the legendary Dr. Marshall of Anchor Studio, rhythm courtesy of Roger B. She also picked up an award from the Toronto International Reggae Music Awards for “Roots & Culture” Album of the Year for her album “Jah Ah De Rulah”. Quite a few of the tracks on this album was produced by Roger B. Greene with songs written by Donna Makeda herself. She received an Award at the Guyana Artistic Music Awards held December 2008 for “Top Culture Reggae Queen”. In 2009, she went on tour to Guyana, South America and did five shows with a slew of other International Guyanese Reggae Recording Artists the likes of Kapa Shanti, Yonnette Hooper, Zebulun De Counseller and Redemption to name a few. She went to Jamaica in December 2010 and did the Mad Kick Riddim Driven Tour with CG Records alongside Beenie Man, Lady Saw, TOK and Macka Diamond among other stars. Donna was well received by thousands of fans hailing from all parts of the country and was in high demand by the Guyanese Media.
At the Bashment Community Appreciation Awards held in Toronto in April 2011, Donna won the “Top Single” award for her single “Almighty Bless Me”. She also received the “Unsung Hero” Award in 2011. Donna has done collaborations with various artists including Prince Everald, Roger B, Negus Morris of the Heptones, Chatta, King Ujah and Fyah Lion. Performing on stage alongside many top artists including Beenie Man, Luciano, Marcia Griffiths, Lutan Fyah, Capleton, Sizzla, Cocoa Tea, Sister Carol, Culture, Beres Hammond, Buju Banton, Michael Rose, Lady Saw, Macka Diamond, Cutty Ranks, Yami Bolo, Anthony B, George Nooks and Louie Culture to name a few, Donna has certainly made a name for herself.
Donna had quite a busy year in 2012 with the highlight being her performance with her Xclusive Dancers in Jamaica for Rastafest, which was staged for the very first time in Jamaica. Her stage act created a lot of excitement amongst the patrons and she was called back to perform even after her act had ended. Her song “Stick Together” (written by Keron Williams) on the “Ladylike Compilation CD” was produced by Indie Rootz Records and released in the summer of 2012. The “Controversy Riddim Driven” CD was also released in 2012 and featured the likes of Rich Kid, Macka Diamond, Kip Rich, Mr. Lexus and a host of other top artists. Early 2012, Donna’s 3rd album entitled “Almighty Bless Me” was released on ITunes by Street Digital Records, a label which Donna was a part of for about 2 years. The first single released off the album, the title track “Almighty Bless Me” received positive feedback from the general public and entered the Rebel Vibez Top 10 Reggae Chart in Canada.
This Guyanese born dreadlocked singjay is also a graduate of Trebas Institute where she received her diploma in Recorded Music Production and Multimedia and also is the proud owner of her own music label “DONNA MAKEDA MUSIC” and a quarterly magazine called “REGGAEXCLUSIVE Entertainment News“.