American rapper, singer, and record producer Makonnen Kamali Sheran, better known by his stage name iLoveMakonnen has released a new track, “Stay Away” from his new album, “Summer ’22.”
iLoveMakonnen rose to prominence with the release of his single “Tuesday” in 2014, which featured guest appearances from the Canadian rapper Drake.
Makonnen began using his computer to create music, and he uploaded his creations to MySpace. He connected with up-and-coming musicians such as Adele through this website. Makonnen also established a blog on which he published interviews with musicians such as Lil B and Soulja Boy Tell’em. Makonnen is the author of both of these works.
Following a period of time spent under house arrest as a result of the unintentional shooting death of a friend, he enrolled in a cosmetology school and joined a gang known as Phantom Posse. During this time, he also became a member of the group.
In January 2012, Makonnen met Atlanta producer Mike Will Made It and formed a brief professional relationship with him. However, because of Mike Will’s busy schedule, the two were not able to meet often, and soon were separated from each other.
In March 2014, record producer Mike Will Made It would reply to Makonnen and brought him to the DTP studios, where he played some of his songs towards a fellow producer Metro Boomin.
Metro instantly liked Makonnen and stayed in touch with him. Later, after recording six songs together, Metro brought these fellow Atlanta producers Sonny Digital and 808 Mafia, who were all unusually impressed with him. Two days later, Makonnen recorded the song, titled “Don’t Sell Molly No More” with Sonny Digital, which would later launch his music career.
Sonny Digital introduced him to the other Atlanta producers such as DJ Spinz, Dun Deal and St. Louis producer Cammy Recklezz. He started gaining local fame within the community with songs such as “Living on the Southside”, “Sneaky Lady” and “My New Friend”. Makonnen was then featured on Mike Will’s mixtape, titled Ransom.
In July 2014, the singer released his self-titled EP iLoveMakonnen, which included the singles “Tuesday” and “I Don’t Sell Molly No More”. The latter reached pop singer Miley Cyrus, who shared it on her Instagram. The post got over 210,000 likes and counting, that brought a lot of new fans to Makonnen.
On August 15, 2014, Vice included his song “Whip It” in their Staff Picks for the Week list, commenting: “Makonnen’s voice is incredible! … How could you not have a good time listening to this song? If there is anyone I trust to teach me how to whip it, it is definitely my friend Makonnen.”
In August 2014, after hearing “Tuesday”, Drake asked one of the song’s producers, Sonny Digital, if he could remix the song. Makonnen agreed to send it to Drake, but didn’t think much of it. However, two days later Drake released a remix.
Makonnen 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 led to increased media interest in iLoveMakonnen.
In August 2014, Makonnen was featured in XXL’s The Come Up section, which focuses on new artists. He later stated he was not looking for a major label deal and instead planned to go touring and record music independently: “I’m not too thirsty to sign a deal. Cause a label will really just take all your free music down and you have to be somebody’s bitch.”
On September 1, 2014, it was announced that Makonnen had signed to Drake’s label OVO Sound, which is distributed by Warner Bros. Records.
On April 18, 2016, Makonnen parted ways with Drake’s label OVO Sound, saying the “choice to be solely on Warner Bros. Records was the right thing for me and for my best interest.” On May 7, 2016, Makonnen announced he would be retiring from music to focus on acting but released a new song shortly after, with confirmation of a new project.
In the late summer of 2017, Makonnen collaborated on an album with Lil Peep in London. The album was scrapped after Lil Peep’s fans leaked it online in May 2020. On August 17, 2018, Makonnen announced a single he co-wrote titled “Falling Down”, a reworking of “Sunlight On Your Skin” that he recorded with Peep during the sessions in London.
The new version features since deceased rapper XXXTentacion, who recorded his verses following Peep’s death. The single was officially released on September 19, 2018. The original “Sunlight On Your Skin” version was released on September 27, 2018.