“I’ll Say It How I Want To” EP Announcement

I’ll Say It How I Want To is a four song EP that takes you on the journey of a band’s path to emergence. The songs featured provide a glimpse into the band’s sound and more importantly into their perspective. Makeda! is a rock band that insists on embodying the essential ethos of rock and roll, as exemplified by the genre’s founder Sister Rosetta Tharpe. In doing so, their work actively seeks to draw from tradition, and following in the footsteps of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, leverages music as an instrument of truth telling and disruption. The songs on the EP serve as a response to current events and an unapologetic critique of the paradigms that would have us seek our worth in the subjugation of others (namely white supremacy), while planting the seeds of a vision for something else. That vision is one that Makeda! will continue to advocate for through their music, their work, and their name.

The band’s name (pronounced ma kə da) pays homage to the real name of the Ethiopian Queen of Sheba, as identified by the Kebra Nagast, and is the band’s way of holding space to recall histories that have been whitewashed, minimized and distorted.

Ahead of the EP release, Makeda! will be releasing a music video for “If He Gets to be President,” a defiant anthem written for black women, on May 29, 2018.

Makeda! was founded in 2013 by guitarist Mike Sutjipto and vocalist and drummer Sara Haile-Mariam after they connected over Craigslist while living in Washington DC. In 2015 the duo made an impromptu move to California. The EP also features the playing of Christian Vieyra on bass and Cooper Holzman on keys.

I’ll Say It How I Want To was recorded and mixed by Mark Rains at the Station House in Echo Park, CA. It was mastered by Emily Lazar at The Lodge, NYC assisted by Chris Allgood.

“If He Gets To Be President” Music Video

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EP Track Summary

The EP opens with the first single If He Gets to be President, the lyrics of which were written by Haile-Mariam, a naturalized immigrant from Ethiopia, within a few weeks of the 2016 Presidential election. Haile-Mariam wrote the lyrics specifically for black women - an anthem to remind herself and others, that power is nuanced, and change is a constant. While we may not choose our circumstances, we can choose how we respond to them.

The EP carries over into Free Soul, a big song that features powerful instrumental choruses and tight transitions. Peach Jam is a respite in the middle of the EP, a twist on the notion of making lemonade out of lemons, opting for a sweeter starting point. And the EP closes with Do It Anyways, a song about moving through fear, which is a reprise from a Music Bones single released in 2015.

Makeda! Biography

Makeda! is a band on a mission to reclaim rock and roll.

Founded in 2013 by front woman and drummer Sara Haile-Mariam and guitarist Mike Sutjipto - Makeda!’s early roots were inspired by blues guitarist Beverly “Guitar” Watkins who sent the duo on a tour of Atlanta Blues clubs. Beverly’s influence on the band’s sound was definitive and in meeting her the band also unearthed the indisputable history of black women integral in the creation of rock and roll, namely the founder of the genre Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

In it’s 4 years of existence, Makeda! has navigated what it means to make and take up space in a genre that’s been unapologetically white washed, detached from it’s true origin and disconnected from its potential purpose. Why do white supremacy and misogyny have any place in a genre that was founded by a black woman. What’s the point of freedom, and belonging and rebellion if it’s reliant on reinforcing systems and paradigms that oppress others. Who stole rock and roll and why are we waiting to take it back.

Makeda! is rooted in the conviction that music does not discriminate; the ability to make music is not a privilege for the select few but an instrument of healing and a path to community for us all.

The band’s name (pronounced ma kə da) pays homage to the real name of the Ethiopian Queen of Sheba as named and identified by the Kebra Nagast. The band’s name is intended to hold space to recall and correct histories that have been whitewashed, minimized and distorted.

Queen Makeda was a truth seeker.

Makeda! believes that music can be leveraged to tell and amplify the truth.

Name Change Announcement

From 2013-2018, Makeda! recorded and performed under the name “Music Bones”. For information on our new name “Makeda!” and why we changed our name, please read this blog post from frontwoman Sara Haile-Mariam: Meet Makeda!


Previous Releases

Music Bones History

Before Music Bones was a band it was a tumblr account that Sara started in the Fall of 2012. “Music Bones and Shitty Demos” was a space for her to work through her artistic growth after getting high, and discovering her ability to make music, in the months beforehand.

The idea of “music bones” was born from the conviction that some things can’t be told to you. Some things live beneath the surface, intuitive impulses, visions of what you could do, if only you were to try – and those are the things you can you trust. They live somewhere others can’t see. You know what you know; in your gut, in your bones.

After meeting Mike in July of 2013 (on craigslist) and starting a band, the sentiment stuck as a band name. Music Bones started out as an acoustic duo. After deciding to expand the band, the duo connected with a drummer (also on craigslist) who didn’t own a drum set. They picked up Mike’s childhood kit and when that drummer flaked on the first rehearsal, Sara picked up the sticks. It wasn’t until the duo visited Beverly “Guitar” Watkins in Atlanta that the sound of Music Bones, and now Makeda!, took root. Over the course of the next few months they started writing songs, with Mike playing an electric guitar and Sara at the drums, and they’ve continued writing and performing together since.

Fairly early in this adventure, Sara and Mike also fell in love. :)