Akae Beka Mek A Menshun Press Release – Zion High Productions 2019.
Akae Beka and Zion I Kings continue their ongoing collaboration with Mek A Menshun. Noted lyricist and vocalist Vaughn Benjamin delivers some of his finest compositions to date in a career now spanning twenty years. Anchored in the celebrated sound of the Zion I Kings (ZIK) players, these timeless songs amply reward the listener who can penetrate into the mystical musical realms of Rastafari.
Longtime fans of Midnite and Akae Beka will note that Vaughn Benjamin’s singing on Mek A Menshun reaches new heights of melodic delivery and emotional intensity. Coupled with his always poetic and insightful lyrics, these 12 original songs rank among his best recordings to date. The title track “Mek A Menshun” includes vocals by Protoje who has transitioned from Jamaican “rising star” status to Grammy (R)-nominated artist.
Mek A Menshun features the stellar musicianship of the ZIK distinguished in typical fashion by the rock-solid drumming of Lloyd “Junior” Richards . On this album, his playing is complemented by Aston Barrett Jr. (“By Day”, “Reason”, “Only Now”) and Kirk Bennett (“Kagm Mystory”, “Mek A Menshun”). The signature stylings of the other core ZIK musicians are augmented by horns (Andrew “Drew Keys” Stoch – trombone, Donald “Jahbless” Toney -saxophone), flute- Sheldon “Attiba” Bernard, kette- Andrew “Bassie” Campbell, and the guitar of Chet Samuel. ZIK guitarist Andrew “Moon” Bain contributes a string arrangement on “Only Now”. Throughout the album, Laurent “Tippy I” Alfred’s spot-on organ shuffle bubbles the rhythm forward.
Many of the Mek A Menshun tracks were among the last recordings done by the veteran engineer Gary Woung. In 2016, Zion High Productions debut album with Akae Beka, Livicated, entered the Billboard reggae charts at # 6 and went on to become the best-selling title in a sixteen year catalog. Mek A Menshun is set to surpass this already considerable achievement. The full colour cover art is by Ato K. D. Roberts, son of the celebrated Rastafari artist Daniel Hartman.