Maxine Stowe of Jahnanda Entertainment Corporation
Jahnanda Entertainment Corporation, brainchild of Jamaican music afficionado Maxine Stowe is a Entertainment / Brand / Content / Intellectual Property / Consulting company focused on developing various music driven Brand Jamaica ventures in Music/Tourism and e-commerce while assisting Jamaica to acheive greater value out of her music and cultural products.
Maxine’s life travels put her in touch with core messages, people and places.
She left Jamaica with her family when she was 11years old for New York City and entered High School. It was there that she was radicalized by the debate regarding the genetic inferiority of black people and the literature of various Black Panther Party participants, most notably Soul On Ice by Elderidge Cleaver.
Her initial college studies was Political Science, which she studied at Barnard College in New York. She began to identify music as a vehicle to promote political ideals and conferences. The core issue at the time was the Independence movement of the South African continent and the developing connection to a core of Caribbean activists in Rosie Douglas, Walter Rodney and Trevor Munroe. The assasination of Walter Rodney added to the marginalization of many of the Black Panther personalities deeply impacted her and she withdrew into the Rastafarian community – the onset of a spiritual journey. She moved to Jamaica for 18months living with one of the premier practitioners, Ras Daniel Heartman. On this journey she connected with her uncle, the late Clement Coxsone Dodd and on her return to New York, began working with him in creating an international distribution center for his company Studio One. This center became Mr. Dodd’s primary base in New York for the next 25 years and is still in operation.
From this vantage point she began working with Lincoln ‘Sugar’ Minott, a leading reggae singer, and his labels Youth Promotion and Black Roots. Sugar was to become the father of her 4 children. Through her work and activity with Sugar she re-entered the Jamaican space and culture from one of its burgeoning artists and become connected to the routes and routines of the local industry. This was a very transitional time for the industry with the advent of the ‘Dancehall’ style of music – Sugar was the ‘bridge’ artist and producer of young talent like Junior Reid, Tenor Saw, Tristan Palmer, Tony Rebel, Yami Bolo etc. This experience took her into England where she became familiar with the leading international market for the music, touring heavily in Europe and Japan.
She moved on to work with Kenneth Black, operating the hugely successful Skengdon label and recording studio in Miami. It was there that she was exposed to another major swath of Jamaican talent and producers. She transitioned back into New York, settling with her growing children, and began working with VP Records – the largest reggae distributor of Jamaican music in the United States. This gave her one of the most educational platforms for the workings of the Jamaican music industry and became uniquely positioned in the burgeoning crossover market for Dancehall music. Interestingly enough, whilst Shabba the first dancehall artist to be signed to a major was taken from VP Records, it was the phenomenon of Spanish-dancehall reggae that got her a job at Columbia Records. VP of A&R David Kahne, impressed by her ‘Dancehall Reggaespanol’ compilation and her access to the artistic base, offered her an A&R manager position. She went on to be very successful in this position scoring gold and platinum albums and singles with artists such as Super Cat, Diana King, Mad Cobra, Ini Kamoze and Jimmy Cliff. She also had successful Soundtrack contributions in Cool Runnings, Bad Boys and Pret A Porter.
She left Columbia Records after four years and went to work with Chris Blackwell at Island Records. She wanted to have a closer connection to Jamaica and the success at Columbia was hard to translate to the local industry. At Island she worked on projects with Jimmy Cliff as well as the hugely successful film/soundtrack Dancehall Queen. She began her relationship here with the Marley Family and executive produced the Chant Down Babylon, Bob Marley duets album with Stephen Marley.
Chris left Island Records and she consulted with him at Palm Pictures on the hugely successful follow up Jamaican film Third World Cop. She then went to work with the Marley Family at Tuff Gong/Island. There she worked with Bill Levenson on the Bob Marley reissue campaign, this was another major highlight of her career in the music industry, coming into contact with all the original tapes and reliving the journey of this seminal artist. In her continuing work with Stephen Marley she worked with him as musical director of the TNT One Love Concert and secured a label venture with Motown/Universal for his Ghetto Youths label. The first release, Damian Marley’s ‘Halfway Tree’ album secured a Reggae Grammy.
She left to work with her uncle, the late Clement Dodd, on defining his work, and was party to negotiations with several labels and instituitions to achieve this. The 50th Anniversary of the Jamaican Music Industry was developed out of this and has been her premier project in development for 2010. She has consulted with VP Records, working with them on their 25th Anniversary project, developing a soundtrack for the movie One Love, developing a film Surf Rasta for a DVD division that the label was pursuing. She has also consulted on the development of a Jamaica Music Museum, working with various steering committees and potential investors on its actualization. She has consulted with various Jamaican Governmental organizations in music and culture. She is actively working with the Rastafari and Maroon Communitiess in Jamaica in defining and developing their indigenous intellectual property rights as economic drivers.
She continues to consult with various international music projects recently completing work with Paul Mcartney, Matisyahu, Third World and Stephen Marley/Ghetto Youths. She is currently managing artist Mystic Bowie and is Executive Producing with acclaimed international writer and journalist Lloyd Bradley a 50th Anniversary 10 CD Boxed Set of the History of Jamaican Music, ‘We Little But We Tallawah’ that integrates various ancilliary and digital products and services creating a unique Lifestyle Hub.
All this underlines a personal ethic of serving and promoting the unrecognized and under-recognized potential of Jamaica’s music and culture.