Songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Dernst (D’Mile) Emile, II, is the first songwriter in the history of the Grammy Awards to win the Grammy for “Song Of The Year,” two years in a row.
At the 2022 Grammys held in Las Vegas earlier this year, D’Mile received the award for his contribution to Leave The Door Open by Silk Sonic, which he co-wrote and co-produced with Bruno Mars. The prior year, D’Mile received a Grammy for Song Of The Year for his work on what some describe as the modern “movement” song, I Can’t Breathe performed by H.E.R.
Although they shun the limelight, Medinah Entertainment, a company owned by Sean and Colin Muhammad who manage D’Mile are thankful to be part of D’Mile’s journey.
“Allah (God) chose our young brother to make that type of history. He has an amazing talent and we are thankful to be able to help guide him from the background,” said Sean Muhammad, co-owner of Medinah Entertainment. “It’s about a man’s life. A family’s life and a young man who has a gift from God that is being allowed to use his gift from God to move people forward in his way.”
In the 64-year history of the Grammys, only 10 songwriters have won Song Of The Year Grammy twice. But D’Mile is the only songwriter to win in two consecutive years. D’Mile, 37, also won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for co-writing the song Fight for You from the film Judas and the Black Messiah.
Medinah Entertainment became D’Mile’s manager through a chance encounter at a music store when Colin Muhammad heard a young man playing the keyboard in a music store. He admired the man’s playing and asked him where he learned to play. The young man gave him the number to his teacher who happened to be Dernst Emile. Colin Muhammad became a student of Mr. Emile and as their relationship grew, Mr. Emile introduced Colin to his then 15-year-old son, D’Mile. Initially, the father, who’s had some bad experiences in the music industry, did not want this son involved in the industry.
Seeing the character of Colin Muhammad and because of his admiration of the Nation of Islam and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, explained Sean Muhammad, he told Colin: “I’m going to put my son’s life in your hands.”
The two men took that responsibility very seriously. “Our job had always been to help to raise a boy to a man. First and foremost, more than music, it’s the mission because that’s just at the core of who we are anyway. It’s principles. It’s the way of life and that’s what we live in general,” he added. The two have been in D’Mile’s life for 22 years now, 19 of them as manager.
Medinah has made noise in the industry by connecting musical artists, producers, and engineers with the right people at the right time.
“Our thing was to get him in the studio with the artist versus sending tracks out to different labels,” he said.
—Toure Muhammad, Contributing Writer