When you run make to build a project, sometimes not all the commands or internal workings are visible at the shell. This is especially common if your Makefile is generated by CMake. It hides all the commands that are actually being executed to compile the files of the project. Here are some methods to print what make is doing:
$ make VERBOSE=1
$ make SHELL='sh -x'
This prints out all the commands executed by make preceded by a plus.
$ make --trace
Tried with: GNU Make 4.1 and Ubuntu 16.04