From Producing To Singing: Meet the Mavin Boss

Don Jazzy

Michael Collins Ajereh (born 26 November 1982), known professionally as Don Jazzy, is a Nigerian record producer. He is the founder and the CEO of Mavin Records, Don Jazzy was co-owner of the now-defunct Mo’ Hits Records record label with D’banj.

BACKGROUND

Don Jazzy was born Micheal Collins Ajereh in Umuahia, Abia State, on 26 November 1982, the son of Collins Enebeli Ajereh and Mrs Ajereh. His father is from Isoko in Delta State. His mother is an Igbo princess from Abia state and his father is a member of the Isoko people. Ajereh’s family moved to Ajegunle, Lagos, where Don Jazzy was raised.

He was educated at the co-educational high school, Federal Government College Lagos. Don Jazzy found an interest in music early in life and at age 12, began to play the bass guitar and piano. He also gained knowledge of traditional and percussion instruments. Don Jazzy enrolled in business management and studied at the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo state.

In 2000, Jazzy’s uncle invited him to play the drums for a local church in London and that was his first visit to London. Don Jazzy gained employment at McDonald’s as a security guard. He continued his interest in music, associating with Solek, JJC Skillz, Kas, Jesse Jagz, The 419 Squad and D’Banj.

In 2004, Don Jazzy collaborated with D’Banj to form Mo’ Hits Records. In the next two years, Don Jazzy produced the albums No Long Thing and Rundown/Funk You Up. Around this time, Don Jazzy developed a recognisable introduction, “It’s Don Jazzy Again!”.

In 2008, Don Jazzy was credited in the production of The Entertainer by D’Banj. He also contributed to the production of Wande Coal’s Mushin 2 MoHits, an album that was described as one of the best albums to ever come out of Nigeria.

In 2011, Don Jazzy was employed by Kanye West as a producer at Very Good Beatz. Don Jazzy worked with Jay-Z and Kanye West on the production of Lift Off, featuring Beyoncé on the album Watch The Throne which was released on 8 August 2011. In March 2012, Don Jazzy and D’Banj confirmed their breakup citing artistic differences.

On 7 May 2012, Don Jazzy announced a new record label, Mavin Records. He said, “I see Mavin Records being the power house of music in Africa in the shortest possible time.” On 8 May 2012, he released an album featuring the artists signed to his label. The songs on the album included: “Amarachi”, “Forever”, “Oma Ga”, “Take Banana and Chocolate”, “YOLO” and the anthem “I’m a MAVIN”. Mavin records signed the vocalist, Tiwa Savage. Don Jazzy built a social network platform called “Marvin League” to complement and market his label.

On 5 November 2013, Ajereh had conflict with an artist, Wande Coal who left the label two days later.

In September 2014, Ajereh produced a Nigerian social activist song with Reekado Banks and Di’Ja called “Arise”.

At the Headies Awards 2015, Ajereh argued with Olamide. The two disagreed about who should have won the “Next Rated” award. Lil Kesh of YBNL records lost to Reekado Banks, Ajereh’s artist. The winner of the award received a car. Apologies on both sides were posted afterwards.

After Reekado Banks departure from the Mavin Records label, Don Jazzy said he is still part of the family and wished him nothing but success in his career as he thanked him for the time spent with Mavin Records.

In 2019, he signed Rema and later went on in 2020 to sign Ayra Starr into Mavins Record Label. In 2021, he announced a new artist, Magixx.

On 7 April 2021, he revealed why he never signed Davido.

In 2012, Don Jazzy appeared in Moses Inwang’s movie The Last 3 Digits in Nollywood. Inwang also cast Ali Baba, A.Y., Nonso Diobi and Dr SID.

Awards

•               Nigerian Music Awards (2006) – Producer of the Year.

•               Nigerian Entertainment Awards (2007) – Music Producer of the Year.

•               The Headies 2011 – Producer of the Year for Over The Moon, Mr Endowed and  Pop Something

•               The Headies 2014 – Producer of the Year for Dorobucci

•               City People Entertainment Award (2015) – special recognition award.

•               The Beatz Award TM (2019) – New Discovery Producer.


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