Michael Collins Ajereh, popularly known by the stage name Don Jazzy is a Nigerian record producer, singer, songwriter and entrepreneur. He’s the founder and CEO of Mavins Records. Nigerian music industry will be incomplete without mentioning his name.
Early life and background of Don Jazzy
Don Jazzy was born on 26 November 1982 in Umuahia, Abia state to an Isoko father and Igbo mother. His mother was an Igbo princess from Abia state, Nigeria. Don Jazzy’s family moved to Ajegunle, Lagos where he was raised. He had his early education the co-educational high school, Federal Government College Lagos and pursued a degree in Business Management from Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma. He developed interest in music early in life. At age 4, he he was playing drums. By age 12, he was adept at playing bass guitar and had learnt the rudiments of traditional and percussion instruments.
Don Jazzy’s rise to Fame
In 2000, he was invited over by his uncle in London to play drums for a local church. He worked at McDonald’s as a security guard while honing his music skills. While in the UK, he met the likes of Solek, JJC, Kas, The 419 Squad and D’banj. He learnt the art of production from Emeka Infiniti at O-Town record company.
In 2004, Don Jazzy partnered with D’Banj to create Mo’Hits Records. Under this label, he produced the albums No Long Thing , Rundown/Funk You Up and Curriculum Vitae which were a huge success. By this time, he had developed a recognisable introduction, “It’s Don Jazzy Again!”.
As the record label grew, he signed other artistes, D’Prince, Wande Coal, Dr SID and KaySwitch. In 2008, he produced D’Banj’s album “The Entertainer”. He was also the brain behind 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. Don Jazzy performs background vocals for artists he produced. He provided background vocals for D’Banj, Sauce Kid, Dr SID, Ikechukwu, Kween, D’Prince, Jay-Z, Kanye West’s song Lift Off and Beyoncé Watch The Throne album. His artistic works got him a spot as a producer in Kanye West’s Good music in 2011.
In March 2012, the partnership between Don Jazzy and D’Banj got dissolved due to artistic differences. Some months later, the split led to the creation of Mavins Records Label, also known as Supreme Mavin Dynasty (SMD).
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.
On November 5, 2013, Wande Coal and Don Jazzy were at odds with each other. Two days later, Wande Coal exited the record label.
In September 2014, Don Jazzy produced a Nigerian social activist song with Reekado Banks and Di’Ja called Arise.
Don Jazzy had a squabble with Olamide at the Headies 2015. The bone of contention was who should have won the “Next Rated” award. Lil Kesh of YBNL lost to Mavins’ Reekado Banks. Apologies on both sides were posted afterwards.
Awards and nominations
In 2006, he won the Producer of the Year awards at Nigerian Music Awards.
In 2007, he won Nigerian Entertainment Awards for Music producer of the Year.
He won Producer of the Year for Over The Moon, Mr Endowed and Pop Something at the Headies 2011.
At the Headies 2014, he won Producer of the Year for Dorobucci.
In 2015, he won the Special recognition award at City People Entertainment Award.
Aside from being a force in the music industry, Don Jazzy is a smart business man who has expanded his business scope. In 2013, he delved into oil business with his younger brother by establishing Mavin Energy Limited. The company specialises in the supply of petroleum products such as diesel, petrol, kerosene, cooking gas to homes and companies.
He also collaborated with Nigerian technology expert, Dele Odufuye to launch Flobyt Wifi in 2017. Flobyt Wifi is a free wifi service installed across partnered locations in Lagos State that will help Mavin music lovers stream their favourite songs. He has also gotten endorsement deals with corporate brands such as MTN Nigeria, Johnnie Walker- Alcoholic drink, Konga-Nigerian online retail store, Samsung electronics, LOYA Milk. He owns landed properties in prestigious areas and is a lover of exotic cars.
Don Jazzy’s Relationship
Don Jazzy’s has always been the focus of trolls. He’s been trolled severally about his marital status. He has always been private about his love life; giving his fans and trolls false impression about his relationship. In an interview with Guardian Life, he stated:
“There are a lot of amazing people, that’s why I can’t pick one. It doesn’t have anything to do with my status. I have trust issues but I feel like even if I wasn’t Don Jazzy, I probably would be the same.”
Don Jazzy’s Net Worth
Don Jazzy’s is unarguably one of the richest and most successful music producer in Nigeria and even West Africa. As of March 2020, The estimated net worth of Don Jazzy is more than $15 million.