Don Jazzy, the quintessential music man

He was recently rated as the 39th “Most powerful celebrity in Africa” according to Forbes. At the age of four, he had a flair for music, singing and playing the drums and guitar.

Don Jazzy is his name in the Nigerian music and entertainment industry. His real name is Michael Collins Ajereh (born 26 November 1982 in Born in Umuahia, Abia state), Don Jazzy is a Nigerian multi award-winning record producer, singer-songwriter, musician, former managing partner and CEO of Mo’ Hits Records label.

Music . Don Jazzy & his Mavin Records crew

Don Jazzy (photo: Center, sitting) has shepherded and produced many Nigerian artistes with productions including D’banj’s Tongolo in 2004 and also D’banj’s first studio album titled No Long Thing released in 2005.

He has produced tracks for Dr SID, Wande Coal, Emeka Infiniti, D’Prince, Darey, Naeto C, Olakunle Excel et Zanga, Sauce Kid, Ikechukwu & Tiwa Savage. He also collaborated with Jay-Z and Kanye West on the production of Lift Off, featuring Beyoncé on the album: Watch The Throne, released on 8 August 2011.

Don-Jazzy singing

He studied Business Management at the Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma in Edo state and that’s about it before he plunged head-on into the music and entertainment industry in Nigeria.

Mo’ Hits

In 2004, he partnered with D’Banj to set up the Mo’ Hits label. Within two years, the prolific producer had wrapped up two albums (No Long Thing and Rundown/Funk You Up) with his former partner and was working on a third, Curriculum Vitae. By this time, he had already started becoming a household name with the trademark intro in many of his hit record label productions as follows – “It’s Don Jazzy Again!”

Dbanj-and-Don-Jazzy

Photo: D’Banj and Don Jazzy | When the going was great.

Don Jazzy’s heavy voice can be heard in the background of most of his productions. He is responsible for doing most background vocals for artists he produces, and sometimes sings complete soloist verses himself.

After D’Banj had met Kanye West in Dubai, the trio developed a business cooperation in music. In 2011 Kanye West signed him up as a producer on his GOOD Music label with D’Banj as an artiste. He has over a 100 production tracks to his name.

However, after 8 years of partnership with D’Banj, the Mo’ Hits music label came crashing down with irreconcilable differences between the partners: Don Jazzy and D’Banj.

MAVINS

Don Jazzy announced the launch of his new label on Twitter. He called his new record label Mavin Records and further promised to release a compilation album of the label artists the very next day. The album which was executive-produced by him gathered critical reviews. He released hit songs like Amarachi, Forever, Oma Ga, Take Banana and Chocolate, others are such a C.P.R, YOLO and the labels anthem I’m a MAVIN.

Mavin Records Logo

The sultry Tiwa Savage later joined the Mavin Crew. The signing of Savage, one of Nigeria’s leading female vocalists, was seen as a major coup for the budding record label and she became the ‘First Lady of the Mavins’. Don Jazzy promised fans that there are many more exciting faces to be “activated” by the label in the near future.

Don Jazzy was quoted on Bella Naija (7 June 2012) as saying, “I see Mavin Records being the power house of Music in Africa in the shortest possible time”.

Through social networking which Don Jazzy loved to hang out in, the new label entered the scene and a social network site known as Mavin League became a platform for the labels fans to socialize and interact. It was also a place for the latest news and updates about the label and Don Jazzy himself.

Don-Jazzy-1m followers

Sooner than later, Mavin Records music label signed a rookie known as Korede Bello. The famous owner of the music label, music writer and producer, Don Jazzy disclosed this at the time. He unveiled Korede Bello as part of the Mavin 2.0 squad.

Korede Bello hit the music waves with “God Win”. The God Win crooner has since become a sensation within the Mavin family. Mavin Record‘s Godwyn later came back with another tune. Following the huge success of his debut single with label mate, Di’Ja. He brought another style to alternative music with the help of ace rapper, Creeda.

“Dorobucci” is a song by The Mavins with the boss, Don Jazzy, the founder of Mavin Records. It is also a collective composed of Don Jazzy, Tiwa Savage, Dr SID, Reekado Banks, Korede Bello, Di’Ja and D’Prince – and produced by Don Jazzy himself. The song was released on May 1, 2014 to critical acclaim, and has been downloaded more than 12 million times since its release. Upon its release, the song received generally positive reviews from music critics. Positive remarks went towards the song’s production, instrumentation and composition. The music video, on the contrary, received mixed reviews.

Mavin-Records label. Don-Jazzy-ft-Tiwa-Savage-D’Prince-Dr-Sid-Di’Ja-Reekado-Banks-Korede-Bello in Dorobucci

The music video for “Dorobucci” was shot and directed in South Africa by Nick Roux of Molotov Cocktail Productions. It was released on July 23, 2014 and uploaded onto YouTube at a total length of 4 minutes and 41 seconds. The video portrayed The Mavins living a lavish lifestyle: exotic cars and Gatsby-style parties. There were shots of the Empire State Building and the White House in Washington DC, as well as shots of a golf ball traveling from Ikoyi to Washington DC.

What does “Dorobucci” mean?

Many Nigerians and indeed people from all over Africa and beyond are wondering what the word: “Dorobucci” means. Many ascribed the origin of the word to the occult or occultism and others said it was/is witchcraft, etc. After being bugged enough about what the whole meaning of the crew’s new single ‘Dorobucci’ is all about, CEO, Mavin records, Don Jazzy, came out clear about the idea behind the song. Jazzy who employed the use of urbandictionary.com, points out the meaning of “bucci”. “Bucci” pronounced as b-oo-ch-ee, is anything that is fun, cool, awesome, fantastic or any word of same meaning.

The word is used when something wants to make you say AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH. for example “Yeah, it’s totally bucci”. However, he still keeps the meaning of “Doro” hidden and I suspect it may mean something weird, awesome, funny, drab, useless or something meaningless. My readers on this website or blog (if you like), you will have to wait, maybe the Don himself will give out the meaning, sooner, rather than later.

Retrospection

In September 2013, Nigeria’s multi-talented musician, Don Jazzy, emerged the richest musician in the country, according to a rating of top 10 musicians in Africa done by Forbes, a leading source for reliable business news and financial information.

Mavin Record. Adaobi album

The list of the top 10 most bankable/richest artistes in Africa however put Jazzy at number two, coming behind US-based Senegalese R&B crooner, Akon.

Trailing Jazzy as the third richest musician in African, and the second in Nigeria, is the twin brothers Peter and Paul Okoye, popularly known as P Square.

D’banj is next on the list and followed by Whizkid and 2Face Idibia.

The list compiled in conjunction with Channel O used factors such as endorsement value, popularity, show rates, sales, awards, YouTube views, appearance in newspapers, investment, social media presence, influence and so many other factors.

The list showed the artistes making the most money in Africa.

Jazzy’s first full credit production work was in 2004 on Tongolo for D’banj. He went on to produce D’banj’s first studio album titled, ‘No Long Thing’, which was released in 2005.

He has produced tracks for Dr SID, Wande Coal, D’Prince, Darey, Naeto C, Olakunle Excel et Zanga (O.A.U), Sauce Kid, Ikechukwu & Tiwa Savage. He also collaborated with Jay-Z and Kanye West on the production of Lift Off, featuring Beyoncé on the album Watch The Throne, released on August 8, 2011.

Awards

2015 City People Entertainment Award – Special Recognition Award

2006 Nigerian Music Awards (NMA) – Producer of the Year

2007 Nigerian Entertainment Awards – Music Producer of the Year

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

The Headies 2014 – Producer of the Year for the song “Dorobucci”

Ace music producer and head honcho of Mavin Records, Michael Collins (Don Jazzy) was honoured by the Eternal Sacred Order of the Cherubim & Seraphim church worldwide some time ago as a worthy son of the church.

Photos: (L) Don Jazzy honored by Cherubim & Seraphim. (R) Don Jazzy as the Cherubim & Seraphim ‘kid rabbi’.

Don Jazzy’s recognition took place at the church’s headquarters in Tejuosho, Lagos. He personally received his award of recognition at the event.

Movies

In June, 2015, Instagram started buzzing about a new video that had surfaced which shows Di’ja and Don Jazzy recording music and playing jovially in the studio.

The video which was posted by Instagram user @bizzleo1 was captioned: “@aphrodija working on her next single Produced by @donjazzy. Single Drops soon. Clip shot by @visualboss for #MavinFilms”.

Surprisingly Don Jazzy made his debut Nollywood career in Moses Inwang’s “The Last 3 Digits”. The movie also starred celebrities and comedians like Ali Baba, A.Y, Nonso Diobi who played the leading role, Dr. Sid and others.

ME

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