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Don Jazzy: A Mastermind of the Afrobeats Revolution

Michael Collins Ajereh, popularly known as Don Jazzy, has redefined the landscape of Nigerian music. Renowned for his musical genius and uncanny business acumen, he’s much more than just a producer – he’s a trendsetter and a maven in the entertainment industry.

With his breakthrough coming over a decade ago, he has since garnered multiple awards, flexed his unique fashion sense, acquired an impressive car collection, and built two successful record labels, all while shaping some of the biggest names in African music.


Breakthrough & Biography:

Born on November 26, 1982, in Umuahia, Abia state, Nigeria, Don Jazzy moved to London, UK, at a young age. His interest in music began in his church’s choir. He worked odd jobs to purchase musical instruments and software, fostering his passion for music production. His breakthrough came in 2004 when he returned to Nigeria with D’Banj to establish the Mo’ Hits Records.


Don Jazzy has received several awards throughout his career. His adeptness at creating hit songs has led him to win awards like the Nigerian Music Awards (2006) for Producer of the Year, The Headies (2011) for Producer of the Year, and the City People Entertainment Award (2015) for Music Producer of the Year, to name a few. His consistent innovation and unique sound have kept him relevant in an industry that’s always evolving.

Fashion & Cars:

Famous for his stylish walking sticks and signature hats, Don Jazzy’s fashion sense remains a unique fusion of classic and contemporary African style. He has set trends with his vibrant ‘Aso-ebi’ ensembles and elegant, tailored suits, cementing his status as a fashion icon. His love for luxury extends to cars as well – his garage boasts a collection that includes a Bentley Continental Flying Spur, a Porsche 911 Carrera, and a Cadillac Escalade.

Mo’ Hits Records & Relationship with D’Banj and Wande Coal:

Mo’ Hits Records became one of Nigeria’s leading music labels, housing talents like D’banj, Wande Coal, Dr. SID, D’Prince, and Kayswitch. The Don Jazzy-D’banj partnership was a formidable one, with D’banj as the charismatic frontman and Don Jazzy as the silent, genius producer. They churned out hits like “Tongolo,” “Fall in Love,” and the global sensation “Oliver Twist.”

However, in 2012, D’banj and Don Jazzy ended their partnership, a split that rocked the Nigerian music scene. The cause of their separation remains ambiguous, shrouded in rumors and speculations. Wande Coal, another significant member of Mo’ Hits, also had a controversial exit, which caused a bit of a stir but has since been settled amicably.

Mavin Records: The birth of an empire, a supreme dynasty

After the dissolution of Mo’ Hits Records, Don Jazzy wasted no time in creating a new empire, Mavin Records, in May 2012.

There’s an old saying, “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.” This adage rings true for Michael Collins Ajereh, better known as Don Jazzy, the genius behind the successful music label, Mavin Records.

Don Jazzy’s new empire, one that would soon evolve into a supreme dynasty in the Nigerian and African music scene.

With a name derived from the Latin word meaning “expert” or “connoisseur”, Mavin Records was Don Jazzy’s declaration of resilience and ambition to continue shaping the African music industry. Armed with experience and a stubborn vision to build a lasting legacy, Don Jazzy assembled an initial team consisting of Dr. SID, D’Prince, Tiwa Savage, and Wande Coal.

Mavin Records quickly made its mark with hit tracks like “Dorobucci”, “Looku Looku”, and “Adaobi”.

Mavin Record and Don Jazzy’s strategic approach to music production, combined with a diverse and talented roster, pushed it to the forefront of the music industry. It was clear from the outset that Mavin Records wasn’t just a music label; it was a movement set on promoting African music to the world.

The label’s success can be attributed to Don Jazzy’s impeccable leadership and his ability to nurture talent.

In 2014, he introduced the Mavins 2.0, a new generation of artists including Korede Bello, Reekado Banks, and Di’Ja. These young talents added a fresh flavor to the Mavin sound, contributing to the label’s dominance in the industry.

But Don Jazzy’s vision extended beyond dominating the present; he wanted to define the future of Afrobeat.

This vision was made manifest with the signing of young prodigies like Rema through his brother’s label, Jonzing World and Ayra Starr. At a tender age and the start of his professional career, Rema made waves globally, gaining recognition from former U.S. President Barack Obama and winning awards such as The Headies’ Next Rated award in 2020.

Ayra Starr, on the other hand, also went ahead to establish herself as a rising star with her sultry and powerful vocals, which are clearly showcased in her debut EP, 19 & Dangerous. The 20-year-old “Sabi” girl has given us numerous hit singles such as “Sare”, “Bloody Samaritan“, “Rush” and “Sability.”

Mavin Records’ international recognition grew even further when it secured a multi-million dollar investment from Kupanda Holdings in 2019, propelling the label’s global expansion and facilitating collaborations with global artists.

Today, Mavin Records is not just a record label; it’s a music dynasty, a home for Africa’s biggest stars, and a launchpad for its emerging artists currently home to singers Magixx, Bayanni, Ayra Starr, Boy Spyce, Crayon, Johnny Drille, and LadiPoe.

Under the stewardship of Don Jazzy, it has become an institution that shapes the discourse and direction of African music. From nurturing homegrown talents to marketing African music globally, Mavin Records is proof of what can be achieved with the right leadership, vision, and resilience. It is more than an empire; it is a testament to the rise of Afrobeat and its place on the world stage.


Don Jazzy’s impact on the Afrobeat scene cannot be understated. He has been instrumental in shaping the sound of modern African music, bringing it to the global stage, and nurturing new talents. Despite the ups and downs, his influence continues to resonate within and beyond the industry. From Mo’ Hits Records to Mavin Records, his journey reflects the evolution of African music, and his legacy will certainly inspire the future generation of African music artists.

Sola Legend
Sola Legendhttps://naijabeat.com
I work as a Breaking News Reporter for Naijabeat, where I primarily report on trends in entertainment and viral news updates. I am a graduate of Electronic and Computer Engineering with a Master's Degree in Information and Technology from Leeds Beckett University, United Kingdom Got a lead on some breaking or interesting news? My Direct Messages on Twitter are always open at @iamsolalegend.

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