Don Jazzy - Biography

Don Jazzy Biography

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Don Jazzy Biography

Michael Collins Ajereh (born 26 November 1982), better known as Don Jazzy, is a Nigerian multi award-winning record producer, singer-songwriter, musician, former CEO of Mo' Hits Records and current CEO of Mavin Records. Born in Umuahia in Abia state, his first signing was D'banj who was at that time also the Vice-President of Mo' Hits Records.


Don Jazzy's first full credit production work was in 2004 on Tongolo for Nigerian singer D'banj. He went on to produce 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.


He recently was rated as the 39th "Most powerful celebrity in Africa" according to Forbes.


Early life


Michael Collins Ajereh was born in Umuahia. His family moved to Ajegunle city in Lagos where he was raised, and graduated from Federal Government College Lagos. He always had a flair for music, singing and playing the drums from the age of four. He developed a passion for the bass guitar at the age of 12, he went on study Business Management at the Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma in Edo state.[4] In 2000 he moved to London, UK after his Uncle invited him to come play the drums for the local Church.


Various odd jobs followed including working at McDonalds and as a security guard. Already imbued with an intimate knowledge of traditional and percussion instruments, Don Jazzy further built on his musical knowledge during his UK stint. Finding kindred spirits in the likes of Solek, JJC, Kas, The 419 squad and D'Banj, the gang would spend unrelenting hours practicing, recording and performing different types of music.


His appetite for a full-time career in music could no longer be satiated when, 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 – It's Don Jazzy Again! He also owes a lot of his production prowess to lectures from popular O'town big boy Emeka Infiniti who he worked with in mid 2000.


In 2008 there were further production credits for the best selling album of that year, The Entertainer, Don Jazzy repeated the trick with Wande Coal's Mushin 2 MoHits, an album that was described as one of the best albums to ever come out of Nigeria.[6][citation needed]


Voice, fashion and social networking


Although not acknowledging himself as a recording artist,he is responsible for doing most background vocals for artists he produces, and sometimes sings complete verses. His musical dexterity can be heard through his beats and well calculated vocals he provides to the likes of D'Banj, Sauce Kid, Dr SID, Ikechukwu, Kween, D'Prince and even Jay-Z and Kanye West on their Watch The Throne track Lift Off, featuring Beyoncé.


Jazzy is an avid user of social networking sites with Twitter being his favourite. With over 200K loyal followers, he has been known to give birthday mentions, mobile airtime recharge cards, iPads, and even money.


His love for exquisite African Fabrics and Male Indian-Gowns isn't a secret, but he is known to go with his own liking, switching whenever he feels like. At one point in 2011, he was frequently noticed to wear pajamas on daily-basis, in an interview he said, He is also known to wear sunglasses, carry walking sticks, of which he has several and alternating bling chains, African jewellery and rosary.


Mo'Hits/G.O.O.D. Music and Mo'Hits End


In 2011 his talents got him noticed by Kanye West who signed him up as a producer on his GOOD Music label. With over a 100 production tracks to his name, Jazzy has worked with a host of local and international celebrities. In spite of his whirlwind superstardom, Don Jazzy has never forgotten his humble beginnings and is very passionate about charitable causes.A video surfaced in the internet on YouTube, showing the signing of the deal,and Kanye West made a surprise appearance at the Koko Concert in London to officially show support and awarded D'Banj with his chain, as a gesture of welcoming him to GOOD Music.


However, after 8 years of hard work and struggles to set up the Mo' Hits label, around March 2012, rumours of irreconcilable differences between the label heads had been circulating, the die-hard fans of the record label and fans of the synergy of Don Jazzy and D'Banj where torn apart,with tweets by Don Jazzy saying.


Samsung deal, Mavin Records and Mavin League


On the wake of the split up, Samsung unveiled their "Built for Africa" products including an Afro-Pop home theatre which has been developed through the EQ tuning of a sound optimised equaliser – undertaken by leading African celebrity, Don Jazzy. The launch took place in Cape Town, and Don Jazzy had the following to say, "Previously, in 2011, Samsung were focused on the consistent improvement on sound quality and levels – which they were very successful in however, product innovations such as this one will drive the demand and brand loyalty towards their products far more and as long as they continue with this type of product development and drive I am sure they will continue to deliver strong, market relevant products – built specifically with the African consumer in mind," concludes Don Jazzy.


Later in the year,on 7 May Don Jazzy kept his promise of a new beginning, taking to Twitter to announce his new Record Label known as 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, has gathered critical reviews, while blessing the fans with 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.


The multiple award winning producer also announced that Tiwa Savage would be joining the Mavin family. The signing of Savage, one of Nigeria's leading vocalists, is seen as a major coup for the budding record label and 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 as saying, I see Mavin Records being the power house of Music in Africa in the shortest possible time.


And for the love of social networking, the new label proceeded to make their own social network site known as Mavin League which is a platform for the labels fans to socialize and interact, but also a place for latest news and updates about the label.


The label boasts an addition of Tiwa Savage to part of the former members of Mo' Hits Records who is now the label first lady, with a promise of more addition of "Mavins" in the near-future. On 5 November 2013, he had a cold fight with his former label act wande over stolen of music production from him. While on 7 November, his record label released official statement of Wande Coal departure from the label.


In September 2014, Don Jazzy calls on Reekado Banks and Di'Ja for "Arise" dedicated to Nigeria. This is a clarion call to all Nigerians to wake up.


Read full biography on Wikipedia


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