In the last decade, we have seen Afro-beats move past borders and the Atlantic. We have witnessed iconic features between African artists and international acts, African artists bagging Grammys and other international awards, and young and new artists emerging and thriving under amazing producers and labels.
Don Jazzy, producer and owner of Mavin records is a big contributor to the new gen of artists in Nigeria. The label owner has a good eye for acquiring raw musical talents and making stars of them.
Don Jazzy, Mo’hits, and Mavin Records
Michael Collins Ajereh (born 26 November 1982), known professionally as Don Jazzy started his musical journey in his early years, but the significant turnaround was his collaboration with D’banj in 2004 to form Mo’hits record.
Under Mo’hits, Don Jazzy produced multiple hits with label artists including Wande coal, D’banj, Ikechukwu, and international acts including Kanye West and Jay-Z.
In March 2012, Mo’hits records broke up with the co-founders citing artists’ differences as the cause of the breakup.
In May 2012, Don Jazzy formed his new label Mavin records. He said, “I see Mavin Records being the powerhouse of music in Africa in the shortest possible time.”
The label recorded a lot of acts and iconic releases and had artists like Tiwa Savage, Reekado banks, and Wande Coal gracing the label’s signings list.
The New Gen Mavin
Mavin records evolved over the years with signings like Johnny Drille, Ladipoe, DNA, and Rema after the likes of Tiwa savage parted with the label.
The producer said that most of his signings like Rema and Arya Star were recruited from social media.
He said “There are different ways we discover artists at Mavin. First of all, D’prince has a mad skill to discover artists.
“He found Rema from Instagram, he has the talent of sieving through the noise and finding the artists that fit me. We also found Ayra Starr on Instagram so young artists need to know that social media is a great tool to promote their songs and career.”
Don Jazzy’s mode of recruiting most of his new-gen artists through social media is one we do not see often in the music industry. Artists like Magixx, Bayanni, and Boy spice share similar recruitment experiences with Ayra and Rema.
International collaborations like that of Rema and Selena Gomez’s have been recorded amongst his artists, and it’s safe to say that Jazzy gives the 1% of the music world a chance.
Don Jazzy’s influence on social media
The fact that Don Jazzy has stayed very relevant over the years only cements the fact that he is one of the pillars of the afrobeat genre beyond the African borders.
Don Jazzy has over 1.9 million followers on TikTok and 7.2 million followers on Twitter, coupled with his deep presence on social media.
Jazzy goes the extra mile to promote his artists, jumping on TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram trends, and running billboard adverts at strategic points across cities in Nigeria and countries around the world.
Jazzy goes the extra mile and takes his artists’ success very personally.
Groundbreaking collaborations, awards, and monetary gains from moguls like Don Jazzy are benefits that young artists eye up and look up to, but the most important above all is mentorship.
Moguls like Don Jazzy have gone through different stages of the development of African music. They have stood the test of time and have a vast amount of knowledge and experience to tap from.
Having producers like Jazzy, continue to pave the way for new-gen artists will give afrobeat a new face and push it beyond borders yet to be broken.