Michael Collins Ajereh A.K.A. Don-Jazzy, is a Nigerian Record Producer, Music Promoter, Singer, Influencer and Entrepreneur. He grew up in Ajegunle, Lagos state, Nigeria, before moving to London where he started his musical career in 2002.
The 39 year old Record Producer who is popularly known for his role in promoting upcoming musician and featuring in comedy skits is one of the pioneers of modern Nigerian music production. He has helped in producing and promoting a number of artiste including, D’banj, Wande Coal, Dr sid and Tiwa savage.
He is the founder of Mavins records, one of the Best Record labels presently in Nigeria and Africa, that helps to fish out talented upcoming music stars, and has the likes of, Ayra Starr, Ladipoe, Crayon, Johnny drill presently signed to it.
Don Jazzy has not only helped to produce these artistes music but also promotes their works. He is a philanthropist always ready to help upcoming musicians and artistes to reach their goals and achieve success.
In this Article, we will be diving into the biography of Don-Jazzy, his early life, Career life, Awards, Net worth, and Personal life of this great musical icon of the 21st century.
So without further ado let’s get into it.
Early Life of Don-Jazzy
Michael Collins Ajereh (Don-Jazzy) was born on the 26th of November, 1982 in Umuahia, Abia state of Nigeria, into the family of Mr and Mrs Ajereh, his father is of Isoko decent in Delta state Nigeria while his mother is from Umuahia in Abia state( she is from a royal family). The family later moved to Ajegunle in Lagos state for greener pastures, and that was where Don jazzy began his early life. He is the first son of 4 children, 3 boys and a girl.
Don-jazzy’s love for music started at the early age of 5, his father, Mr. Collins Enebeli Ajereh is a Veteran showbiz entrepreneur with wealth of experience in Coperate Artist Management, International Promotion, Media Relations ,Hospitality, Venue Management And General Entertainment Business Consultancy Services. He was a Member of a Number Of Entertainment Associations that Promote Music within and outside Nigeria, like the Artiste Managers and Music Promoters, AMAM, Nigerian Association of Recording Industries NARI, and a host of others including PMAN.
He also worked with the Nigerian Television Authority as a freelancer and helped in the production of a number of shows and Soap Operas and even featured in some of them like, Glimpses, Encounter, Images, Reflection, and the CharlyBoy show. He established a record label called Sagittarius International Production Ltd. Which later signed Detty Dusty.
Don-jazzy started his Education in Co-educational high school, he later attended the famous Federal Government Boys Collage, Lagos where he had his secondary school Education. He gained admission into Ambrose Ali University Ekpoma, in Edo state to study Business Management and graduated with honors.
While growing up, Don-jazzy had great passion for music especially because of the influence of his father who was a Music Producer and Promoter. He grew up watching the likes of “Paul Tao”; one of the greatest guitarist in Nigerian history who is credited for playing for Ebenezer obey band in the 1980s, “Nkono Teles”, the Cameroon born, Nigeria-bred Music Producer, known for his modernist Afro-pop sound and is credited for creating 3 solo beats of which “Party beats” is by far the most innovative, “Lemmy Jackson”; also a Music Producer in the 1980s and is credited for producing for artiste like Onyeka Onwenu, King sunny Ade and Alex O. So you can say Don Jazzy had a very early exposure to Music Production and Artiste Management.
At the age of 12, Michael started playing the Bass guitar, Drum and Piano and he would often play the drum in school and in church, this earned him the name “Don-Jazzy” which he later adopted as his stage name. He also gained knowledge of traditional and percussion instruments.
In 2000, after finishing from school, Don jazzy was invited to London by his uncle to play Drum at a local church, and that was his first visit to London. He later worked at MacDonald’s as a security guard and it was during his stay in London that he met the likes of JJC Skillz, Jesse Jagz, Solek, Kas, The 419 Squad and D’banj who later became his business partner and became the first artiste signed to the cofounded Mo’Hit Records.
In 2004, Don-jazzy cofounded Mo’Hit Records with D’banj, they both came back from London to Nigeria to start the record label and they went on to release hit albums, back to back with D’banj as the first artiste to be signed to the record label and Don jazzy as the producer. He produced all of D’banj’s Singles/Album from 2005 to 2012 when they split up due to some unresolved financial issues. He produced songs like Tongolo, Kokomaster, Mr. Endowed, Olivertwist, and many more which were all hits singles and won D’banj and the record label tons of Awards. They also later signed more artiste to Mo’Hits record including Dr. sid, Wande coal, Ikechukwu and D’prince; Don jazzy’s younger brother.
Don-jazzy went on to produce more songs for artiste within and outside Mo’Hit records and Africa, in 2011 he was employed by “Kanye west” as a producer at Good Beatz to help produce Jay-z and kanye west song Lift Up featuring Beyonce, he also worked on the album “Watch The Throne” released on the 8th of August 2011. The album won international awards and recognition and Don Jazzy was credited as the producer.
Here are some songs/Album produced by Don Jazzy between 2005-2012 for Mo’Hit and other Artiste;
- Dbanj’s album “No long thing” produced in 2005
- Dbanj’s album “ RunDown Fuck” produced in 2006
- Mo’Hit All stars – “Curriculum Vitae” produced in 2007
- Dbanj album the “Entertainer” produced in 2008
- Ikechukwu’s “Like you do”, “Do” “Critical” “Now is the time”
- Sauce Kid –Under G
- Weird MC –Ijoya
- Naeto C – Asewo
- Wande Coal album “Mushin2Mohit” produced in 2008 ( the album got a lot of international attention and was described as one of the best album to come from Nigeria.)
After their split up in March 2012, Don-Jazzy founded Mavins records in May 2012 ( with the help of family and friends, especially his father who is credited for coming up with the name Mavins and so is called Mavins Grandpa). Don-Jazzy said his dream is for Mavins Record to be the power house of music in Africa in the shortest possible time, with him were Wande Coal, Dr sid, and D’Prince as artistes signed to the label. He later signed Tiwa savage to the record.
In May 8, 2012, Mavins Record produced the first Mavins compilation album “Solar Plexus” produced by Don-Jazzy ( the album was named by Don-Jazzy’s father aka Mavins Grandpa) and it had songs like “Take Banana” by D’prince, “I’m Mavin” by all Mavins stars, “Oma Ga” by Tiwa Savage, Dr sid, and Don Jazzy, and others.
Don-jazzy has a keen eye for spotting talent and so in Mavins record he continued to fish out raw talents in Nigeria and in 2014 he signed 3 artiste including Reekado banks, Di’ja and Korede Bello. On May 2014, Mavins record released its first hit single of the year “ Dorobucci” featuring all Mavins stars including Tiwa Savage, and the newly signed Artistes. The song was a force to reckon with, topping the charts for weeks and increasing the image of Mavins record. Each of the Mavins artiste later went solo, producing their individual album and receiving individual success. During the 2015 Headies Award, Reekado banks won the Next rated artiste of the year further increasing the image of mavins records. Korede Bello’s “Godwin” released in 2015, also gained social acclaim as well as Di’ja and Tiwa savage who was regarded as the Queen of not just Mavins record but Afrobeats. Don jazzy played a key role in the success of these artistes through Mavins records.
Over the years, Mavins record have achieved great success within and outside Nigeria, winning best record label in 2013 and Don Jazzy winning Best producer in 2006, 2007, 2011, and 2014 as well as other awards.
Don-jazzy has gone on to sign new talents that are busting the airways with their sounds, including Ayra Starr, Johnny drill, Ladipoe, Boyspyce, Rema, Magixx, DNA Twins, and crayon they recently released a mavins collaborative single titled “overdose” released in June 2022, the song was part of their 10th anniversary celebration to thank fans for their love so far.
We can say Don-Jazzy has fulfilled his dreams of making Mavins record a power house of music in African within the shortest time possible because the label is only 10 years old yet it has achieved tons of Awards and Recognition, Produced some of the best Artistes in the industry and still continues to maintain its position as one of the top record labels in Nigeria and Africa. And most importantly, it has helped to promote artiste and expose them to the spotlight.
|2006||Nigerian Music Awards||Producer of the year||Don jazzy|
|2007||Nigerian entertainment Awards||Music producer of the year||Don jazzy|
|2011||The Headies Award||Producer of the year||Don jazzy|
|2013||Record Label of the year||Mavins Recoed|
|2014||The Headies Awards||Producer of the year||Don jazzy|
|2019||The Beatz awards tm||New Discovery Producer.||Don jazzy|
|2021||Pulse Influencer awards||Media Influencer of the year||Don jazzy|
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According to Forbes list 2022, Don-Jazzy is worth about $25 million, his income is majorly from his job as a Record Producer, he also has businesses and endorsements deals which gives him extra cash running into millions of Naira.
Don jazzy Endorsement deals includes;
- In 2012, he signed a deal with Loyal milk and acts as their brand ambassador.
- Don Jazzy has a 40 million naira deal with MTN
- He is a Samsung brand Ambassador with a 110 million deal with them
- Don Jazzy also has 15 million Naira deal with Konga.com alongside Tiwa savage.
- Don jazzy as a businessman has a clothing line called Mavin clothing Line Ltd
- He founded Mavin Energy Ltd. with his brother “James Enebeli”
- Other companies under Mavins record includes
- Mavin Films and Mavin Real Estate Inc.
- Mavins records as at 2021 is said to be worth about $45 million.
According to infoguidenigeria.com, Don-Jazzy charges about 1 million naira to produce a single track for artiste outside his record label. Don-jazzy is without a doubt one of the biggest producers in Nigeria apart from others like Cobhams Asuquo, Shizzi and D’ Tunes.
Don-Jazzy is regarded as a jolly fellow, ever accommodating and helping everyone that comes his way.
He got married in 2003 to Michelle Jackson a UK based Model, Writer and Fashion Ambassador, but unfortunately they got divorced two years later due to unresolved differences arising from Don-Jazzy ambitious attitude to pursue his music, making him married to his work.
In an interview in 2022, Don-Jazzy says he doesn’t plan on getting married anytime soon, that he doesn’t wants to hurt anyone’s feelings again because of his dedication to his music. Sadly the union didn’t have any children.
Don-jazzy has been rumored to be in a relationship with series of female celebrities including Freda Francis, whom he met at Tiwa Savages wedding, Linda Ikeji, the famous blogger, Erica Nlewedim, former Bigbrother housemate, Lisa Yaro, famous Youtuber and a host of others. But none of these relationship were confirmed.
Don-jazzy lost his mother in July 2022 to cancer, his father Collins Enebeli Ajereh took to his instagram page to eulogize his wife on her death saying she was his backbone. Remembering all the good times they had together, he is known as MAVINS GRANDPA on Instagram.
Don-Jazzy has left his mark in the lives of every artiste he has worked with helping them to stardom, he is one producer who doesn’t have a song to his name and although he does vocals for a lot of the artiste he produces for, he doesn’t take credit for it, he give it all to the artiste, he is very supportive, signing upcoming musician every now and then.
He is indeed lifting the Nigerian music industry to the next level and producing artist of the next generation, most recently, he has been supporting not just musicians but skit makers by featuring in their videos, reposting their post on his instagram page as a way to promote them and their craft.
He has featured in a number of comedy skits including in those of Broda shaggi, Syney Talker, Brain Jotter, Lordlamba, Alhaji Musa, Taooma, Mr Macaroni, Craze Clown and others
Some of the hit tracks produced by don Jazzy includes;
- Eminado by Tiwa savage
- Dorobucci by Mavin crew
- Mr Endowed by D’banj
- Question by Burna boy
- Omoba by D’Prince
- Bumper 2 Bumper by Wande coal
- Surulere by Dr sid
- Godwin by Korede Bello
- Overdose by Mavin crew
Indeed, Don Jazzy is one few persons that is moving the Nigerian Music Industry forward and loves to see the progress of everyone, he recently congratulated Tem and Wizkid on their wins at the just concluded, 2022 BET awards where they won Best Song of the year with the song “Essence”. This is the first time a Nigerian is winning an award in the BET Awards outside from the International Act category. Don jazzy took to his twitter page to congratulate them .
He continues to support Nigerian musician and their craft to ensure they succeed and take the music to the next level.