Nigerian music industry can never be complete without mentioning the likes of Michael Collins Ajereh popularly known as Mr Don jazzy – a Nigerian record producer, singer-songwriter and musician and in fact, the brain behind some of the best Hip Hop music Nigeria ever produced. Talk of the growth of Nigeria’s music industry and the likes of Don Jazzy is not left out in the story.
Ajereh was born on 26 November 1982 in Umuahia, Abia state, but was brought up alongside his three siblings in Ajegunle city of Lagos state where his parents moved to when he was little. He had his educational learning from Federal government collage Lagos before he moved to Ambrose Ali University Ekpoma, Edo state, where he enrolled in business management studies.
However, developing strong interest in music started for Don Jazzy at his early age when at the age of four, he was singing and playing drums. By the age of 12, he was already a bass guitar player and had gained knowledge of traditional and percussion instruments.
In 2000 Ajereh was flown to London where he was invited by his uncle to play drums for a local church. There, he was employed at MacDonalds as a security guard, while he continued nursing his passion for music.
In 2004, Ajereh partnered with D’Banj to set up the Mo’ Hits Records. Under the Mo’ Hits label, he released No Long Thing (2005), Rundown/Funk You Up (2006), Curriculum Vitae (2007), The Entertainer (2008) – that became the best selling album of that year, Mushin2Mohits (2008) – that was described as one of the best albums ever produced in Nigeria. Around this time also, Ajereh developed a recognizable introduction, “It’s Don Jazzy Again!
Don Jazzy writes his songs by himself, but he learnt producing skills from Emeka Infiniti at O-Town record company. Although he did not appear as a singer, Ajereh played important roles in the production of some songs widely recognized in the music world. He performed background vocals for artists he produced. These performances include vocals for D’Banj, Sauce Kid, Dr SID, Ikechukwu, Kween, D’Prince, and even for western music icons like Jay-Z and Kanye West. One of such is Kanye West’s song Lift Off with Beyoncé on the Watch The Throne album where he provided vocal performance. It was no doubt his artistic excellence that gained his employment as a producer in Kanye West’s Good Music in 2011.
In May 7, 2012, he split up with childhood friend and Mo’Hits partner, D’banj, and founded Mavin Records label, also known as the Supreme Mavin Dynasty (SMD).