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.
Don Jazzy’s Age
Michael Collins 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 college Lagos before he moved to Ambrose Ali University Ekpoma, Edo state, where he enrolled in business management studies.
However, developing a 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 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 learned music production 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 performs 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.
On 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).
“Beef” With Olamide
Don Jazzy’s beef with Olamide actually started at the 2015 Headies Awards. Reekado Banks won the award for the Next Rated Artiste and Olamide made his feelings about the award known when he climbed the stage with his whole YBNL team to support Adekunle Gold as he claimed the award for the Best Alternative Act.
Olamide in reply to Lil Kesh expressing his appreciation said, “Lil Kesh is our own Next Rated artist. F**k that sh*t! The streets ti take over. Every f**king single was a hit back to back. From Lyrically, to Shoki to Efejoku. Ko ni dafun Iya anybody.” After that, Olamide threw away the microphone and walked away with his crew.
Later on, Don Jazzy won the Special Recognition Award and replied to Olamide’s rant in his vote of thanks saying, “I came out here to support my children. As they were trying to present the award, Reekado Banks was performing at Ali Baba’s show. I have already told my children that I will buy cars for all of them. Egbon Olamide, if you want the car, come and collect it.”
Next, Olamide took the beef to Twitter, declaring war on Don Jazzy in a number of tweets. The two have since settled the rift, apologizing to their fans and each other in a joint apology.
Don Jazzy’s Net Worth
Don Jazzy is arguably the richest and most successful music producer in Nigeria and even West Africa. Despite being a singer, songwriter, producer, and performer, he does not necessarily have a single album or track to call his own. He has, however, produced some of the most successful songs in Nigeria and has a great artist roster signed to his Mavins record label. His net worth is put at $100 million.
Height and Quick Facts
- Don Jazzy’s height is not known but going by his looks, the musician looks up to 6 feet tall.
- He was born on 26 November 1982
- His Zodiac sign is Sagittarius
- Don Jazzy is without a doubt one of the richest musicians in Nigeria