It’s Don Jazzy again! Hear that, and you know you are jamming to one of the numerous music tracks produced by one of Africa’s ace music producers, Nigeria’s own Don Jazzy. He was born Michael Collins Ajereh on the 26th of November, 1982 and hails from Umuahia, Abia state.
We beam our searchlight on this young and highly successful Nigerian in this article, digging deep into his early life, how he found fame and how he built and sustained his music empire so far.
Real Name: Michael Collins Ajereh
Date of Birth: November 26, 1982
State Of Origin: Unuahia, Abia state
Genres: R&B, Pop
Occupation(s): Music producer, Singer, Songwriter, Entrepreneur
Marital status: Single
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Biography of Don Jazzy
Michael Collins Ajereh is a name you may not be familiar with but that’s what the music enigma known as Don Jazzy was named at birth.
Don Jazzy is a music producer, singer, songwriter and businessman. His sojourn in the music world began when he co-founded the defunct record label “Mo’hits” along with his long-term friend, D’Banj, in the year 2004 before then parting ways officially in 2012.
Don Jazzy quickly established another highly successful music label, Mavin, which has several music superstars on its payroll. The likes of D’Prince, Dr Sid, Korede Bello, Di’ja, DNA Twins, LadiPoe, Johnny Drille and young talent, Rema all call Mavin home. Also, the label was once home to music heavyweights in Nigeria such as “Africa’s number 1 bad gyal” Tiwa Savage, Reekado Banks, and Iyanya.
Before we go all out talking about his adventures in the music world, let’s talk about the early life and background of Don Jazzy.
Early Life & Background
Don Jazzy was born in the city of Umuahia, Abia state, in the Eastern part of Nigeria. However, he grew up in the Ajegunle area of Lagos state as his family soon relocated after his birth.
The young Michael Collins attended Federal government College, Lagos after which he proceeded to the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma in Edo state where he bagged a degree in Business management.
At a very young age, Don Jazzy developed an interest in drums and started playing before switching to playing the bass guitar and other musical instruments. He developed himself and became very adept at playing several instruments but he was exceptionally good with drums. He soon relocated to London in the year 2000 at the invitation of his uncle to play drums at a local church.
The hard-working Michael made the most of the opportunity given him by his uncle to further develop himself and source for other means to augment his meagre resources.
He took up a job as a security guard with the popular MacDonald. His new job allowed him to network with fellow young Nigerians who were also trying to get their feet off the ground in London. He connected with JJC & 419 squad, Kas, D’Banj and Solek.
In D’banj, Don Jazzy found a business partner and together they returned home to Nigeria to set up the defunct “Mo’Hits” records, a record label that produced one of the most successful albums in Nigeria till date.
Partnership With D’Banj
Don Jazzy and D’banj co-founded the highly successful record label, Mo’Hits records in the year 2004. Don Jazzy was the label’s President and D’banj, his vice.
Together, the duo formed a winning combination that took the country by storm, laying the foundation for the success being enjoyed by Nigerian music today. They revolutionized the country’s music industry and set it on the path to global acceptance.
Within two years of starting Mo’Hits, the duo had produced two albums “No Long Thing” and “Rundown/Funk You Up”, with work underway on a third. It was around this time that Don Jazzy found fame, and became a household name.
His trademark intro “It’s Don Jazzy again” became an indicator of a hit song. When you hear it, you know you are about to be blown away.
Apart from D’banj, Don Jazzy also worked his magic on other Mo’Hits artists such as Wande Coal who had his Mushin to Mo’Hits album labelled as one of the best to ever come out of the country. Other beneficiaries of his superb production skills during the Mo’Hits are Dr Sid and D’prince.
The Mo’Hits empire sadly came crashing down in the year 2012 following some differences between Don Jazzy and Dbanj. Both parties went their separate ways.
Following the collapse of Mo’Hits, Don Jazzy wasted no time in floating another label, this time he did that alone. He was joined by some of the ex Mo’Hits stars, Wande Coal, Dr Sid and D’prince.
Wande Coal soon left to pursue his own thing. In no time, Don Jazzy managed to stage a coup of some sort, capturing the highly talented Tiwa Savage who had only recently returned to the country at that time. Together, they made history churning out hit songs and albums before Tiwa moved on to another label earlier this year.
Other stars on the books of Mavin currently include D’Prince, Dr Sid, Korede Bello, Di’ja, DNA Twins, LadiPoe, Johnny Drille and young talent, Rema. Superstar Reekado Banks also cut his musical teeth at Mavin but has since left the label.
For a man as successful as Don Jazzy, it is expected that he must have some awards in his shelf. Some of the awards he has won so far in his career are:
- Producer of the year – Nigerian Music Awards (2006)
- Music Producer of the Year –Nigerian Entertainment Awards (2007)
- Producer of the Year for Over The Moon, Mr Endowed and Pop Something – The Headies 2011
- Special Recognition Award – City People Entertainment Award (2015)
Some of the albums produced by Don Jazzy are listed below.
- D’Banj – No Long thing (2005)
- D’Banj – RunDown/ Funk You Up (2006)
- D’Banj – The Entertainer (2008)
- Mo’Hits All stars – Curriculum Vitae (2007)
- Wande Coal – Mushin 2 Mo’Hits (2008)
- Mavins – Solar Plexus ‘Mavin records” (2012)
He has signed a number of mouthwatering deals with top companies such as Samsung, Loya Milk and MTN.
Don Jazzy’s Net Worth
For his successes in the music world, Don Jazzy has earned himself a fortune. He has a lot of houses and exotic cars such as Porsche 911, Bentley Continental, Flying Spur, Cadillac Escalade, Range Rover sports among others.
His net-worth is currently estimated to be around $18.5 million.
Conclusion on Don Jazzy Biography And Net Worth
Don Jazzy is today one of the richest men in the Nigerian music industry. His talent and hard work have gotten him so far.
Luckily for music lovers in the country, we will be enjoying quality music from the maestro for a very long time.