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Birth name Michael Collins Ajereh
Born 26 November 1982 (age 33)
Umuahia, Abia State
Genres Pop, R&B, Afro pop, African hip hop
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur
Years active 2002 – present
Labels Mo’ Hits Records, Mavin Records
Associated acts D’Banj, Dr SID, D’Prince, Wande Coal, Mo’ Hits AllStars, Ikechukwu, Tiwa Savage, Korede Bello, Di’Ja, Reekado Banks
Michael Collins Ajereh (born 26 November 1982, Umuahia, Abia State), known as Don Jazzy, is a Nigerian record producer, singer-songwriter and musician. He has been the chief executive officer of Mo’ Hits Records and is the current chief executive officer of Mavin Records. Ajereh has also produced tracks for Dr SID, Wande Coal, Emeka Infiniti, D’Prince, Darey, Naeto C, Olakunle Excel et Zanga, Sauce Kid, Ikechukwu and Tiwa Savage.
Personal life and education
Ajereh was born in Umuahia. His family moved to Ajegunle, Lagos where Ajereh was raised. He was educated at the co-educational high school, Federal Government College Lagos. Ajereh found an interest in music early in life and at age 12, began to play the bass guitar. He also gained knowledge of traditional and percussion instruments. Ajareh enrolled in business management studies at the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo state.
In 2000, Ajereh visited London. His uncle had invited him to play the drums for the local church. In London, Ajereh gained employment at McDonalds and as a security guard. He continued his interest in music, associating with Solek, JJC, Kas, The 419 Squad and D’Banj. Ajereh learnt producing skills from Emeka Infiniti at O-Town record company.
Ajereh uses Twitter to interact with his followers. He has an appreciation of African fabrics and male Indian gowns and other individualistic fashions.
Mo’ Hits records and GOOD music
In 2004, Ajereh collaborated with D’Banj to found Mo’ Hits Records. In the next two years, Ajereh produced the albums No Long Thing and Rundown/Funk You Up. A third album, Curriculum Vitae, had also been started. Around this time, Ajereh developed a recognisable introduction, “It’s Don Jazzy Again!”
In 2008, Ajereh was credited in the production of The Entertainer by D’Banj. He also contributed to the production of Wande Coal’s Mushin 2 MoHits, an album that was described as one of the best albums to ever come out of Nigeria.
Although Ajereh did not take credit as a singer, he performed background vocals for artists he produced. These performances include vocals for D’Banj, Sauce Kid, Dr SID, Ikechukwu, Kween, D’Prince, Jay-Z. Ajereh provided vocal performance for Kanye West’s song Lift Off with Beyoncé on the Watch The Throne album.
In 2011, Ajereh was employed by Kanye West as a producer at GOOD Music. Kanye West made a surprise appearance at the Koko Concert in London. He showed support to D’Banj by giving him his chain. Ajereh worked with Jay-Z and Kanye West on the production of Lift Off, featuring Beyoncé on the album Watch The Throne which was released on 8 August 2011.
In March 2012, Don Jazzy and D’Banj abandoned their partnership citing artistic differences.
Soon after Ajereh’s split from D’Banj, the Samsung company introduced to the market “Built for Africa” products. These included an Afro-Pop home theatre. Its EQ tuning is via a sound optimised equaliser. Ajereh endorsed the product. The product was launched in Cape Town.
On 7 May 2012, Ajereh announced a new record label, Mavin Records. On 8 May 2012, he released an album featuring the artists signed to his label. The songs on the album included: Amarachi, Forever, Oma Ga, Take Banana and Chocolate, YOLO and the anthem I’m a MAVIN. Mavin records signed the vocalist, Tiwa Savage.
Ajereh said, “I see Mavin Records being the power house of Music in Africa in the shortest possible time.”
Ajereh built a social network platform called “Marvin League” to complement and market his label.
On 5 November 2013, Ajereh had conflict with an artist, Wande Coal who left the label two days later.
In September 2014, Ajereh produced a Nigerian social activist song with Reekado Banks and Di’Ja called Arise.
At the Headies Awards 2015, Ajereh argued with Olamide. The two disagreed about who should have won the “Next Rated” award. Lil Kesh of YBNL records lost to Reekado Banks, Ajereh’s artist. The winner of the award received a car. Apologies on both sides were posted afterwards.
In 2012, Ajereh appeared in Moses Inwang’s movie The Last 3 Digits in Nollwood. Inwang also cast Ali Baba, A.Y., Nonso Diobi and Dr. Sid