‘It is with a heavy heart that I announce the end of a long era, and the beginning of a new one.’ These were the words of multi award-winning producer and artiste Michael Collins aka Don Jazzy taken from posts on his Twitter page, confirming his split with fellow musician, Dapo Oyebanjo aka D’ banj.
Entertainment Rendezvous beams the spotlight on how it all began for the man Don Jazzy.
Michael Collins Ajereh aka Don Jazzy, record producer, singer-song writer and C.E.O of Nigerian record label, Mo’ Hits Records up in Ajegunle, Lagos and attended Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma. He later moved to the UK.
The 29-year-old music producer and song writer has produced a lot of songs and had previously worked with top UK based artistes like Lemar Obika, Big Brovaz and JJC and the 419 Squad.
Don Jazzy left the UK and returned to Nigeria to form one of the most successful collaborations when he discovered talented ex-military man, Dapo Oyebanjo and together they started the now internationally recognised label known as Mo Hits Records.
D’banj became the face of the record label. His debut album ‘No Long Thing’ in 2004 was a hit and took the Nigerian Music Industry by storm. Songs like ‘Rundown’, ‘Why Me?’, ‘Tongolo’ and ‘Loke’ were rocking the airwaves and Mo Hits’ popularity was rising.
In order to support the music industry back home in Nigeria, Don Jazzy started his label and discovered an extremely talented young man (Dapo Oyebanjo) and together they created the international phenomenon which is “D’banj”.
They launched the record label and D’banj’s debut album ‘No Long Thing’ in 2004. They created a new sound that took the Nigerian music industry to the next level of its evolution.
The album from D’banj ‘Rundown/Funk You Up’ received rave reviews from fans and pundits worldwide, this album boasted Hits like ‘Why me?’, ‘Loke’, ‘Do you like the koko’ and ‘Rundown’. Which is still one of the highest selling records of all-time.
As a way of expanding the record label, Don Jazzy between 2005 and 2007 signed four young artistes; Wande Coal, D’Prince, K-switch and Dr SID. In October of 2007 D’banj won the MTV Europe music award for Best African Act crowning his achievements as a musician and entertainer.
Mo’ hits records released a compilation album to show case its artistes in December 2007, called ‘Curriculum Vitae’ with hit singles like ‘Booty call,’ ‘Move your body,’ ‘kpere’ and ‘Be close to you’ and the marketing of this album created the first fully accountable distribution networks.
In June of 2008, D’banj released his third album The Entertainer keeping in line with his previous works. The album was a huge success with monster hits like ‘Mogbono Feli Feli’, ‘Fall in Love’, ‘Igwe’ and ‘Suddenly’.
Don Jazzy who is responsible for the production of all tracks released from Mo’ Hits records was extremely committed to living up to the name of his record label and producing more hits.
One of his biggest jobs was working on a beat for Jay Z’s album.
Kanye West tweeted about Don Jazzy and D’banj not finishing up their business in New York and on the eve of D’banj’s birthday he tweeted from his personal account saying, “Just like yesterday me and my brother (Don Jazzy) did Tongolo. 7yrs later, Mo’ Hits signed with Good Music.
Best Birthday Gift ever. God thank u” and Don Jazzy also tweeted from his own account “Thanks for your love and prayers always. Now we can hear IDJA from the world’s finest Stars. Thanks again Nigerians.”
The recent split of Don Jazzy and D’Banj due to irreconciliable differences is making him grow stonger. Don Jazzy is a star maker who can pick up another talent and create stars like D’ banj.
The producer is in no danger of being out of relevance musically, since his G.O.O.D music deal will no doubt task him on bringing out more creative material fit for his new audience, primarily in America, thereby boosting his profile. He still has an ever-building clientele and still commands some of the highest production fees in the continent.