Don Jazzy rarely grants interviews. A simple google search of Don Jazzy interviews will prove to be a futile effort. During the period when Mo’Hits was in the business of banging hits, Don Jazzy was simply acknowledged as the Don.
No long talk. Armed with a walking stick. Has to whisper to an assistant to get word across, he reflected the doings of a Don. One who walks into the room and the atmosphere assumes a dreadful mood, all due to his presence.
So when TV host Ebuka had him on seat, grilling him for over three hours, a few facts we’ve always known emerged. But then a whole load of secrets also.
Here a few groundbreaking ones.
1. Don Jazzy and Daddy Showkey Are Related
While reminiscing about his early beginnings in the notorious city of Ajegunle, Don Jazzy spilled something about Daddy Showkey. He would later claim they’re related but doesn’t know how to explain it.
“My dad knows how to explain it,” he says before later talking on why they’ve not done anything together as musicians. “It hasn’t just happened.”
2. DJ Tee inspired the Don Jazzy’s “The Don” approach
The days of Mo’Hits had most people revere the person called Michael Collins but just no clue on his personality—Who is he, what does he do aside from music production. He was a mystery. Touching on that, he said it was his plan to make D’banj be in the spotlight while he takes the back seat.
But for “The Don” approach, he claims DJ Tee inspired that while they were shooting the video for Tongolo.
“DJ Tee told me, ‘so you’ll be like a Don, sit on a chair, and hold a walking stick’”
3. Some Revelation On How Wande Coal Was Signed
As Mo’Hits grew and became known, there wasn’t any plan to sign artists, Don Jazzy discloses.
Things however occurred naturally. D’banj and Don Jazzy had gone to perform at Unilag when backstage they were approached by a group of dancers.
They wanted to dance for D’banj while he performed and since they came with no dancers, Don Jazzy decided to give them a try. The dancers would also reveal they could sing and perform their individual songs. But Wande Coal with his enthralling, dreamy vocals drew the attention of Don Jazzy.
A day later, he was in the Mo’Hits house.
4. Rema’s Bounce Wouldn’t Have Been Released
Speaking on his Mo’Hits aftermath, Don Jazzy found a reluctance to put out songs he produced.
He was fine with Mavin artists’ songs being handled by in-house sound creators, Altims and Baby Fresh, but now he developed an imposter syndrome.
We might not have heard Rema’s new track if not for the singer’s persistence.
“If not that Rema was persistent. Rema was the one who gingered me into letting us put it out.”
5. “I almost Signed Simi, Teni and Falz”
When asked about his regrets, he claims he doesn’t quite have any but wished he did some things.
“I wished I signed Falz,” he reveals. “The working situation wasn’t just right. I had a company that could handle everything he would need but he had like a management company.”
For Simi, the singer had entered a competition for a song D’Prince had put out, Journey of a thousand miles. She didn’t win but Don Jazzy made it known she was high up there. “I liked her version of the song but you can’t just sign everyone.
Teni and Don Jazzy were friends when the singer was schooling in Atlanta. “We used to check up on each other. ‘So how’s school, what are you doing now?’ I hadn’t grown to that level where I can move anyone from Atlanta to Nigeria. But before I knew it, there were people faster than I was.”
6. There are just 6 artists under Mavin Records and there’s a Mavin Academy…
This took me back somehow. I had expected Don Jazzy to include DNA Twins and Di’ja but it seems their record deals might have ended.
He named Crayon, Rema, Ladipoe, Korede Bello, Johnny Drille and Ayra Starr as the artists under Mavin before going to reveal there’s a little known training academy called Mavin Academy where they tutor young artists.
“Ayra Starr was part of the academy before we activated her,” he says. “They are about 16 in the academy; they’re earning money also, so they can be comfortable while recording.”
7. Don Jazzy’s last relationship ended a month ago
No one knows much about Don Jazzy’s private life. I used to think maybe he had a kid somewhere because he’s almost 40.
He however refutes that notion claiming his siblings’ kids are his also. But then he dropped some titbits about his love life.
His last relationship ended a month ago and it was a three year relationship.
“She’s in the states but she’s a Nigerian,” he told Ebuka. “I asked a question ‘why do you like me’ I thought I was being romantic. She blasted me telling me thanks for letting me know I’m wasting my time here.”
This article was written by Olabode Otolorin; connect on Instagram with him here