In this Saturday PUNCH interview, Nigerian record label boss, Don Jazzy opens up about himself.
Mavin Records boss, Michael Ajereh, aka Don Jazzy, turned 38 on Thursday, November 26, 2020. A party was held for him and his father, who shares the date with him, and he tells CHIJEKWU MICHAEL about the highlights of his career and life
One would have thought you would celebrate your birthday with your celebrity friends. Why didn’t you do that?
Many of my celebrity friends including, P-Square and Davido, have called me to ask where the party is happening. However, I don’t usually celebrate my birthdays. But VBank, which signed me as a brand ambassador, came up with an initiative to celebrate me and I said it would be fine to spend time with them and some of my fans. My dad is also around and we share the same birthday, so it was nice hanging out with them all.
What are the most profound lessons you have learnt over the years?
I have learnt a lot and it may not be so easy to single some out now. I have always been a patient person and I believe in striking when the time is right. That has always worked for me. Also, all the things that have happened in my life make me believe that ‘a good name is better than silver or gold’. The person that came up with that saying definitely knew what they were saying. I have maintained a good name and brand, and that has always worked for me. If everybody could be like that, it would be a great world.
Do you feel fulfilled?
Pretty much, yes. I am doing well and I have a beautiful business. My family is healthy and comfortable. I know a lot of people would say because I am not married and don’t have children, that means I am not happy. But, I am very happy (laughs). I am not missing anything. Perhaps, in the future, I would start missing little children but for now, I am actually fine. I feel fulfilled and grateful. I thank God.
Producers are not as recognised and celebrated as music artistes. How does that make you feel?
I think they should be celebrated more. I will credit my success to some tactics, a little luck and most importantly, God’s grace. However, in recent times, producers have started getting more recognition for their work. But for the set before me, it wasn’t always great. With the rise of Internet streaming, I hope that things get better for producers. I am very privileged and lucky, and I thank God but I know things can be better.
What artiste have you not worked with but would like to?
Maybe some of the new guys in the industry that would want to work with me. I am old, so my sound could be very old and some of them might not feel like they need the older sound. However, I am here for anyone that wants to work with me.
Are you planning on signing any new act?
love grooming artistes so I have my eyes on a lot of people in this new generation and the one that is coming. But, I’m definitely not going to tell you who they are. I always wait for the perfect time before I making my moves. I was supposed to sign two or three artistes this year but the COVID-19 pandemic slowed things down, so watch out for them next year.
You seem to like free-flowing robes. What influences that fashion choice?
Absolutely nothing. I go for anything that is available. Different fashion designers that want to work with me give me clothes to wear or I buy them. I am not a fashionista; I don’t know anything about fashion. I wear anything that looks good on me. However, I prefer clothes that don’t show my ‘boobs’.
What is your take on the current state of the music industry?
It is getting more structured now than it was when we were coming up. There is hope and something to look forward to. It looks great.
How did you join the VBank family?
Their communications person reached out to me and it turned out I had already been interested in the bank before they even got in touch with me. It is something new and exciting. I prefer to work with brands that are forward-thinking and innovative, rather than the biggest ones. I believe they would feel my impact more.