The founder of Mavins record, Michael Collins Ajereh aka Don Jazzy, has opened up on how he never had money issues with his partner, D’Banj while they ran Mo’Hits records.
In a live programme with the Ubi Franklin, the Special Adviser on Tourism to Governor Ben Ayade, Don Jazzy said he enjoyed an uncommon relationship with D’Banj while they both ran a record label together.
“The way I am with people in my company like myself and D’banj, money issues didn’t occur. I and D’Banj were so in sync that D’Banj can go to Oba of Lagos and return with N10 million and we would still share that money.
It doesn’t have anything to do with performance o,” he shared while stating the need for record label executives to have a good relationship with their artists.
Continuing, Don Jazzy said, “If you are not in a good relationship with the artist that is when he or she will go outside collecting shows and not tell you.
So bond with your artist more, it’s not everything that contract can solve but it is good to have a structure in place so that if by any chance things get out of hand you can step in and the contract can be what you guys can use to solve your problem but I try to make sure that it doesn’t get to that.”
The music producer and recording artist also shared how he has successfully managed his label in the last eight years.
“There is no structure in Nigeria, but then I have been hearing that from Mohits time, from years ago so I said to myself what are we going to do now, we have to look for a way.
So I came up with some form of way that we can work in our part of the world because everything I read on the internet didn’t seem like it was viable in our own space. It is on this live show that I began hearing 80/20, I don’t even think I have heard 70/30 before.
I know that things like that dey for Oyinbo contracts but here it cannot work. Here, you are signing a contract with their father and mother, uncle, their Egbon and the Baale, and Oba of Lagos.
So at the end of the day, you have to study human beings and look at how we operate in general, our culture is different, everything is different so you have to incorporate that into your business.
“But then also they are a few things I put in my head as I’m running my record label which I think most of us that run record label doesn’t put in our head, it is a business where the profit we are supposed to make is not that much, have you seen the name of Universal group owners name on Forbes list before, you would not see any record label executive there other than the record label executives that are their artist or producers or stuff like that. So looking at that I was like okay so fine that means this business, a record label doesn’t make much money like that.
“So I try to work and understand the artist if you are making money and the artist is not, first off the mother is the first person that will come for the artist. If the artist cannot beat their chest that they have moved from point A-B that’s when they will be having this plenty talk.
I haven’t had anybody leave my record label while they are under contract so in that regard, I don’t relate, all my artists have finished their contracts and ensured added extra care set before they go.
I don’t wait for them to come and tell me that you need to upgrade the terms of your contract, I already know that you’re a big boy, don’t worry I will help you upgrade it so that you know that we are equal partners, so that way they don’t feel that need to go out and venture into this whole record label business because jumping to go and start a record label business most people will realize at some point that it is not beans so for me I try as much as possible to have a very good relationship with my artist,” he said.
Rounding off his session, Don Jazzy said;
“I try to create a scenario where we trust each other, that way we can work to a point where capturing all these numbers in the books for years is easy for us to explain to investors that this is what it looks like and in my case, I was lucky enough that I didn’t go searching for investors, investors came looking for me.
But the investors came through, did their due diligence, looked at the books and it looked like good business and we are in business. So I feel like most people don’t capture these things in the book.”
Don Jazzy’s Mavins record is home to top music acts like Dr. Sid, Ladipoe, D’Prince, Rema, and Crayon. The record label once had on its bill Di’ja, Tiwa Savage, Wande Coal, Reekado Banks, and Korede Bello.