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Mohits Lives On – Don Jazzy
- Updated: May 29, 2012
Tell me a bit about yourself and what was your childhood like?
Well, I was born in Umuahia but spent most of my childhood in Lagos after our family moved here. I am the eldest of four kids. I have always loved music and started banging drums and instruments when I was a kid. As I grew older, I started experimenting with different sounds even if they didn’t make sense.
What inspired you to go into music?
I have always been surrounded by music growing up. My father was in the music business and retains a very special interest in it until today. Music was part and parcel of our everyday life.
Was it an easy take breaking into the Nigerian entertainment industry?
God has been extremely generous to me so thankfully it has not been so bad. But believe me, there were some trials. After we set up, we even considered selling it off when some offers came in. If not that there were some delays, we may have sold for like N1m. Fortunately, it was not to be and God allowed us go from strength to strength.
Contrary to some of your predecessors, it didn’t take you long to create a niche for yourself as the don of the Nigerian entertainment and the beats master. What was the secret behind your success?
God almighty, a lot of hard work, a wonderful team, loads of practice and study of the music game, knowing what the people want, and loving what I do.
The birth of MAVIN signifies a new era for you. How do you feel about it?
I feel gingered and ready to work as always. Nothing stops. We will just keep working. I’m excited because things look beautiful so far for a new company. I am the kind of person who always looks forward to what he does. MAVIN is like a new child for me and I am so excited about it. On the day we launched I could hardly even sleep.
There have been a lot of speculations and wild rumours; could you clear the air as to real reason behind the breakup of the record label?
Most of the things out there have been fabricated. I have not even been giving interviews until after the launch of MAVIN so where the stories came from, I do not know. There was no major problem behind the split. D’banj and I just decided we wanted to branch out and try different things musically and professionally.
The dictionary definition of the MAVIN means someone who is dazzlingly skilled in his field an expert so to say. Was there a particular reason to the choice of this name for your record label? Were you perchance trying to pass a message to your fans?
Yes! You always think hard when creating a company. You think about what beat describes you or the company or how people see you as. So MAVIN meaning genius kind of sounded sexy although people have been complaining that we are forcing them to read the dictionary for the meaning of the MAVIN and even Solar Plexus, the name of the new album. Everybody has his or her own unique skill in life, whatever it is you do, don’t just be amazing at it, be a MAVIN at it.
There’s a fresh addition to the group in person of Tiwa Savage, a clear diversion from the all-male feel of the group. If at all an addition, why a female artist, and why Tiwa Savage?
Even at, I wanted to sign a female artiste but the opportunity never really came up. Tiwa and I have a connection musically. We work well together that’s why she was first choice to get activated.
Do you have any plans to push MAVIN deep into the international market? And do you intend to go about it?
Yes we all definitely want to grow. And we intend to go about it one step at a time. Slow and steady wins the race. We are Nigerians and this is our base but African music is hot in the world right now so we must meet that demand too.
Where did you draw inspirations from during the creation of Solar Plexus?
Well the name itself actually came from my dad. He loves winding us with big grammar. The inspiration for the album itself came from God. I just wanted to make songs that were different from songs out at the moment production wise. Although I played with sounds not common in the Nigerian market now, I am glad it’s working fine meaning we Nigerians are now opening up our ears to alien sounds little by little.
Seeing as the album was created just a little while after the breakup of records, how were you able to concentrate in the midst of all the mayhem?
It wasn’t easy. But I am someone that doesn’t have any trouble and don’t like trouble each other. I have built myself up in a way that not a lot of things bother me. There is nothing you can’t achieve with hard work and prayers. I always just try and let the music do the talking.
Is there any possibility of reconciliation between you and D’banj, not only in terms of the brotherly friendship that existed between you but also to create music?
Who said we quarreled? There can only be reconciliation when people have quarrelled before. We are good. We even worked together recently on the “oliver twist” remix and performed in New York.
Is Don Jazzy a musician or a producer?
All of the above.
A last word on the death of Mo’Hits any regrets?
None. No matter how much people call it that, it actually can’t die. The great songs we made as will outlive you and I. Mo’Hits lives on in every one of us.
Culled for Thisday.