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B Side, Music

12 Years of Excellence: Mavin Records’ Phoenix Rise to Music Business Prominence

Wednesday, May 8, 2024, made it exactly 12 years since Mavin Records was established by Michael Collins Ajereh—a producer and musician professionally acknowledged as Don Jazzy.

  • Johnson Opeisa
  • 12th May 2024

Afrobeats, despite its brewing division, remains one of Nigeria’s biggest and thriving exports. This is not only due to its plethora of talents spread across the globe but also because of labels like Mavin Records, who have mastered the act and art of harnessing these talents and refining them into a polished product for both international and local audiences. 


Arguably the biggest and most influential label in Nigeria and Africa at large, Mavin Records was founded on May 8, 2012, by Michael Collins Ajereh—a producer and musician professionally acknowledged as Don Jazzy—following the defunct Mo’Hits Records in the same year.


Wednesday, May 8, 2024, made it exactly 12 years since Mavin was established. But to launch into its growth and expansion without a proper ode to MO’Hits, who laid the foundation for the label and Afrobeats’ groundbreaking globalisation, will be amiss.



MO’Hits was an all-star music company co-founded by Don Jazzy and D’Banj in 2004. Both legends ran and imprinted their legacy on projects like No Long Thing, Rundown “Oliver Twist” and other great tunes that propelled the country’s soundscape to international recognition even as they nurtured the careers of artists like Dr Sid, D’Prince and Wande Coal who were all signed to the label.


To say the relative success of the label within the eight years of operation was the genesis of the “Afrobeats to the world” infiltration can be arguable, but what isn’t subject to debate is the fact that the experience garnered from the successful experimentation armed Don Jazzy for Mavin bloom.


There is no structure in Nigeria, but then I have been hearing that from Mo’Hits time, from years ago. So I said to myself what are we going to do now, we have to look for a way out,” the Mavin CEO said–as reported by Premium Times–during an Instagram live session with Ubi Franklin in May 2020.


Certainly, Mavin Records has revolutionised the music business in Nigeria, opening the eyes of stakeholders to how other professionals, and not just musicians can be heralded for mutually benefiting dividends. “Coming into the industry where there are no proper roles, no proper structure, we’ve now become a company where we have staff with different responsibilities within the business.” Don Jazzy’s cousin and Mavin Records COO—Tega Oghenejobo–affirmed the company’s unique vision in an interview with OkayAfrica back in 2022.


Jazzy re-echoed his cousin’s declaration in a chat with music journalist Joey Akan, “We’re not leaving anyone behind. We’ve found our way into making sure everybody gets celebrated, and just the musicians, songwriters, and producers alone.” 




In terms of cultural impact, quality output, longevity, and talent refining in Afrobeats, Don Jazzy’s Mavin Record remains unrivalled. We’re talking about the creative orchestra that’s behind the stardom of a wide variety of artists across different generations–Tiwa Savage, Reekado Banks, Arya Starr, Rema, and other stars in their different sub-genres.


It’s been twelve years since Mavin Records started the journey into Afrobeats’ pulse, and in that time, they have not only set the standard for excellence but have also consistently pushed the boundaries of creativity and innovation, leaving an indelible mark on the music industry.






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