LV SERIES: Don Jazzy Decoded

LV SERIES: Don Jazzy Decoded

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There are some rare people that manage to walk the line of being famous yet out of sight. Legendary producer and Supreme Mavin Dynasty boss, Don Jazzy, also known as Don Dorobucci, Don Baba J, and even to some as Michael Collins, has perfected the art of being elusive. Luckily, Lovablevibes TV was able to sit down with the man himself for a chit-chat and Of course music was discussed, but we also learned that the Don may be considering settling down to marry and build a family within the next year. Also, Don Jazzy’s drink of choice is Johnny Walker…anybody looking to get on his good side don sabi wetin to give am. The following are five major topics discussed during the Don Jazzy interview.

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1. The G.O.O.D. Music Deal:

Don Jazzy rewinds the clock to explain the dynamics of the G.O.O.D. Music Deal. Kanye West signed both he and D’Banj. He indeed produced beats for Kanye West (and Jay Z), but he was only officially credited for one tune. Only the song, “Lift Off,” was placed, which allowed Don Jazzy to be credited on the “Watch The Throne” project. He explains that the world may not have been ready for the afrobeats sound at that time; Kanye and Jay Z appreciated Jazzy sonically, but only wanted elements of afrobeats and not the full sound. Jazzy admits that he is unsure what would have transpired if he had remained in Yankee with G.O.O.D. Music; he could have been in career limbo or maybe he for don blow. Returning to Nigeria allowed for him to groom his artists and eventually form the Mavins.

2. Tiwa Savage and Roc Nation

Tiwa Savage was already an African star before the Roc Nation deal. She had several hits under her belt and still remains the first lady of the Mavins. Her star power caught none other than Jay Z of Roc Nation. Jay Z is no stranger to the African sound; he, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith produced the FELA! Broadway play, which depicted the life of the late, great Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Jay Z further exemplified his growing interest in African music by having his cousin, Briant “Bee-High” Biggs visit Naija to scout local talent.

Pictures surfaced of Tiwa Savage, Don Jazzy, and Jay Z at the Roc Nation headquarters in NYC, which alluded to the first lady of the Mavins being signed. Tiwa, Don Jazzy, and Roc Nation portrayed the matter as speculation until the ink on the contract was dry and Tiwa’s association with Roc Nation had been confirmed. In the interview, Don Jazzy clarified the situation. Tiwa Savage signed a management deal with Roc Nation. Her business relationship and cosign by Jay Z will allow her to be received by a much larger, international market. She is still signed to the Mavins as an artist however. As for the rest of the Supreme Mavin Dynasty, their management deal is through the Temple Management Company.

3. Don Jazzy’s Taste in Music

Although Don Jazzy lives, breathes, and speaks music, it has been unclear what his personal taste of music is, until he recently revealed it in the interview. Jazzy professed that he mainly listens to the music of himself and his team, and will go to YouTube if he wants to hear anything outside of his camp. Admittedly, he is a big fan of indigenous rap. At one point in time, the Don was interested in signing Falz The Bahd Guy. Initially, Jazzy had his eye on Sinzu (formerly Sauce Kid), who was at the time not in Nigeria. A business venture with Falz did not transpire however, due to timing conflicts. Showcasing his industry experience, Jazzy offered wisdom to rappers pointing out that rap songs with melodies or any singing cadence are the most successful. Don Jazzy is expecting to sign rappers as soon as the end of 2016 or early 2017. He is also looking to sign international act(s).

As for upcoming music from the Mavins boss, he addresses his alleged retirement. He clarified that he took a brief break as an ARTIST, but never stopped being a producer. The break has ended and Don Dorobucci has since reemerged as an artist. Surprisingly enough, he doesn’t think his own vocals are tolerable for extended play, but only in small doses. Would you all listen to a slew of new Don Jazzy tracks? How about a full Don Jazzy album? Dr. Dre, known primarily for his production, released widely received solo albums such as “The Chronic,” “2001,” and supposedly will release the highly anticipated Detox. Similarly, producer Timbaland, released “Shock Value” to wide reception as well. Don Jazzy could do the same! That would be HUGE for Nigeria…that’d be huge for AFRICA!

4. Taking African Music Forward

Don Jazzy spoke with reverence and pride as he reflected upon the success of the ONE Africa Music Fest, held at the Barclay’s Center. He noted that it could easily be done again and even expand to other cities. Just as ONE Africa was independently funded by Paul Okoye without major sponsorship, other artists could pool their money together and continue the movement.

Jazzy also addressed the shameful manner in which the BET Award Show acknowledges its African award winners. The awards are either given backstage, the day before the main ceremony, or given during the show, but is not shown on air with the show broadcast. Being the optimist that he is, Don Jazzy identifies a silver lining within this situation. Essentially, he states that the BET Awards treatment of African winners in comparison to their American counterparts should ginger the former to work harder and accomplish more. On that same note, Jazzy also mentions that African musicians holistically need to earn the respect of the world as an undeniable force, so that they can dictate what their music is called and how it should be categorized. Instead of bulking all African sounds together as “afrobeats”, the distinction between afropop, afrofusion, afrotrap, fuji, gospel, soul, etc., needs to be made and understood. Gaining more accolades will allow African artists the leverage to dictate what their music should be called. In order to move the sound further, Don Jazzy says it is imperative that proper engineers and better studios become a priority.

Don Jazzy defends afrobeats and pidgin as to why it has not caught on globally in the manner that reggae music and the patois has done. He mentions that reggae was introduced through Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, whom sang in the universal language, English, and not patois. Also, several islands within the Caribbean are vacations destinations, which acclimate people to reggae and similar genres; Naija is not a vacation spot.

5. Beefs

Don Jazzy does not seem to be one for controversy, but wahala dey find am. The deterioration of Mohits has long since passed, but details of the split have never been clarified. There have been photos of the two, that have indicated Don Jazzy and D’Banj have made up, but no new music has come to pass. Don Jazzy explained he and D’Banj’s issue as a private matter that must be ironed out between the two. He laughed at the accusations of scattering Mohits, and surprisingly embraced them. He admitted to have ended the super group’s long run, but clarifies that all of the alleged reasons for the split are far from true. Jazzy ousted rumors that he broke up Mohits because of monetary reasons, but especially dispelled the rumor about Dr. Sid terminating the group. Jazzy has the answers the public is thirsting to know, but he will not tell. However, he unintentionally alluded that it was not his fault when he said “I don’t even want people to be pitying me; I don’t want people on my side.” That statement infers that whatever the cause of the split was not Don Jazzy’s fault. He does however seem very optimistic that a reconciliation will occur.

Don Jazzy also addressed the drama at the 2015 Headies Awards involving Olamide. He expressed feelings of “instant regret” after his verbal sparring with Olamide, and labeled his actions as a “moment of weakness”. The Don and Olamide were mature about the situation by taking a reconciliation picture together and issuing public apologies. Don Jazzy stated that he did not want to cause a divide between their respective fans because essentially both The Mavins and YBNL camps love each other. Both parties are currently experiencing major industry success domestically and abroad. Hopefully the peace union manifests into future collaborations!

Credits: NotjustOk Team

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