Moguls like Michael Collins Ajereh, better known as Don Jazzy, have changed the Nigerian music industry throughout the years.
Their crucial roles have taken Nigerian artists beyond the borders of the country. These people have not only achieved great success in their careers, but they have also made important contributions to the overall development and evolution of the Nigerian music business.
HowNG takes a look at the lives of these business titans and highlight some of their achievements to the industry.
1. Don Jazzy
Don Jazzy is a well-known music producer, composer, and vocalist. In 2004, he co-founded Mo’ Hits Records with D’banj, a label that went on to become one of Nigeria’s most prominent and profitable.
Following the demise of Mo’ Hits Records in 2012, Don Jazzy established Mavin Records, one of Nigeria’s biggest record labels. Tiwa Savage, Reekado Banks, Korede Bello, Dr Sid, Rema, Johnny Drille, Wande Coal, and Ayra Starr are among the promising musicians discovered and nurtured by Don Jazzy.
His musical knowledge has enabled him in consistently delivering high-quality production combining diverse genres and adding unique sounds to create appealing tunes. Don Jazzy’s rigorous attention to detail and unique approach to music production have also helped create the sound of Nigerian music, raising it to international levels.
The music mogul has collaborated with notable artists such as Jay-Z, Kanye West, Beyoncé, and Drake, contributing to Nigerian music’s global reputation. These collaborations have provided opportunities for Nigerian musicians to reach out to worldwide audiences.
In a recent interview, Nigerian rapper Davido said that Don Jazzy was his mentor while growing up in the music industry, and that even though he has grown up, when they first met, he saw Don Jazzy as Jesus.
2. Burna Boy
Burna Boy, whose real name is Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and musician known for his unique style that combines elements of Afrobeat, reggae, dancehall, and hip-hop.
Burna Boy’s interest in music began at a young age. He started making music in 2010 and gained recognition in 2012 with his debut studio album, “L.I.F.E: Leaving an Impact for Eternity.”
His 2019 album, “African Giant,” was a major milestone in his career. The album received critical acclaim and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best World Music Album.
In 2021, Burna Boy won the Grammy Award for Best Global Music Album for his album “Twice as Tall,” making him one of the first Nigerian artists to win a Grammy.
His music has gained international recognition, and he has collaborated with artists from around the world, including Beyoncé, Stormzy, and Jorja Smith.
Burna Boy has received numerous awards and nominations throughout his career, including BET Awards, MTV Europe Music Awards, and the Nigerian Entertainment Awards.
Burna’s success has helped bring African music to the global stage and has contributed to the growing popularity of Afrobeat and other African music genres worldwide.
David Adeleke, better known by his stage name, is another music magnate who has helped to place Nigerian music on the map. Davido’s distinct sound, which combines Afrobeat, Afro-pop, and current elements, has earned him international acclaim and a large fan base both within and outside of Nigeria.
Davido has cultivated and promoted young artists such as Mayorkun, Liya, Peruzzi, Dremo, Lil Frosh, May D, and Yonda as the founder and CEO of DMW (Davido Music Worldwide).
His collaborations with artists such as Chris Brown, Meek Mill, Young Thug, and Tinashe have garnered enormous global notice while also opening opportunities for other Nigerian artists.
The “Unavailable” singer, who is now on a Timeless Tour, thanked his fans for their support.
In a tweet, Davido wrote, “Yo DC! I’m blown away! Y’all showed up in your thousands and packed the arena out! I have the best fans in the world! Thank you for showing up and showing out! Next stop Houston! Timeless Tour! See you soon!!!”
Wizkid, whose real name is Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, is a highly acclaimed Nigerian singer, songwriter, and performer. He has achieved remarkable success both in Nigeria and internationally.
He gained recognition in the Nigerian music scene in the early 2010s with the release of his debut single, “Holla at Your Boy,” which was part of his first studio album, “Superstar,” released in 2011.
Wizkid founded his own record label, Star Boy Entertainment, which has played a significant role in promoting other talented artists in Nigeria.
Wizkid has collaborated with numerous international artists, including Drake, Beyoncé, Skepta, Damian Marley, and more. His collaboration with Drake on the song “One Dance” in 2016 became a global hit.
Some of his notable albums include “Superstar” (2011), “Ayo” (2014), and “Sounds from the Other Side” (2017). His 2020 album, “Made in Lagos,” received widespread acclaim.Wizkid has won several awards, including multiple BET Awards, MTV Africa Music Awards, and MOBO Awards.
He has also been nominated for Grammy Awards.He is often referred to as one of Africa’s biggest and most influential music stars. His music has helped bring Afrobeat and Nigerian music to a global audience.
Wizkid is celebrated not only for his musical talents but also for his impact on African and Nigerian culture. He has been instrumental in popularizing Nigerian fashion and culture on the global stage.
Olamide Adedeji, a Nigerian rapper, singer, and songwriter, is the founder and CEO of “Yahoo Boy No Laptop,” YBNL Nation, a record label and talent management organization. Olamide has been instrumental in establishing the careers of various Afrobeats musicians.
Olamide has introduced and produced several popular musicians through YBNL Nation, including Lil Kesh, Adekunle Gold, Fireboy DML, Asake, and Senth.
Olamide’s yearly “Olamide Live in Concert” (OLIC) series also delivers the energy and excitement of his music directly to the streets. These events allow people from all walks of life to witness live performances and appreciate Nigerian music.