Having successfully run two major music labels and creating a roster of stars, Don Jazzy consolidated on the success of his Mavin Records that has delivered some of the most visible hits on the music scene by signing a new crop of artistes in the last calendar year.
If signing Iyanya– after the former Project Fame winner fell out with his friend and partner at MMMG- was a coup de grace, the rest were a show of intent by Mavin that they intended to be relevant in the music industry.
Born Blair and Clinton Roberts, the DNA twins rose to stardom after their appearance on Glo’s X-Factor and even though they were eliminated in the second round, they caught the attention of many Nigerians. It was easy to assume that they would be the next ‘Psquare’ as the Okoye brothers were on the verge of breaking up.
But unfortunately, that has not been the case. Even after the split of Psquare, the infamous twins are still making more waves in the industry as opposed to Mavins’ golden boys.
After signing with Mavins in February 2017, the duo has released a couple of songs How Can and Queen both of which have had lukewarm reception by the fans.
Ladipo Eso aka POE is a decent rapper by any standards and has been widely acknowledged for his technical skills. He’s been compared in some circles to likes of Drake and J Cole. His lyrical prowess demonstrates on Show Dem Camp’s hit single Feel Alright was nominated for Best Alternative song of the year in 2013 the Headies.
So there was an obvious buzz of hype when Don Jazzy stepped out of the box to sign the label’s first ever rap act, and a lot Nigerians hiphop heads thought the move to be a step in the right direction.
That move hasn’t borne any fruits yet as Poe hasn’t been able to please his fans that much. Although his single Man Already created a few conversations, a number people would argue that the video released for the song did better than the actual song itself.
Amongst the recent signings, Johnny Drille has been the one with the most recognition in 2017. This comes as a bit of a shocker considering his folk/alternative genre of music which is not necessarily the most popular in this part of the world.
His fair performance as a contestant on the sixth edition of MTN’s Project Fame and admirable graft of solely putting out his songs by himself, Johnny didn’t gain the recognition he deserved until he released a cover of Dija‘s Awww which caught the attention of Don Jazzy.
Don Jazzy followed him up on Twitter to commend him and that became his first contact with the Mavin organization.
This year has been quite a stellar one for the artistes, his singles Beautiful Love and Romeo and Juliet have had all the lovebirds singing along. Alternative music is currently experiencing a wave in Nigeria and Johnny Drille is right there in the mix.
After denying for many years that there was a rift between him Made Men Music Group which he co-owned with Ubi Franklin, Iyanya decided to walk away- into the waiting arms of Don Jazzy it seemed.
A few critics questioned the move- why would Iyanya at the level he was, become a signee to a competing label. His explanation was that he needed to work with someone who understands the music industry and can help him fulfil the dream of getting my music right.
But has any of those dreams been fulfilled? Not exactly.
As the marquee signing, his impact has not been felt that much. His Signature EP which was released few months after joining Don Jazzy was quickly forgotten by a distracted fan base. A European tour also did not move the dial as expected. There have also been rumours of an internal rift brewing between him and his new boss, stemming from an inability of the label to deliver on the promises made last year. An insider denies it though, saying ‘Don Jazzy still wished Iyanya happy birthday on his birthday…’.
Any follower of Nigerian music will know that in matters such as this, there usually isn’t smoke without fire. It remains to be seen what Iyanya can do for Mavin and vice versa.
Mavin Records still is a foremost record label in Nigeria; it is hard to think of anybody else with a collective of A-Listers like them. However the latest additions have not increased their stock with their unexceptional outing this year.
It is a good thing the Mavins have still have Tiwa Savage, Reekado Banks and Korede Bello on its books because if the label was left it the hands of these new acts, there might not have been a Mavin Records this year.
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