Did you know that Don Jazzy and D’banj, founders of now defunct Mo’hits Records, were both security guards in the UK?
Micheal Collins Ajereh had moved to London earlier after his uncle’s invitation to come and drum at a church. He soon took up a job as a security guard at McDonald’s, the popular American fast food, while trying out as a songwriter and music producer.
The young Dapo Oyebanjo arrived London a year later to study mechanical engineering, where he met Micheal. Armed with his excellent harmonica playing skill (something he picked up after losing his elder brother in a plane crash) and his love for music, he began to frequent studios. He, however, needed to take care of his expenses, so he took up a job as a security guard, and would listen to music all night on his headphone while working the night shift.
Micheal, took up the name Don Jazzy (Jazzy most likely derived from his last name) while Dapo became D’banj (derived from his first and last names). In 2004, four years after they met, they returned to Nigeria, taking advantage of the fledgling music industry. They worked together to produce D’banj’s first hit single, Tongolo, and churned out many more chart-topping songs. They soon became the biggest names in the Nigerian music industry.
The two friends parted ways in 2012 as business partners, due to “creative and personal differences.” Dbanj is signed to Kanye West’s Good Music while Don Jazzy set up Mavin Records.
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