Don Jazzy Is Like Jesus, a Fisher Of Men
Nov. 04, 2019
It is the blood of the soldier that makes the General - Italian proverb.
A little over a decade ago, when we were still struggling to give Nigerian music a mainstream stay, two young men just back from the UK, brought freshness to the scene, a very talented producer whose legendary status is undoubtedly, and the other, the greatest entertainer of his generation.
The emergence of Don Jazzy and D'banj gave the independent label in Nigeria a new level. The level a lot of people didn't think was attainable, Mohits was a game-changer, though Eldee Tha Don and his Trybes records started the independent label revolution, Mohits gave it the mainstay it desperately needed.
The recruitment was near perfect and Don Jazzy became the yardstick for producers, D'banj for entertainers and performers, Wande Coal created a style.
The label blossomed. Don Jazzy' dexterity as a producer, D'banj's persona was enough to court attention and Wande Coal's musical ability, covered up for the average talents of Dr Sid and the other guys. Mohits was a perfect balance.
No one noticed Don jazzy's leadership quality. Everyone was carried away with the show instead of the business that made them thick. That leadership quality is what has made Marvin records the label of the decade, where others have failed they have thrived.
If running a business is like war, then Don Jazzy is the General, and Tega Peter Oghenejobo is the Lieutenant ensuring the platoon is victorious.
Just like the Galacticos Real Madrid, everyone was celebrating the flashy star players, but no one was commending Claudio Makelele for all the dirty jobs he did. Real Madrid didn't value him until they lost him to Chelsea. Marvin is the Galacticos era Real Madrid, and Tega is the Makelele ensuring the engine never loses steam.
As an artist manager, I learned that managers are like teachers, who live a life of service, and the good work they put in is hardly ever noticed by the average person. I have only ever met Tega twice in my over ten years in the music industry, we have been friends on Facebook, and we have never really spoken to each other. Before the meeting, if you put a gun to my head and say list the top 100 record label executives in the country, Tega's name will not pop up. Which is the first thing I admire about him? How can someone be the Makelele of a music powerhouse like Marvin and be this humble?
The first time we met was at the Marvin Records office. He invited me for a meeting and to be very honest when I stepped foot into his office. I realised the rest of us who parade ourselves as record label executives are hustlers who are in the business to make ends meet and survive with the budget meant for the artistes.
The conversion with Tega drifted from Mohits to Marvin, the future and the present. You can't be a good leader if you're not a keen observer and a good listener. He asked questions, brought his notebook, and took notes. The feedback was important. Another hall mark of a good businessman was what he displayed, whatever the feedback, a good manager will reflect on them and try to understand why the complaint or complement and improve on them.
With a lieutenant like Tega, I wasn't surprised with the Kupanda deal, the successes of Rema and Crayon, the continues growth of Johnny Drille amongst other notable achievements. It is not every day I meet people who impress me and as well as re-ignite the fire inside of me. I left the meeting knowing that Don Jazzy is like Jesus, a fisher of men, and Tega, whose name is also Peter like the Biblical Peter is the rock holding the structure.
What Marvin is doing in a clime as unsteady as ours, is a topic of research, and how Tega has been able to play the Makelele role and remain humble while winning is not the style of the average Warri person.
Marvin is a family, Don Jazzy the father and the head of the family, Tega is the pillar that binds the structure together, the mother! The Marvin Dynasty will stand the test of time, and off all the labels in Nigeria at the moment, both the Major and independent, if you ask me Marvin Records will be the last one standing if it comes to that.
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