If 100 persons who consume made in Nigeria music, were asked to randomly mention five record labels in Nigeria, it’s a sure bet Mavin Records will suffice the mentions 90 – 95% of the time. The Don Jazzy led music imprint is indeed popular and highly rated, isn’t it what it is?
After the infamous shutdown of defunct Mo’Hits Records, Don Jazzy and D’banj his erstwhile partner moved on to create individual record labels. D’banj started his DB Records while Don Jazzy set up Mavin Records. At this time Mavin Records is 4 years plus in the music industry, with a few achievements to brag about.
So what’s up with Don baba J and his Mavin Records?
As it stands, the Lagos based record label is purportedly the most organized and structured label in Nigeria. They have gone beyond existing on paper, twitter, instagram and social media platforms; indeed, they have a physical structure for daily running of the imprint. Mavin records currently, have three in-house producers including Don Jazzy, seven artistes on the roster, and a handful of administrative staff.
The music industry was indeed surprised when Iyanya was signed to the music imprint, it made quite a ripple. The music industry still awaits the magic that will be birth from that synergy.
Michael Collins and his music imprint are showing signs that the music business in Nigeria is not going to be business as usual. The signing of Iyanya showed Mavin records is set to become the biggest music imprint in Africa if it isn’t already. On New Years eve, Jazzy informed us about the eminent expansion of the label and so the music imprint was recruiting more administrative staff and label representatives to cover some strategic territories. It only shows Jazzy and his entire Mavin Records are about to change the game from what it used to be.
While structure, alignment, organization, marketing are very needful to have a successful music business, I’m a bit concerned. Indeed the moves are great but something must not be forgotten. A record label’s primary product of merchandise is music, right? That is the core reason why music labels are set up, to push and promote “good music” and that must not be overshadowed by excessive machinery.
Currently, Mavin Records has on its roster, Dr Sid, D’Prince, Tiwa Savage, Mavin 2.0 triplets; Reekado Banks, Di’Ja, Korede Bello and now Iyanya. Can the label get all these artistes to perform at optimum? From a critical perspective, Korede Bello is due for an album; Di’Ja needs a banging comeback into the game then probably an album from her. D’Prince music career is in dire need of a total make over and rejuvenation if he isn’t already retired. The past 12 months has seen Tiwa Savage and Reekado Banks as the most impressive of the squad. Albeit, Reekado Banks album “Spotlight” is criticized to have suffered neglect from Don Jazzy or better put a laissez affaire attitude was seen in the production of the album. Spotlight looked liked a hurried horrid work. For Dr Sid he has just been hanging in there, and for Iyanya the part 2 of his story has just begun.
The point here is quite simple, Mavin Records must pay good attention to the music released from it staples, below par music shouldn’t be forced down our throats via good marketing. The quality of it’s primary product of merchandise which is music must not suffer downgrade in favor of superlative and high class packaging. The product must be as qualitative as it’s package. A lot of work still has to be done. Maybe signing one or two music producers will help a great deal. That will ease the work for both artistes and music producers a bit. Meanwhile all these “one man squad” record labels are very much a competition to beat. All the intimidating structure which is great might be nothing if the essence it was set up takes a nose dive.