Artists Interview

Mavin Records Is The New Name For Mo'Hits Records -Don Jazzy Interview

by Nigeria Music Network / 12,360 Views

Don Jazzy, the skilled Mo'Hits records producer of big hits taking Nigerian music to a higher level and also co-owner (now full owner) of the record company has made it clear that the business behind Mo'Hits still exist, but he just re-branded it as MAVIN records with him still serving as the CEO. However, in this interview, he captures life after Mo’Hits, and D'banj leaving the music group: 

Did you envisage the break-up?

Obviously, I would not have seen it coming seven years ago when we started the company. But a year to the breakup, I saw it coming. We tried as much as possible to make it work. A lot of things happened even when we had shows like Koko Concert in Lagos, London and New York. We already had problems then but we still had to go for the shows and generally put up a front that all was well when in actual fact, it was not. It is not like it just happened; it took time because we knew that we had something very important to save.

What efforts did you make to ensure the partnership didn’t crumble?

Everybody tried to stop the break-up. If I did not want the company to move on, why did I travel from here to New York for a D’banj concert? It was a beautiful thing for Nigeria, Africa and us.

Are you still feeling hurt?

Yes, it hurt then and it still hurts. It’s not just me, even fans were badly hit. I remember when I was with a lady friend of mine and we were supposed to have a meeting. I told her it couldn’t hold because I had some issues to take care of. I told her Mo’Hits was going to break up and she started crying. The same way we feel bad about it, is how a lot of people are going to feel.

Is it true that you asked for separation from the group?

We were working together and all was going on well. It got to a point where I looked at the situation and we both decided that it was not working and we had to move on.

Did Kanye West take on both of you? Many said it was the origin of the problems?

We were both signed and I am still on that label. My deal with the label is one of the best deals ever. The deal is still on and I will still be a part of it until the day I terminate the contract.

So that means you are still working or going to work with Kanye West?

I am supposed to be in New York now but considering the fact that they know I have a lot of work to do in Nigeria, I can’t be in two places at once. I have to finish one before I start any international jobs.

Your new label Mavin Records was a direct result of the break-up…

I did not think I was going to change the name of my company for any reason. A month before we launched, I thought that companies go through re-branding for many reasons. I am supposed to still be the Chief Executive Officer of Mo’Hits Records and I own it 100 per cent now.  What I did was to just go for a name change. I won’t be the first to do so. Although Mo’Hits is a name everybody has come to love and accept, they will love Mavin also.

Are you shopping for a replacement for Dbanj?

I have not gone to look for anybody that will replace Dbanj and I will never look for who will replace him. It is not possible! Entertainers are not the same, just as no two people are the same. I definitely know there is no way I am going to come across someone who is exactly like D’banj. He knows how to ride the audience, how to carry them along and I have watched the industry for many years and know it is going to be difficult to find someone who is like him.

You brought Tiwa Savage on board…

Even before the breakup, I have been looking for a female artiste. I have been talking with Tiwa for a long time. If I did not tell her to leave Los Angeles and move back home, she would not have come. I have been very interested in her career. At some point, I knew one day, we were going to end up working together.

Don Jazzy With Headies Award (MAVIN records/Mo'Hits)
At Mavin, are you still going to take a back seat like you did at Mo’Hits?

Definitely. I am even going to retreat further. As you all can tell from the new album Solar Plexus, which we just released, I tried as much as possible not to sing. I really don’t want to be an artiste. I understand that my vocal strength only appeals to a small number of people, so I don’t feel comfortable. I don’t like videos or cameras either. I love being involved in production. I am going to stick to that. Mavin is going to be run the way Mo’hits was run but with more expertise. I am going to get experts, who will take care of certain things. I can’t mix business and the creative process together. It’s better to have separation of duties. I have some producers and other artistes in mind that I don’t intend to make public now. All I would say is that we should look forward to a very exciting journey.

Your mix tape, Solar Plexus, is like a test run, how would you adjudge the response to it so far?

I have been releasing tracks for a long time now but I have never got this number of positive responses. Normally, when we release a track, we expect to get like 50 or 60 percent positive feedbacks but this one really shocked me. I don’t know if it’s what you call sympathy votes or it’s because there are more people who want to listen and see what we have come up with. Only a few people are criticising us.

Do you miss D’banj?

Definitely I do. I miss him a lot. I got in here today and the first thing I wanted to say was I’m D’banj!

Source: PunchNG
Read more »

How Tiwa Savage Fell in Love With Music

by Nigeria Music Network / 1,386 Views

Songwriter and singer Tiwa Savage is the complete package: physically appealing, good voice, stage presence, and able to speak intelligently when interviewed by the press.

Savage first got involved with music as a trombonist in secondary school, Claremont High, London. The voice behind the hit song "Kele kele Love" soon decided that she would rather be a singer than a trombonist and admits she no longer plays the musical instrument.

"I haven't played it in many years," she says "But I am sure that if I practice for a week or two it will all come back."

She describes her passion for music as "something she picked up in her high school" from her time in the school choir.

While still at Claremont High, she started singing in clubs and at talents shows around London. It was at one of these local talent shows that she was discovered by Laurence Johnson, owner of Tuff Sessions, a company that hired back-up singers.

"He called me to his office and asked me to sing. And apparently, that was an audition." She was soon signed on to Tuff Sessions and with Johnson as her manager, she became a back-up singer at gigs of notable artists including George Michael and Mary J. Blige.

Studying jazz

High profile and glamorous as this might have sounded, it was however not enough for Savage. After secondary school, she got a job with the Royal Bank of Scotland and also enrolled to study Business and Account at the University of Kent but music remained her first love. In between working and schooling, she continued singing at clubs and talent shows. It was during this time that she met some American musicians who advised her to apply to study Jazz at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, US.

Savage admits that prior to applying and winning a scholarship to study at Berklee she was not interested in jazz music.

"Before then I preferred R&B more. I liked people like Brandy, Destiny's Child and SWV. I also loved gospel music," she says. "I went ahead with studying Jazz at Berklee because I wanted to learn music. I wanted to study that course. While doing the back-up gigs, I had come to fall in love with music and wanted to go into it full time so I decided that going to music school would help me." She moved to New York City after getting her music degree and continued singing at local gigs.

Of her time in the city she says, "New York was fun. It was also challenging because I was the only one there; I did not have my family out there. Out there, you had to hustle and work hard because it is a very expensive city." The songwriter

After months of ‘hustle', she finally caught the attention of the then Vice President of Sony for New York. He had heard her one of songs, somehow. "He invited me to his office and offered me a deal to be a song-writer because he was working in publishing at the time and not for the record label. That was basically the same kind of deal that Neyo and Keri Hilson started with and at that time, I think that was what I wanted to do," she explains.

She however refused to reveal details of her still-existing contract with Sony. "I am not at liberty do so," she says with a defiant shrug.

Under her Sony contract, she has co-written songs for Fantasia, Monica and Babyface amongst other American artists.

"The song I wrote for Fantasia is called "Collard Greens and Cornbread". It was on her album that was nominated for a Grammy," she says with a subtle hint of pride. The album was the 2004 American Idol winner, Fantasia Barrino's debut album Free Yourself. It was nominated at the 2006 Grammys.

According to Savage, when writing songs, she gets her inspiration from God or from her personal experiences or those of friends. Though successful as a song-writer, the 31-year-old still dreams of making it in music as a singer.

Infusing afro-pop

Her decision to come back to Nigeria to pursue her career as a singer was based on a desire to infuse afro-pop into her music.

"When I felt that the time was right and Nigeria was ready to appreciate female artists, I decided to come back," she adds.

Prior to coming back to the country, she wrote the song "Kele Kele Love" which was produced by H-Money. The song introduced her to the Nigerian audience and soon became a hit not only in the country but in some other parts of Africa. "We were surprised at how far the song had spread," she says of its success. The song would be included on her still untitled forthcoming album.

"It is going to be a mix of R&B, hip-hop, afrobeat and country, just a mix of everything," she says adding, "I am going to have fourteen tracks on the album minus skits."

She would not disclose the names of artists she plans to feature on the album. "I do not want to raise or lower people's expectations that way. I would prefer they get to find out when the album comes out," she insists.

She however reveals that some of the producers would be H-Money and Oak who was a producer on Nikki Minaj's Pink Friday. A tentative date for the release of the album has been set for April next year.

By Onyinye Muomah Read more »

Terry G talks about break up with Now Muzik, wedding rumour, lucifer mixtape, & Tonto Dikeh's kiss

by Nigeria Music Network / 1,450 Views

Terry G in a rare and candid interview talks with popular OAP, MC Icewater on Eko FM about his personal life, controversies and being misunderstood.

On new album sales-
Just because it wasn't launched and no enough buzz not available cos I was always travelling and not around Τo push it out. Terry G Agrees dat he needs ideas and cooperate packagin and not someone living on his past connections and bothered about haven not received any awards so far.

Most mis-understood artist?
I deliver wat the street wants am not as worst as I portray cos am an act just like the actors in the movies so tomorrow could be of a new change

On Terry Gzuz?
Is just an acclaim Τo show I belong Τo an Christain firm not anti-christ like. If I were doin strictly xtain song? I could have been this popular too,but doing secular is just to represent the youth & I have No regret doing dis but change is constant & inevitable.


On Now Muziq controversies?
I knew This would go dis way,because I wasn't getting what I wanted

On other artist Βeats usage:
Its my Βeat which you paid for and should remain my intellectual property in as much as I didn't sing his song the way it was recorded and even other acts using dat Βeat I can even sue That fellow Performin featured acts song on stage-

On Now Musiq-
I felt cheated and they were just out Τo eat from my brand,we never signed any papers. The street wants me daily and I keep loosing while trying Τo keep at per with the coperate world.

On 1,500 album sales?
Yes,why should they change my brand for same reasons why am known, who would buy such? My same disciple??

How emotional is Terry G?
Am a soft person,used Τo be in love, but now no more

Weddin Rumours?
God is my witness o, I was at home when I saw the report,maybe they saw me at someones weddin and taught I was the one gettin married

On Love Child?
I use to have a child,whom I use to be proud of but after 3 DNA's I found out she wasn't my child afterall,imagine after taking care of her for 3years

Weddin plans?
Of course, my mama don dey wait for me to hurry down the aisle but no lover yet

On Endorsement?
I suppose don dey on Energy drinks because I have the swagger to sell their products maybe they are scared coming close but they shud remember am an act on stage and off stage, am your next door neighbour, Gabriel Amanyi

Do you do drugs?
No, i have never tasted Cocaine,Igbo but I smoke and almost all naija acts smoke

Smokin for Inspiration?
Nooo, anybody who does dat lacks the ginger

Meanin of Akpako?
It simply means finding a way to the bottom of wherever you are for you to gain Promotion Τo the next level

Parental support?
Am from Benue, family of four,my younger brother D-Money works with me here as an artist, my two younger sisters are in the University,my mum owns a supermarket around Fagba here & my Dad works and also takes charge of all my properties because ours is a God-fearing home and I have their blessings

Future Projects?
Dropping my mixtape soon Τo be titled LUCIFER,video of 'Baby Don't Go' coming soon & D-Money's album with other house of ginger stuff comin out soon

I Don Dey UNIBEN, Sociology, 400 Level and sometimes i have my lecturers come take me on Private lessons since class fit No contain me atimes

How much are you worth?
I don't know but am so expensive

Most memorable moment?
Once kissed by Tonto Dike at Nu Grotto recently saying she loves my song so much

On Artists sharing beefs with you?
I have forgiven them long ago, because the divine God also forgives us when we go astray

On Hennesy not bringin endorsement?
Well I don't care am doing it for my pleasure and I think there's politricks In the system but I know one day they are gonna come back and then, they wil sell better cos we don kari we song over-sale them sef

Words to fans?
I appreciate them so well & try givin back Τo them always,my fans on fansbook & twitter are the best.


-Courtesy Madtainment TV

Read more »

My parents’ death punctured my University dream – Ice Prince

by Nigeria Music Network / 2,590 Views

Ice Prince’s rise to the top was phenomenal. His debut hit song Oleku made the difference for the Jos lad who came to Lagos without knowing anyone except trusting in a family friend’s instinct.

Ice Prince Zamani
This is his story below:

What’s your real name?

My real name is Panshak Zamani. I’m from Jos. Growing up in Jos up was fun and I loved every bit of it. I was raised among white gospel missionaries when Jos was still peaceful.

What kind of upbringing did your parents give you that made you who you are today?

I had a positive upbringing. My parents used to drop me in church to attend Sunday school every Sunday. They didn’t let me watch any adult movies, only cartoons. I had a positive upbringing like every normal child.

Are you the only child?

No.But I’m the only male child in the family. But I didn’t let that get into my head. I was humble and obedient but sometimes I wandered off on my own to climb mango and guava trees, like every other child.

Since you had such a religious upbringing, why didn’t you do gospel?

My music is my gospel and I believe an artiste shouldn’t go into gospel for the fun of it except he’s called. I preach positivity and I inspire people with my music. My gospel is the story of a boy who came all the way from Jos to Lagos and became successful without a god father.

Who encouraged you to come to Lagos?

The major motivation behind my success story today is M.I. Before coming to Lagos, I didn’t know anybody here. I shuttled between Jos and Abuja. But M.I told us to come with him to Lagos.

We came with him and it worked. The power to fight the fear of the unknown is what we had. I remember the first few months we got to Lagos. I used to sleep on the carpet and didn’t have a place to stay. It was Djinee who housed us.

I didn’t know who I was going to see. I didn’t know what to expect. In fact, I didn’t even know I was going to be this successful. All I had was the passion for what I do. I followed it and here I am.

M.I even suffered more than we did. Before I joined him in Lagos, he’d already moved over to Djinee’s house. But before then, they were squatting with some other guys. We all went through that phase and paid our dues and it wasn’t like he brought me to Lagos and left me to suffer. We hustled to survive.

So what were those challenges you faced while staying with Djinee?

I didn’t really have the freedom because it wasn’t my house. I couldn’t bring friends to the house, couldn’t do certain things. Djinee is one of the nicest persons I’ve met in my whole life. He didn’t know us from anywhere and he accepted us into his house.

Didn’t you think about going to school?

I had my primary and secondary school in Jos. Then I got admission to study Zoology at the University of Jos. But I didn’t graduate because at a point I had to leave Jos for Abuja so I could continue schooling in Abuja. But my music became more serious at that time and it took my time.

Now that you have made money, are you planning to go back to school soon?

To be honest with you, a side of me still feels like going back to school. But I don’t belong to that school of thought that says school is everything. I’m not a dullard and I think I have enough education to make me succeed. I’m not saying youths should drop out of school. All I’m saying is that there are other ways of doing things without going to school. I always ask if everyone goes to school, who’s going to sweep the streets?

Is that the kind of advice you’ll give to your children?

Please don’t quote me wrong. I’m not saying youths shouldn’t go to school. What I’ll tell my children is what my mother told me. She said that I should follow my heart. If your heart wants to be a musician then follow it because your spirit can’t lie to you. If your spirit tells you to go to school before doing music then follow it. But if it tells you to leave school for music then do it. I followed my heart.

Then does it mean you’ll do music all your life?

A lot of times when people look at us, they think all we do is music. I’m a business man. At a certain time, I may not perform all my life and that should be over at age 40. Aside music, I’m a landlord and I collect rent. Even if my music fails today, I’ll still live my life and feed my children. I also intend to go into clothing and others. But for now, I’m into real estate and I have my houses in Jos. So I’m cool.

Ice Prince Zamani Performing

So how does it feel being part of Chocolate City?

It’s an honour being here and I’ve been looking forward to it. I always tell people that if I come back in my next life as a musician, I’ll still like to work with them. They’re honest people and we’re brothers. The thing about Chocolate City is that what we have goes beyond business. We’re family. M.I and Jesse’s parents basically adopted me when my parents died. Even when we have issues, we sort it out in house.

And you’ll never hear or read any negative story about us in the papers. Chocolate City has probably the best and fairest contract in Nigeria. Their contract is world standard and I’m very happy with that. When a show comes in, they take their percentage, I take mine, the management picks its costs and I’m very happy with it.

You look like someone who loves girls. How do you cope with girls?

One philosophy my mother taught me is to treat a girl the same way you’ll like another guy to treat your sister. For me, I don’t have brothers and women mean a lot to me. I grew up among women and I know how to handle women although I’m not a flirt. I know my family background and I stay away from anything my parents won’t be happy about. Although they’re gone, I know what they’d have loved me to be.

Which is your most embarrassing moments with girls?

I have faced a lot of moments but I don’t see them as embarrassing. I have a girlfriend and I’m faithful to my relationship. I don’t do stuff outside my relationship.
Read more »