July 25, 2011

How Well Do You Know Don Jazzy? Here Is Jimmy's Interview With Don Jazzy's Father

Collins Enebeli

Its no news that the romance between Collins Ifeanyi Onwuneme Ajereh Enebeli And Patience Enebeli produced Micheal Enebeli (popularly known as Don Jazzy), James Enebeli, Joy Solano (married to Solano), and DPrince (oh, sorry I never asked for his real name). Little did Collins know that the foundation of today's success has been carefully crafted and executed by him when he gave birth to these kids turned stars.

Collins Enebeli was involved in everything from the production and presentation of the artists he managed, promoted, marketed, and publicly defended. Collins is a trustee, and   founding executive member of AMAN (Artist Managers Association in Nigeria). This association brought together artist managers from all corners of nigeria.  A diverse organization which  heralded new talented, business savvy, and intellectually  creative minds of  those years. The organization harmonized all existing  forms of music in the industry from the mid 1980's to the late 1990's. Beside his commitment to managing, producing, promoting, and marketing artists, Collins was also at the front-line of war against piracy. His contributions, although unnoticed by many, energized nigerian artists to vigorously defend their professional rights. He was one of the patrons of Vanguard For Musicians Rights (VFMR).

 Check Out The interview  He Had With Jimmy Sonde

Jimmy: Tell me how your sons; don jazzy and dprince started their music career?
Their career was not a chance thing. What they are doing today did not start overnight. They grew up in the industry. I literarily took them along in my professional life. Once I identified their interest in music, and where I wanted to pitch my tent.  I started grooming them to take over from me . I made sure they were exposed to the rudiments and challenges of the industry early in life. I encouraged their  creative skills and vigor.  They followed me to studios, events, rallies, workshops, concerts, TV stations, and I got them musical instruments and private trainers. I suggested that they join musical clubs and church choirs. I enrolled them in computer schools in both Nigeria and Europe because I recognized very early the future  impact of technology, or the digital world. I made sure they read books from my showbiz library. I have books on everything from artist management to biographies  of successful artists-past or present. I made both technological and intellectual resources available to my children. Whenever there was a family event like a party, or any celebration; for example my wedding anniversary, I allowed my children  to perform live with a band to the delight of guests. They kept getting better  and better, and I knew they would do well with that kind of background. Besides, there were always showbiz stars around me and my home at all times. At the slightest opportunity we had, they jammed with us just for fun. I had people like Nkono Teles, Lemmy Jackson,Mosco Egbe, Toks Shotade and Paul Tao around me at the time.  The bottom line was for them  to understand  the biz behind the biz and to have the courage to keep taking the stakes  higher and higher because to whom much was given much is expected, and here we are..
Don Jazzy, James, Joy, And Dprince

  Jimmy: Were you in support of don jazzy's music career at first?
I, myself and my wife are in total support of Donjazzy's music career from the on set and gave all the support we believed that as parents we are expected to provide.

  Jimmy: Can you trace don jazzy's achievements to any childhood trait or happening?
We knew from the time Don was born that he was going to be a music loving person and he had always had access to good music from various world music genre considering that he was born into a music loving family that have a long history of active paticipation in music business ventures and activism from both my family side and my wife's family side  as well. My late dad was a bandleader in his youth days when empire days used to be celebrated and he also played the grand organ in the cathedral of Holy trinity church Onitsha in those days. My mum was a  very good singer and was instrumental  to making me have collection of songs as she always had latest editions of record song books and knew  all the songs that were hits in both America and Uk  and sang them all with ease as if she participated in the production. I grew up loving music with a strong passion.  My wife on her own part is a good  and very passionate singer with very strong interest in choral activities particularly in the church choir where we  met and got married  with  Don as  our first son. My wife's father was also a well known choirmaster who was  very famous in the eastern part of Nigeria for his exceptional choirmaster's skills. At Don's birth, there was so much music played around him that in his subconciousness, he may have seen  life as all about music and great beats. He started participating in  the church choir at a very tender age and showed great interest in playing all musical instruments. I followed that up by providing all sorts of musical instruments at home and got music teachers intermitently  to help sharpen their skills as  it was more of  a family fun thing but with a great expectation that  the future will  be definately positive.
Old Pic Of Dprince with is sister, Joy
Jimmy: Tell me one thing you admire about don jazzy
Don from childhood showed great sense of commitment to his interest in music and was and is still very creative, futuristic in his concepts and imagination. Once I noticed those atributes in him,  I made sure I granted him access to meet with great musicians who I was working  with then   so  that he could  experience the studio culture and mingle with stars even  before  he was six years old. That was a source of additional inspiration for him to see  those whom he appreciated working live in studio and he even participated  in  a production where he provided chorus and featured alongside other cast like Lemmy Jackson,  NKono Teles, Paul Tao, ToKs Shotade, Basil Barap, Mosco Egbe,Enebeli Elebuwa etc   and many other greats of that era  who visited the studio while we  were  on call  and appreciated his talent. People like Geraldo Pino,Tera Kota,Eric Kol Akaeze,Kim Lawani, Eddie Jay Omodiaogbe, Feladey, Hakeem Ikandu, Amadi Ogbonnaya of Vanguard News
Collins, Koko grandfather (That's what he calls himself)
 paper to mention but a few who at that time all saw  him to be of  a very promising future and hailed  his talent.I admire Donjazzy's cool headedness and humility coupled with his ever enthusiasm to move  on  to the next level at all times.  He is always coming up with something refreshingly different at all times  and not  afraid to aim higher.
Jimmy: What was it like raising don jazzy? Has anything changed about him, I mean before and after he entered limelight?
 Donjazzy is not different from who he had always been. He is still the same person but stardom have made him less visible in  public of which he  was not really an outdoor person in the first place.  Now that he have his own stable  of artistes  and his quest  to make each of them unique in  their own individual right,  he  have become more busy considering  the challenges  of  ensuring that he comes up  with undisputably good  beats and make his artistes successful.

  Jimmy: Things don jazzy was fond of while growing up?
 Donjazzy's main interest is his music. His first instrument was the harmonica mouth organ which he plays well . His mum bought him an acoustic guitar for his 9th birthday and he was always twanging it to relax and also plays the domestic grand casio beat bank piano we had at home. He plays the jazz drum well and is a champion percursionist. He also loves  to sing in parts with  his mum and have a rare vibrato voice. He also loves his mother's cookery so much and always look  forward  to home food.

  Jimmy: Let's talk nature versus nurture...is it that they just chose to be musicians, like what nature gave them, or you nurtured them since u were into music too?
I did not just nuture them into showbiz  cos I was involved. I found out that they had passion for it and were interested in following in my footsteps so I supported  them as  best as  I  could.  I, on my part did not just love music for music  sake. My deep interest in music was more of the activism aspect to ensure  that music biz was not seen  as just a biz for dregs of the society but should be seen as a real responsible   biz that must be  engaged in by biz  minded people and that was why,  I threw  my weight behind  efforts to ensure that there is proper structure and that  rights of artistes are protected against the backdrop of the infringement  of their interlectual property rights.I am a patron of Vanguard for musicians Rights.  I consequently embarked on ensuring  with other like minded  practitioners that proper professional artiste management culture thrives in  Nigeria to better the lot of Nigerian artistes who before now did  not fully
 understand how commercialy exploitable their work can guarranttee food on their table. Most artistes who did not engage the services of competent artiste managers unfortunately did not transform the wealth of their creativity or fame to wealth. I saw the need for the biz behind the biz in  the career of any artiste and that was why I am one of the trustees  of artiste managers association  in Nigeria (AMAN) and had always been interested in  the business  of music and related intermediary services. I know that my boys  may have been  influenced in  one way or the other  by my activities and  are well knowledgeable in these  aspects  and are not doing  badly in engaging  the services of professionals in all they do in their career.

  Jimmy: You had thought your Son, don jazzy could have gone this far?
As for my son coming  this far as  most people think, I thank God for the progress made  but like Oliver Twist wanting more, success have no limits. As far as  there is life, We believe that by God's grace that there is still so much that could be achieved. With the kind of background that my boys have and their know how in the biz, I am not surprised at their achievements and I keep praying like most parents would do, for them to keep  doing  better  and better.  May God help them and other artistes too because it is not easy to come this far and we do know that Rome was not  built in a day.

Watch Out For The Part Two Of The Interview



  1. those are some really nice pictures

  2. Great job Jimmy...quite inspirin

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