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Universal Music buys majority stake in Don Jazzy’s Mavin
Universal Music buys majority stake in Don Jazzy’s Mavin

Universal Music buys majority stake in Don Jazzy’s Mavin

Universal Music Group has announced a majority investment in the Nigeria-based Afrobeats powerhouse label Mavin Global (Mavin).


The label, based in Lagos, is home to such hits as Rema’s “Calm Down” — the Selena Gomez-featuring remix of which was No. 12 on Variety’s 2023 Hitmakers chart and is the most-viewed video on YouTube by an African artists — and other artists including Ayra Starr, Ladipoe, Johnny Drille and more.

The deal remains subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close later this year.

Founded in 2012 by artist-producer-executive Michael Collins Ajereh (aka Don Jazzy), Mavin has played a pivotal role in breaking Afrobeats artists within Africa, and beyond.

Other top artists on the label include Crayon, Magixx, Bayanni, Boyspyce, DJ Big N and Lifesize Teddy. Ayra Starr’s track “Rush” was nominated for the inaugural Best African Music Performance Grammy and its music video is the most viewed music video by a female Nigerian artist on YouTube.

The Mavin team in Nigeria will be supported by UMG’s global network of labels and businesses.

Currently distributed internationally (excluding Africa) through Virgin Music Group with Rema, Mavin and its roster are already integrated into UMG’s unrivalled network, with multiple signings across U.S. labels, including Republic partnering for Ayra Starr, and Interscope for Lifesize Teddy.

According to the announcement, Mavin will maintain autonomy over its strategy and future talent development. As part of the agreement, founder and CEO Don Jazzy and COO Tega Oghenejobo will continue leading the company.


The “mission” is anchored in two initiatives: Mavin’s Artist Academy, which trains new talent in music and performance skills and builds connections within the roster, and their executive leadership program, which seeks to develop the next generation of music industry talent in Africa.

In 2022 Africa represented the fastest-growing continent for recorded music consumption, with Sub-Saharan Africa growing at 34.7% year on year, according to the IFPI, the only region to grow more than 30% that year. In the first half of 2023 streams of Afrobeats in the US market increased by 34% year on year.

Don Jazzy said: “I’m proud of the artists, careers and brand we’ve built that have made Mavin the force it is today. In this historic partnership with UMG, we will continue that mission in Africa and across the globe.”

Tega Oghenejobo said:” With our proven history of collaborations within the UMG family, we have a strong belief that they are the ideal partner for the next phase of our growth, given the diversity and potential of our business. UMG is home to some of the world’s foremost music entrepreneurs and artists, making them a perfect match for our aspirations. By collaborating with UMG, we are dedicated to cultivating a vibrant creative environment that propels African music to new heights on the global stage.”

Lucian Grainge, Chairman & CEO of Universal Music Group, said, “Our criteria for identifying partners is straightforward:  great artists, great entrepreneurs, great people.  With Don Jazzy, Tega, the Mavin Global team and their artist roster, we’ve found ideal partners with whom to grow together.  Mavin’s brilliant artists have been catalysts in the transformation of Afrobeats into a global phenomenon and we’re thrilled to welcome them into the Universal Music Group family.”

According to the announcement, TPG has fully exited the business, while Kupanda Capital will a remain minority investor and strategic adviser. UMG was advised by Freshfields, Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie and Bowmans. Mavin was represented by Shot Tower Capital in the transaction and Reed Smith LLP and Olaniwun Ajayi LP served as legal advisers.

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