‘MAVIN ACTIVATED’ as Don Jazzy says every time he unveils a new signee; but never really deactivates their ‘Mavin-hood’ when they leave. With Tiwa Savage and Reekado Banks, the two most prominent individuals in the MAVIN line-up gone from the label, speculations as to what’s next for the Record label is on the lips and in the hearts of their biggest fans.
Even before leaving the label, Tiwa Savage was already making boss moves and breaking new ground, but most people would attribute her successes to her affiliation with the label. Reekado Banks had somewhat remained the same while in the group, revolving around the same scenario, not doing spectacular things but not being redundant either, and at a point it was obvious he realised that to open up a new chapter he had to close an old one.
MAVIN has safely been a haven for most artistes because of how kind-hearted the head honcho, Don Jazzy is; artistes like Iyanya have actually found solace there, while reeling from a bad management deal and waiting for a new one. But over the years, it has been quite evident that the label isn’t doing much as regards doling out top artistes, something Don Baba J used to be an expert at.
The label is presently home to recording artists such as Korede Bello, Dr. SID, D’Prince, Di’Ja, Johnny Drille, Poe, DNA Twins and most recently, Rema. A close look at these aforementioned artistes is a clear indication that there is no strong link, no mind-blowing artiste that will probably lead the Supreme MAVIN Dynasty to the promise land.
As a respectable people, we as Nigerians tend to give veterans their credit and that for one is why some think the MAVIN Crew is even still a phenomenon. Since ‘Surulere’ Dr. Sid has been up and down, going through midlife crisis and things, failing to represent as much while D’Prince picks any particular day and any particular song to release, just to remind us that he still exists.
Di’ja on her part is obviously more focused on her family life as she deliberately isn’t doing anything or being anywhere. Korede Bello seems to still be stuck in the awe of being signed under ‘Don Jazzy’s’ label, neither moving forward nor back in his musical career.
Johnny Drille has found his calling, he doesn’t seem to be bothered about awards and performances as long as his ‘army of girls’ turn-up when he decides to do a small show (yea, most of Johnny Drille fans are girls). LadiPoe or Poe is the only MAVIN rapper right now, and in true MAVIN fashion, his shine has been somewhat dulled because I think they still do not know how to handle a rapper, hardcore or not. The DNA twins are in a world of their own, since getting a VJ spot on MTV Base, they seem to be more focused on talking on screen than actually singing on screen, but that works too.
Finishing off with the man of the moment, 18-year-old Rema, the newest puppy in the kernel or ‘baby dragon’ as D’Prince has tagged him: it is quite easy to get caught up in the frenzy, being the new kid on the block, and a MAVIN at that and quickly forget that it takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to get to the top. He comes in with a bang-da-da-dang! Releases a 3-song EP titled REMA, already the 15-18year-old females are on his case. He’s a star! But how sustainable is that bang? Time will tell.
This piece hasn’t been written to discredit the hard work the MAVIN Crew puts into what they do, just to draw attention to the subject matter; are the MAVINS really activated? If yes, how activated are they? If no, where are they getting it wrong?
Listen to Rema’s hit song, Dumbei