Ernie Smith, Wayne Mar­shall, Mys­tic Davis col­lab for Red Stripe Christ­mas

Jamaica Gleaner - - ENTERTAINMENT - En­ter­tain­ment@glean­erjm.com

THIS CHRIST­MAS, Red Stripe cel­e­brates with a blast from the past. Bar­relling back­wards over four decades into their archives, Red Stripe has reimag­ined the iconic 1972 Ernie Smith clas­sic song and com­mer­cial Life Is Just For Liv­ing this time in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Wayne Mar­shall and Mys­tic Davis.

Ernie Smith recorded Life Is Just For Liv­ing specif­i­cally for a Red Stripe ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign, co­in­ci­den­tally mak­ing an in­deli­ble mark on the coun­try’s me­dia his­tory, be­com­ing Ja­maica’s first ful­l­length com­mer­cial.

Com­mis­sioned by Red Stripe and de­vel­oped by Si­mon Bow­den of Prism Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Ja­maica, the beer com­pany’s 2016 Christ­mas cam­paign will fea­ture the 1972 clas­sic’s remix.

AU­THEN­TI­CALLY JA­MAICAN

“Red Stripe is syn­ony­mous with the pro­mo­tion of mu­sic, and authentic Ja­maican mu­sic. When you think about things that are au­then­ti­cally Ja­maican, Red Stripe comes to mind,” Stacy-Ann Smith, Red Stripe’s brand and cor­po­rate public re­la­tions man­ager, told The Gleaner. “We wanted to use this project to bridge the gap be­tween the gen­er­a­tions, to in­tro­duce [the] 21st cen­tury to some of the clas­sics, some of the rich­ness of our mu­sic,” said Smith. “So we de­cided to marry the two. Kill two birds with one stone, right? And that’s ex­actly what we did in this re­gard.”

For dancer/record­ing artiste Mys­tic Davis, “Wayne and I are here to bridge the gap be­tween Ernie Smith and our gen­er­a­tion. I think I brought the sass and fem­i­nine en­ergy to con­nect this gen­er­a­tion with the last.”

Ac­cord­ing to Davis, her part of the project was pulled off in just one week­end – with the wide-age-rang­ing trio record­ing the remixed song one day, then shoot­ing their video the next.

“They showed us what the video looked like and what we were try­ing to recre­ate. And then we went to the studio!” she told The Gleaner.

“I was look­ing for­ward to work­ing,” Mar­shall told The Gleaner, as he was ap­proached ear­lier this year by Nasha Douglas, se­nior brand man­ager for Red Stripe.

“We went in studio with Mikey Ben­nett, went over ev­ery­thing and then they gave us a li­cence to be – in Mikey Ben­nett’s words, ‘re­spect­fully ir­rev­er­ent’,” he said. “He’s one of the po­ets in Ja­maican cul­ture that I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate,” Mar­shall con­tin­ued. “We got a chance to kind of play with it, put our spin to it, which was good. And, of course, Ernie be­ing there as the cre­ator, as the orig­i­na­tor of the melody and the lyrics, he was right there sup­port­ing. Him ah buss bere blank inna di studio! It’s very ex­cit­ing to know our in­put was so well re­ceived by them.”

“This col­lab­o­ra­tion is re­ally years in the mak­ing,” said Douglas. “As a brand, we’ve had many cam­paigns over the years, but Life Is Just For Liv­ing is per­haps the most iconic, as it cap­tures two of the brand’s ma­jor ten­ants – reg­gae mu­sic and authentic Ja­maican ex­pe­ri­ences.”

Up-and-com­ing singer Sa­man­tha Stra­chan (cen­tre) gets a photo op with two mu­si­cal icons Ernie Smith (left) and Wayne Mar­shall.

Direc­tor Darien Scott gets up close with Mys­tic Davis on the set of the mu­sic video-in­spired ad.

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