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Stand up for your stripe - Beer giant celebrates 100 years with genre-crossing EP

Published:Sunday | July 15, 2018 | 12:00 AMKimberley Small/Gleaner Writer
Managing Director, Red Stripe, Ricardo Nuncio (right), takes a selfie with singer Ed Robinson.
Dancehall diva Tifa.
J-Summa, whose song is the sound track for the new commercial.
Agent Sasco, one of the featured artistes on the Ep performing at last Friday’s EP launch.

In celebration of its 100th anniversary, beer giant Red Stripe has taken on the tag-line 'Stand Up For Your Stripe', with the release of the Journey With Stripe EP chronicling the history and development of Jamaican music from mento to dancehall.

The EP was launched last Friday along with the beer company's new global campaign.

"As you all know, we turn 100 this year, and what better way to celebrate than launching our new global campaign? First of all, we have our new head of marketing coming straight from South Africa - Nomonde Donsa. This lady made this amazing campaign become a reality," Ricardo Nuncio, managing director of Red Stripe, said.

According to Nuncio, Donsa shifted the company's approach to attracting international attention to the brand, particularly by highlighting Jamaican culture.

"We were trying to make a global campaign fit in our global markets, and then we were trying to make it work for Jamaica. And when [Donsa] came, she said, 'Guys, you have it all wrong. Jamaica has such an amazing culture. You have so many things to be proud of. You have to root it in Jamaica, and it will work globally.' That was the shift that made things possible," Nuncio said.

Scheduled for release on August 31, the seven-song EP features the Blue Glaze Mento Band, Ed Robinson, Tosh Alexander, Chris Martin, Tifa, Agent Sasco, and upcoming artiste J-Summa, as well as production by multi-Grammy-winning Jamaica-born musician Pablo Stennett.

J-Summa has a major role in the global campaign as he sings the EP's lead single - Keeping It Up - featured in the company's new commercial.

"J-Summa's performance was electric, and we are extremely proud of his growth throughout this process working with us," said Nasha-Monique Douglas, senior brand manager for Red Stripe global, domestic, and international brands. She continued: "This is just a drop in the bucket to our commitment to endorsing local talent. This is how we stand up for music development."

J-Summa was equally pleased with the end product. "It was a rewarding experience, working with top artistes and a musical legend like Pablo. I have to give it up to Red Stripe every time for giving the youths a chance and providing me with this opportunity to set off my career. I'm just grateful to be a part of the Red Stripe journey."


The commercial


The commercial follows the familiar formula of displaying the greenery and vibrant, partying ways of the Jamaican people. Scenes from Cane River Falls, Fleet Street's now-famous murals, and the Blue Mountain range serve as backdrop for the ad, which is sound-tracked by Keeping It Up.

"It's going to go beyond Jamaica, and I'm sure it's going to stand the test of time. Cheers for another 100 years!" Nuncio said.

Part proceeds from the EP sales will go towards the We Are Tomorrow Foundation, which is focused on nurturing the talents of aspiring Jamaican musicians between the ages of 10 and 19 years old. The foundation will focus on young people in Spanish Town, St Catherine, Stennett's hometown. The not-for-profit initiative seeks to have an impact inner-city youth by exposing them to the art of music with the hope of reducing incidents of violence.