Wed | Aug 15, 2018

Red Stripe bridges gap with newest collaboration

Published:Friday | September 30, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Wayne Marshall (left) and Ernie Smith catch up while behind the scenes of Red Stripe's Christmas commercial shoot.

Ernie Smith has stepped back into the studio to reinvent his hit song, Life is Just for Living.

The song, which was originally created for Red Stripe in 1972, has been remixed to feature Wayne Marshall and up-and-coming songstress Mystic Davis. The remixed track was recorded in Grafton studios by producer Mikey Bennett in a new project commissioned by Red Stripe for the brand's Christmas campaign.

'Life is Just for Living' was one of the first full-length commercials in Jamaica and eventually went on to win the grand prize in the 1972 Yamaha Music Festival in Tokyo.

"It kind of feels like a new life for me," said Smith when asked about the new collaboration. "The song meant so much to me in the beginning, and to have it re-emerge with interest from this generation makes everything feel brand new."

Marshall and Davis were equally excited to be in the studio to remix the song.




"Ernie gave us the freedom to be respectfully irreverent," said a laughing Marshall as he described his studio experience with Bennett and Smith.

Davis, who began her career as a dancer, will debut her vocal skills on this project. "I was surrounded by Mikey Bennett, Wayne Marshall and Ernie Smith," said Davis. "It was a bit overwhelming because it's such a big deal."

"This collaboration is really years in the making," said Nasha Douglas, senior brand manager for Red Stripe. "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."

The new song bridges the gap between the 1972 generation of Red Stripe drinkers and that of millennials.

"Not very many brands have stood the test of time like Red Stripe, and it's culturally aligned to Jamaica, so it's always great to be a part of something so big," said Marshall. "It's amazing to be representing the now generation of a brand like Red Stripe."