Having helped catapult artistes to superstardom, including Post Malone and many other musical artistes, London-born Dre London — whose grandparents are from Jamaica — is ready to take on the tequila business with his Don Londrés brand.
"I had a passion for tequila for many years. It's what I like to drink. I also became really inspired to find the line between the luxurious and aspirational aspects of the tequila market while still making it affordable, and that's what drove me to make Don Londrés," the music executive, founder and CEO of London Entertainment Inc, disclosed in an interview with the Jamaica Observer.
He shared how the idea for Don Londrés came about.
"In 2018 I really started thinking: 'What if I had my own tequila?' Still, during that time, Post [Malone] was touring in amphitheatres and everything was growing so quickly so I didn't have time to follow that dream. That changed in 2020 when the world shut down."
Despite the highly competitive alcohol market, Dre London is determined to get Don Londrés off the ground.
"I wear it. While we're talking, right now, I have the logo on the left side of my T-shirt, which falls near the heart, but also, I hypothetically wear Don Londrés every single day. I put my all into everything I do, but this felt different. This is the second business venture in my life that I've managed this closely — the first being Post Malone. I have the same feelings about its potential that I felt when I started working with Post, and everyone else can feel it too, from the people that taste it to the distributors I talk to," he shared.
Since launching the product, Dre London has managed to have the brand stand on its own without much fanfare or celebrity endorsement.
"We launched during the Post Malone tour in September and the natural hype that happened from people tasting the tequila kicked in the FOMO [fear of missing out], and that brought a lot of natural marketing to the brand. Also, I'm a well-known person in the industry outside of the celebrity of it all. Yes, I might be known for working with Post, but I'm also known for being Don Londrés. I'm a household name in my own right, so people expect that consistent level of greatness in everything that I make and do," he said.
Asked how involved he has been in terms of the development, taste, packaging, and distribution of Don Londrés, he said: "Every single step you can think of regarding this process I've been a part of. From going to Mexico non-stop for two-and-a-half years to talking to Francisco Gonzalez, the distiller, about the specific tequila blend I wanted them to make — it all really hit home in the best way possible. I've been hands-on with every element of the design from the bottle, the logo, the box, even down to the way the bottle cap closes, is me."
His Jamaican heritage is also close to his heart, Dre London is keen on establishing Don Londrés in Jamaica and the Caribbean.
"Don Londrés should be here in October or November 2022. But no later than November because, as you're reading this, I've already sent samples to hotels and influencers in Jamaica. It's important to me to make this success a part of my Jamaican heritage. I'm thinking of going back home. There are so many brands like the Casamigos of the world that aren't thinking about how to break the Jamaican market. But I am because I know the market, I know the culture, and I know how well Don Londrés would fit into the culture," he reasoned.
Having grown up in Brixton, south London, Dre London experienced Jamaican culture first-hand.
"South London is Jamaica. I was born and bred in Brixton, South London. Anyone in Jamaica knows the name Brixton; it's in their blood. People that left Jamaica went straight to Brixton, including my grandma and my grandad."
He continued, "I have been to Jamaica more times than I can count. It's in my bones, it's in my soul, and this stretch of time because of COVID-19 is the longest I've ever been away from Jamaica, but I'll be back soon. The Jamaican roots are everything to me. It's a way of life, it's how I move, it's probably the reason we're sitting here right now talking about Don Londrés."
While he touts his tequila venture, Dre London is best known for his ties with Post Malone, a multi-platinum-selling American rapper.
Post Malone, whose real name is Austin Richard Post, has gained acclaim for blending genres and sub-genres of hip hop, pop, R&B, and trap.
He began his music career in 2011. Four years later he gained recognition with his debut single White Iverson, which peaked at number 14 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
Post Malone eventually signed a recording contract with Republic Records and released Stoney (2016), his first studio album. It contains the diamond-certified single Congratulations (featuring Quavo) and set the record for most weeks (77) on the US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart.
To date, Post Malone has released four albums. Among his Billboard hits are Sunflower, featuring Swae Lee; Enemies, featuring DaBaby; Paranoid, Notice Me, featuring Migos; Out Right Now, featuring The Weeknd; Better Now, Psycho, and Rock Star.
He has sold more than 13 million albums, 95 million digital singles, and is ranked as the eighth best-selling digital artiste.
Malone has won 10 Billboard Music Awards, three American Music Awards, and one MTV Video Music Award. He has received nine Grammy Award nominations.
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