In a world where putting consumers before profit occurs as often as an eclipse, Nigerian Breweries Plc continues to obliterate competition with its Heineken Green Light party: an offshoot of Heineken’s ‘Dance More Drink Slow’ campaign, which is aimed at encouraging clubbers to drink moderately while still having premium fun.
The Heineken Green Light Party is a series of elite clubbing events, held on three nights across three clubs in Lagos, the nightlife capital of Africa’s most populous nation. It debuted last year with three international DJs—Benny “Benny D” Demus, Tim Westwood and Andrew Bisnaught, who’s more famously known by his stage name DJ Babey Drew. They teamed up with top-notch indigenous DJs Spinall, Xclusive and Neptune to deliver an incredible three-night club experience spiced with an electric mix of local and international songs at Club Escape, Spice Route and Club Quilox all in Lagos.
The first Heineken Green Light Party for 2015 has maintained the brand’s high standards, with four-time Grammy winning DJ collective Black Chiney playing alongside Nigeria’s Snoop da Damaja on April 5, 2015 at Club Quilox. At the event, while Black Chiney raised the tempo with hit tracks from Rihanna, Kanye West, Beyonce, Sean Paul and other international acts, DJ Snoop da Damaja doled out the best of Nigerian music.
Already, Lagos’ nightlife is currently undergoing a transformative experience, thanks to the eclectic mix of world renowned DJs spinning the wheels beside their Nigerian peers.
Nigeria’s biggest celebrities are a regular fixture at every Green Light Party, with the likes of Alex Okosi, 2face, Sound Sultan, Tunde and Segun Demuren, Uti Nwachukwu, Banky W, DJ Jimmy Jatt, Moet Abebe, DJ Humility and IK Ogbonna joining other clubbers for successive excitement-packed nights of music, fun and partying.
However, there exists a back-story to the Heineken Green Light Party, and it’s in the DJs that make it tick.
As a foremost brewer of Nigerians premium beer, Heineken’s choice of DJs is symbolic. Masters of their field, the Heineken Green Light Party DJs are brewers of sorts; while not tinkering with hops and barley to craft quality in liquid form like the folks at Nigerian Breweries Plc, these professionals are just as customer-oriented. These DJs are on turntables all over the world, simultaneously crafting keys, beats per minute, blending and manipulating song selection to deliver sets that keep dancefloors packed with the jet-set crowd.
There’s DJ Babey Drew, who shares a momentous date with Heineken. In 1998, the same year the first bottle of Heineken Lager rolled off the bottling lines of Nigeria’s largest brewing company, DJ Drew received his first set of turntables in college from his mother. From booking his first gig at 14, DJ Drew is now a powerhouse on the international music scene, rising through the ranks to first become the Official Tour DJ for Grammy Award-winning R&B sensation Chris Brown, and later becoming Breezy’s personal DJ.
Drew has gone on to work with a number of A-listers, including Lil’ Wayne, Jordin Sparks, Kelly Rowland and spins regularly for the Kardashian family. He has also performed in over 30 countries and sold out his own tours in Europe, Dubai, Africa, Brazil and Australia.
Just as much of a maestro in his field is DJ Benny-D, who is personal DJ to Akon, has worked for prominent labels, written theme music for the NBA and bagged numerous TV gigs under his belt, including performances at The Ellen Degeneres Show, MTV Europe Awards and the institution called Soul Train. It’s easy to think that all this, and the fact that Benny-D has performed in over 30 countries solely endeared him to the Heineken brand. However, just as crucial is one thing this Virgin-Islands native shares with the premium brewer: philanthropy. In 2011, DJ Benny-D’s long-time philanthropic work with local kids in his birth country led to an award as Global Ambassador to the Country of Liberia by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
Across the coast in Nigeria, the Heineken Africa Foundation (HAF), also in 2011 began its Jaundice in Babies Awareness screening programme, which is ongoing. In conjunction with Nigerian Breweries Plc, HAF has also donated a fully equipped Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) ward to the Hajia Gambo Sawaba General Hospital Zaria, Kaduna State, and purchased two dialysis machines for the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital to ensure HIV+ and Hepatitis B patients get access to dialysis.
Next up is world-famous Hip Hop DJ, Tim Westwood, who also takes pride of place in the Green Light Party line-up. Westwood has worked as host of MTV’s *‘Pimp My Ride,’ *and enjoys a close working relationship with several major urban artists, including Jay Z, Lil’ Wayne, Nicki Minaj and Drake.
He was named ‘Best UK Radio DJ’ at the MOBO Awards in 2000 and 2003. He is currently an in-house jockey at Capital Xtra. Westwood is currently the only well-known DJ playing Hip-Hop on popular radio in Britain. He seems to share a proudly-Nigerian streak with Heineken, featuring quite a number of Nigerian artistes on his show, including D’banj, Wizkid, Davido and Iyanya to rappers like M.I, Jesse Jagz, Ice Prince, and Show Dem Camp.
Black Chiney, headliners of April’s edition of the Heineken Green Light party are just as impressive. Renowned for their unique style and spectacular dancehall beats, Black Chiney have worked with global acts, including Rihanna, Snoop Dogg, Sean Paul, Mary J Blige and Estelle.
The perfect Blend
Beyond the star-studded DJ line-up ever present to thrill night clubbers, the Heineken Green Light party stays true to its roots. You can expect to see selfie sessions, Shoki dance competitions and many more delightful
Heineken’s Senior Brand Manager, Ngozi Nkwoji, confirms that at every step of the way, the brand’s choice of DJs for the event remains deliberate, to ensure a continuum with the spirit of its DSDM campaign.
“We are concerned about responsible living as much as we advise our consumers to have fun, so we never just hold an event without having personalities and individuals that are as driven and public-spirited as our brand. We decided that if we were going to bring international DJs to play alongside Nigeria’s best, then they would be people distinguished not just for show-business, but also for their strength of character, dedication to society and their shared values with our brand,” s*he said.
With the #HeinekenGreenLightParty, it’s clear that Heineken is not just about beer, but about taking responsibility by advocating moderation then, making sure the necessary accompaniments to our favourite alcoholic beverage—great music by great artists, friends and a big-enough dance floor—are present.
You can’t help but drink to that…unless you’re upset because you were not at the #HeinekenGreenLightParty, of course.