Thursday, August 16, 2007

Heineken Showcases Independent Achievers in Hip Hop and R&B

What complements a cold, frothy beer better than salty peanuts, seafood, or pizza? Of the other multiple choices that exist, place music at the top of the list. Not just any kind of music, but soul music--music that springs from the spirit of African-American culture. R&B, hip-hop, neo-soul, jazz, gospel, the blues--all of it defines the sound. And when you combine this music of the soul with a drink usually associated with high spirits, you've got a winning combination that not only tastes good, but sounds even better.

Heineken USA obviously understands this relationship between business and culture. Through Red Star Soul, a series of invitation-only musical events, the company not only promotes soul music but also the artists that work hard to create it and keep it flowing year after year, city after city.

"Heineken Red Star Soul was created to honor the achievements of soul and R&B musicians and others who inspire others with their talent and tenacity," said Heineken USA brand director Andy Glaser. "With our concert performances and by honoring our Heineken Independent Achievers, we salute luminaries and rising stars who continue to make valuable contributions to soul and R&B music."

Independent Achievers are chosen in every city of the Red Star Tour by a committee of stellar artists and music industry insiders. The 2007 award recipients include:
  • J. Carter, Atlanta founder of Sol Fusion, a premiere event promotion company
  • Antonio "AD the Voice Delgado", Los Angeles based MC, Rhodes Scholar, and Co-CEO of Statik Entertainment
  • J. Dilla, the late influential Detroit hip hop producer and former Slum Village member
  • W. Ellington Felton, D.C. Renaissance man--poet, artist, writer, and actor
  • DJ Jazzy Jeff, South Philly DJ and Touch of Jazz Founder, producing such acts as Will Smith, Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, and Floetry
  • Gerald LeVert, the late Cleveland based singer, songwriter, and beloved performer. Former member of groups LeVert and LSG
  • Ralph McDaniels, N.Y. based founder of Video Music Box, the first tv program to feature hip hop videos
  • No I.D., Chicago producer that helped lay the musical foundation of artists Common and Kanye West.

Pictured above is this year's selection committee: (l-r) The 2006 Washington, D.C., Heineken Independent Achiever Award and current Jive artist, Raheem DeVaughn; Multiple Grammy winning songwriter and producer, Brian Michael-Cox; Vice President of Writer Publisher Relations, BMI, Catherine Brewton; 2006 Atlanta Heineken Independent Achiever Award recipient and founder of FunkJazzKafe, Jason Orr; and former Roc-a-Fella Vice President and lifestyle specialist, Kenny Burns

Recently at a private reception at the Social Hollywood in Los Angeles, I asked committee members in attendance how they selected this year's award recipients, and here's what they had to say:


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Pics from the reception:

Kenny Burns & Eddie Levert

Raheem DeVaughn

Eddie Levert, No I.D., Antonio Delgado, J. Carter, W. Ellington Felton

Jason Orr, Raheem DeVaugn, Heineken Brand Manager, Madison, and Kenny Burns

As mentioned headlining this year's tour is new singing sensation Chrisette Michele, Grammy Award winner, Common, and one of hip hop's favorites, DJ Nice. To get tour dates and more information click here: Heineken Red Star Soul.

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