The Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project (SNEP) set for November 12 sets out to uncover the best of global nightlife, bringing together different cultures to create an extraordinary nightlife experience. More than 10,000 ideas have been submitted from all across the planet including new dance styles, music and trends in fashion. Here in Jamaica where music plays a major role in the island’s culture, dancing is going to essential to the success of the night.
As a consequence one of the world’s best deejays – DJ Baby Drew, as well as DJ Engineroom and DJ Sanjay are being brought in to elevate the hype around the night’s proceedings to unprecedented levels. Simply, the success of Jamaica’s SNEP experience rests with them. “The deejays will anchor the event,” says Smirnoff’s Safia Cooper of the party adventure that is set to be rolled out at Hope Gardens.
A huge dance floor will be installed and there will be a light show unlike anything ever seen in Jamaica before; pyrotechnics and LED tiles all working in combination to make the occasion memorable. As such the music will have to keep pace. “I want to bring to the occasion something different that people in Jamaica have never heard before,” said DJ Baby Drew, who has toured the world with pop music star Chris Brown. “I want to incorporate like House music with Dancehall music, infusing the two. It’s more an attitude thing. We’re going to dress a certain way, there won’t be a lot of talking it will be more music based. It’s going be a real Vegas kind-a-vibe, lot a lights, a lot of sound, a high-energy kind-a-vibe.”
Even though he was born and raised in the United States, DJ Baby Drew’s parents are Jamaican and he visits the island about twice a year so his Jamaican connections are very strong. “I’m the kind of guy who when he wakes up in the morning prefers some ackee and saltfish and some bananas and dumplings over bacon and eggs,” he joked. He was last here in July playing at Fully Loaded held at the Palisadoes race track so he plans to have a lot of local flavor in the mixes he plans to unleash on the Jamaican party crowd. “It’s going to have some (Vybz) Kartel, some Movado, we’re going to have some I-Octane; I’m going to try to do a I-Octane House Mix,” he said, his voice laden with anticipation.
DJ Baby Drew describes the SNEP as a ground-breaking experience that is only going to get bigger. “I love the idea. To do it like this is out of the box, and it’s something that will get bigger year after year because people are always wanting something new,” said the DJ who also hosts a radio show on Z104FM in Virginia Beach.
Like DJ Baby Drew, DJ Engineroom is also promising to bring something special to the occasion. Even though his entry into music came by way of Soca, DJ Engineroom eventually evolved into a disc jockey playing House and Electronic music and who plies his considerable skills here in Jamaica, the United Kingdom and East and West Coasts of the United States. “We want people dancing, not on your Blackberry, standing, holding up the wall kind of thing,” he said. “We want people to get out and move and shake it and have that kind of vibe and bring dancing back to party culture in Jamaica because it’s missing right now.”
Party fans can expect to hear him unleash a relatively new musical innovation called Dub-Step. “Dub-Step is Electronic music as well but it’s like a mix of dancehall, dub and hip hop and it’s the biggest thing in the UK right now,” he said. “It’s really slow and has like a massive bass-line and has a lot of remixes of things that people know like with Movado and some hip songs where you think it’s the regular song and then the Dub-Step bass drops in and just messes up the place.”
DJ Engineroom believes the SNEP experience is like a two-way street where Jamaicans can be brought up to speed on what’s popping in London and the rest of the world and and vice versa. “I think its dope, because it gets some of what is happening in the outside world to come into Jamaica a little quicker and people from other places get to experience some of the things popping here in Jamaica that the world has yet to catch up on.”