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Dre London Launched Post Malone. Now, He’s Launching a Tequila

The business mogul steps out from behind the scenes with Don Londrés, a premium tequila inspired by artistry and culture
Eric Cui

P icture Miami the other weekend, as thousands of people descended upon the sun-soaked Magic City for the first-ever Miami Grand Prix. As dozens of race cars whipped around the three-mile track, partygoers were packed into the Hard Rock Beach Club near turn 13, enjoying drinks and music turned up as loud as the engines whizzing by. In a tightly-crammed cabana just off the main dancefloor and pool deck, Dre London found himself in a decidedly different position: as the center of attention.

Best-known for guiding Post Malone’s career (and turning the singer into a full-blown superstar), London is one of the most influential music managers and executives in the business today. As the founder of management firm London Entertainment Group, and the independent record label London Music Group, the UK native has repped artists like Tyla Yaweh and Dzeko, in addition to Malone, while helping to shape culture with the digital platform AUX Live, which offers streaming concerts, documentaries and live events.

But on this weekend, London was trying out a different role, stepping into solo spotlight for the first time with the launch of his new tequila brand, Don Londrés.

A premium tequila made alongside the famous González family of Mexico (whose tequila-maker lineage goes back nearly a century), Don Londrés launches this month with a smooth and creamy Blanco expression that’s perfect for summer sipping. Made at a traditional distillery with 100% agave, the tequila incorporates citrus notes with the freshness of green mint and a subtle caramel-like sweetness to finish it off. London says he was compelled to start Don Londrés after having trouble finding a tequila he actually wanted to drink and serve.

“Tequila has always been a part of my life, when I’m out touring, partying, working,” he tells Rolling Stone. “And I felt like tequila deserved to get an original, non-additive, no-added sugar, real 100% agave [option],” he says. “No wake-up-feeling-bad-in-the-morning feeling – just something with a natural, pure taste.”

don londres tequila

Buy Don Londrés Tequila Blanco $49.99

While London’s previous brand collaborations have seen him working behind-the-scenes — say, on the launch of Post Malone’s wildly successful Maison No. 9 Rose — Don Londrés sees the UK-born impresario flexing his entrepreneurial chops as founder, creator and face of the brand. It’s something the 40-year-old says he never expected to be doing at this stage of his career, until the pandemic changed the way he saw the world — and himself.

“I came up with the idea, 2018, 2019, just when things were going so crazy with touring and Post was exploding,” London says. “I don’t know if the timing was right or if the timing was perfect for me to go and put a lot of time and effort into something like this. But then 2020 hit and we were forced to stop.”

With touring on hiatus and the country on lockdown, London suddenly found himself with something he had been seeking: “time.” He decided to use the time to finally move his tequila idea forward. “I didn’t want to just jump into something I didn’t know, so I had to go and learn,” he says, describing a trip to Mexico where he toured the agave fields and met with his now-tequila-maker. “My first-ever trip to Mexico was for tequila.”

dre london don londres tequila

The story of how Dre London went to Mexico is long and convoluted and — as London tells it — involves the driver of a sprinter van who drove him to Tyga’s house in Palm Springs one night only to end up drunk and half-naked in the pool. When it was time to return to LA, the driver — by now having been chastised by London for his antics — began excitedly pitching London an introduction. “He starts swerving in car,” London recalls, “Like he’s turning around cause I’m behind him and he’s swerving. Then he says, ‘Oh my lawyer represents one of the biggest premium tequila brands ever made in our generation.'”

For London, who at that point hadn’t told anyone that he was trying to launch a tequila, the moment was proof that his instincts were spot on. “I was like, ‘What?‘” London recalls, eyes widening. “I’m listening to this guy I don’t know from a hole in the wall, who had no clue [what I was working on], no clue that I was already having branding done for the bottle and all this different stuff. I already had ideas for what I wanted this vision to look like before even having the distiller.”

The next day, London met with the tequila lawyer. A week later, London was in Guadalajara with a team of associates, personally tasting and selecting the liquid that would become Don Londrés’ first release.

“For a guy who’s never been to Mexico before, I took a risk and it was a gut feeling,” he explains. “I felt the same gut feeling when I met Post Malone and his name wasn’t even Post Malone.”

While London has helped Malone land endorsements for everything from Doritos to Crocs, he says he wanted the tequila to stand on its own, without any needing any A-list association. “You can’t just say, ‘Oh, I want to do a tequila and think that it’s going to work because I manage Post Malone,” he says. “I’m not blasting Post’s face all over the box and I’m not trying to have it as the next celebrity brand – I want to do tequila and do it right. I want to do it for the drink that I drink, and for the drink I love.”

Related: Post Malone Is Apparently a Fashion Icon Now, But Who the Heck Is Buying His Stuff?

There’s another reason why London is so passionate about his new tequila, and it also came from something that happened in 2020. “I just remember the pandemic, the time, the world, the energy and George Floyd just happened,” he says. “There were a lot of things that were going on in the world at that time. Why would you ever see an older Mexican guy talking about wanting to get in business with a guy that looks like me? And so,” he continues, “what you see on the back of the bottle, other than the discussion [we had], is you can see the energy of a love.”

London pauses to collect his thoughts. “It’s hard to explain into words,” he finally says, “but there was something magical that happened around a time where things were happening in our world. And it felt like I had an evolution.”

The man who catapults artists to superstardom, alongside a host of multimillion-dollar ventures to his name, says he’s not doing Don Londrés for clout — but rather, for the culture.

“How do I, Dre London, a black guy from London, England, who has had to go through so much in his life to get to where he is today fall into this?” he asks. “Name me a guy from London that comes from the walk of life where I come from to be able to do this. I’m pushing the narrative for people that look like me, people that actually want to believe that they could do something and I’m saying, ‘Yes, you can actually do this.’ That’s a big thing of what I stand for,” London says: “inspiring others. And I want this tequila to inspire you when you drink it.”

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood

Picture Miami again, with Post Malone performing to a sold-out crowd at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. It’s an official Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix concert and the owners of the Seminole Hard Rock have let London bring a few bottles of Don Londrés to the venue to introduce to the crowd. As part of the celebration, the iconic “Guitar Hotel” has been illuminated with the bottle’s unique shape on its 450-feet exterior façade. Reps from F1 are in attendance, as are executives from record labels, Live Nation and the Hard Rock chain. But so are thousands of fans, singing, dancing and discovering Don Londrés for the first time.

The next day at the beach club, London says, he realized just how special this tequila could be. “The staff in front of me were carrying our bottles to our cabana, and this guy nearby says to his dad, ‘Hey dad, that’s the new tequila I like!'”

“He had no clue that me, the guy standing behind him, was working on the tequila,” London says, noticeably emotional. “I really froze. Hearing this guy say to his dad, ‘That’s that new tequila I like’ was just a special moment for me. Something hit me bro,” he confesses, “in my soul.”

dre london post malone

London’s legacy may always be tied to Post Malone in some shape or form, but with Don Londrés, he’s ready to make a mark for himself. “This didn’t fall into my lap,” he says; “it met between the middle of preparation meets opportunity. And if you’re prepared for the opportunity, in the middle, people call it luck. And for some reason, it was my time. I just felt like it was the stars aligning. And the only magical thing I could ever say that’s mirrored this for me, is when I met Post. It felt like, ‘Okay, yeah, I feel that feeling again.'”

London’s advice for others is the same advice he’s learning to heed for himself, as he prepares to launch Don Londrés into market. “You have to be the person who convinces everyone. You have to be the person who’s like, ‘Yo, this is why this is good,” he says. Whether you’re managing a global superstar or just building a brand from scratch, “You have to always be your own cheerleader.”