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WINNERS OF THIRD “PROJECT ALOFT STAR, AMPLIFIED BY MTV” MUSIC TALENT DISCOVERY COMPETITION REVEALED

All-Time High Response with More than 600,000 Votes Cast and Over 500 Original Song Entries Published This Year

Suggested social message: Winners of third “Project Aloft Star, Amplified by MTV” music talent discovery competition revealed! #aloftstarmtv

 

SINGAPORE, 10 OCTOBER 2016 - Cutting-edge Aloft® brand and global youth entertainment brand MTV today revealed the winners of the third annual Asia Pacific edition of music talent discovery competition Project Aloft Star, Amplified by MTV. They are Soph Retief for Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand), Wang Dazhi (a.k.a. Big Tattoo) for Greater China (China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan), Brown Whale for South Korea, and After Acoustics for India. The competition aims to identify and support the hottest emerging music acts in these markets. More than 600,000 online votes were cast and over 500 original song entries were published this year. These figures represent year-on-year increases of over 50% for the number of entries published and over 15% for the number of online votes cast.

 

The top five finalists for each cluster performed at the finals held at Aloft Hotels in Guangzhou (23 September) for Greater China, Seoul (30 September) for South Korea, Bengaluru (30 September) for India, and Bangkok (7 October) for Southeast Asia in front of a live audience and a panel of judges comprising of representatives from Aloft, MTV, and music industry experts. They were evaluated on music composition and song-writing skills, international appeal, originality and creativity, technical skill, “wow” factor, showmanship, and stage presence. Project Aloft Star 2015 winners Gusian Yu, Run Pussy Run, and Jenny & The Scallywags were special guest performers at the Greater China, India, and Southeast Asia finals respectively.

 

Each cluster winner walked away with US$10,000 cash prize and will be part of the MTV Seen videos of the finals, and profiled in individual winner vignettes to be featured on the competition website projectaloftstar.mtvasia.com. Wang Dazhi (a.k.a. Big Tattoo) will also be showcased in a segment on MTV TLC airing on MTV China. After Acoustics will get to embark on a five-city tour with Mixtape, India's premier artist management company. Additionally, the MTV Seen video of the Greater China finals will air on the MTV Taiwan and MTV China channels from 14 October. The MTV Seen video of the Southeast Asia finals will air on the MTV Asia channel from 21 October.

 

“Aloft is a brand built for early adopters who seek the newest trends in technology, design and music,” said Vincent Ong, Senior Brand Director, Asia Pacific Brand Management, Marriott International. “Since its introduction three years ago, Project Aloft Star has seen remarkable success in identifying the next generation of talent showcasing Asia at its best through original music representing the cultural and social diversity that is so rich in this region. With the music competition growing immensely stronger into its third year, Aloft Hotels has set itself apart in the hospitality industry as the leading platform for supporting talented musicians.”

“It’s heartening to see continued strong interest and support from fans and aspiring talents for the third Project Aloft Star, Amplified by MTV competition. Congratulations to the winners! A big thank you to everyone who voted and sent in their entries. The judges had a challenging and enjoyable job evaluating the submissions and finalists’ performances. It’s been great for MTV to partner with Aloft to increase visibility of these talented musicians and grow the appreciation of the music scene in the region. We hope this competition will motivate and inspire those in the field to keep creating and performing their music,” said Paras Sharma, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Southeast Asia, Viacom International Media Networks.

 

Wang Dazhi (a.k.a. Big Tattoo) (Greater China)

“Thank you Aloft and MTV for organising this competition to give us independent artists a platform and the opportunity to showcase our work. I also want to thank the judges and all the staff who worked behind the scenes. I will definitely continue singing Chinese hip hop!” said Wang Dazhi (a.k.a Big Tattoo).

 

View his video message HERE.

 

View his original entry submission “No Pain No Gain” HERE.

 

After Acoustics (India)

“We're so happy to be the India winner of Project Aloft Star, amplified by MTV. We had a wonderful night and received great hospitality. Thank you MTV and Aloft!” said After Acoustics.

 

View their video message HERE.

 

View their original entry submission “Bin Tere” HERE.

 

Brown Whale (South Korea)

“First of all, we’d like to thank MTV and Aloft for giving us such an opportunity as well as all the staff that was working behind the scenes. We will continue to do music that isn’t just one-way but interactive and communicative and again, we would like to thank everyone who has given an indie band like us the opportunity to help spread our music to the world,” said Brown Whale.

 

View their video message HERE.

 

View their original entry submission “Lover” HERE.

 

Soph Retief (Southeast Asia)

"I just want to say a massive thanks to Aloft Hotels and MTV for this amazing opportunity. I'm so grateful and a massive thank you to all those who voted for me. I won't be here without you guys. Thank you so much!" said Soph Retief.

 

View her video message HERE.

 

Hear her original entry submission “Guys Like You” HERE.

 

For a recap on the finalists’ submissions, please visit: projectaloftstar.mtvasia.com

 

To catch the India and Southeast Asia finalists’ jamming sessions, please visit: www.bandviews.com/#!artists/ProjectAloftStar2016

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

 

WINNERS’ PROFILES

Wang Dazhi (a.k.a. Big Tattoo) (Greater China)

Wang Dazhi (a.k.a. Big Tattoo) created the Sumo Muzik brand in 2013. In 2014, he participated in Tencent’s variety show Hi Song and recommended by the teachers Harlem Yu, Li Jian and Wowkie Zhang, who commented that his rapping was outstanding. His original solo “My Skate Shoes” gained over 400,000 views on Youku. In 2015, he was nominated for the “Abbey Road Music Award” for his annual solo EP, Hip Hop Album of the Year, and Hip Hop Musician of the Year. He created the Shandong Hip Hop Alliance at the end of 2015. In 2016, he created the HIP-HOP Live Shandong series and participated in iQiyi’s music variety show 1.3 Billion Decibels.

 

After Acoustics (India)

Established in 2014, After Acoustics is a Pune-based folk rock/country music band. The band takes inspiration from Mumford and Sons, and they compose peppy, foot tapping country songs that make the audience sing along with gusto. What sets them apart is their multi-instrumentalist who replaces a drummer and plays the bass drum, acoustic guitar along with singing, all at the same time! In their early stage of their career, they won the Channel [V] Launchpad 2015 national competition. The win proved to be a great success and helped take their popularity even farther. The band also received the award for the best college band of the year 2015 from Channel [V] thereafter.

 

Their first single "MeethiChori" was released before they entered the Channel [V] contest. The song went on to win Radio City Freedom Awards 2015. Radio City 91.1FM aired the song multiple times followed by an interview of the band.

 

They are also ranked 17th in India by Sennheiser in a competition Sennheiser Top-50 in 2015. Apart from this, they are the winners of MTV  Colors of Youth 2016 and many national competitions. They have also judged many college band competitions such as those organized by Symbiosis College in Pune, Sri Sri University in Odisha, NIFFT in Ranchi, and K. J. Somaiya in Mumbai. The band has shared the stage with legends like Mr Shankarmahadevan, Benny Dayal, Vishal Dadlani, Pritam, Agnee, Mr Hariharan, Indus Creed, and Paradigm Shift.

 

Brown Whale (South Korea)

Brown Whale feels music is like the ocean and they would like to be a whale that is the biggest and the longest-living animal in the endless ocean of music. They do music that isn’t just one-way through speech or confession that has got a particular melody and beat but is flexible depending on the mood. They would like to have various types of communication with the audience using the flexibility of jazz and uniqueness of Korean traditional music.

 

Soph Retief (Southeast Asia)

Soph is a singer-songwriter, composing styles such as pop and soul. Born and raised in Singapore, she grew up singing and playing the violin, piano and guitar. Whilst at school, Soph spent whatever time she could performing in bands, orchestras and choirs. She sang with the visiting Scottish Opera and was a member of a jazz band that performed around Singapore.

 

Soph wrote her first composition at the age of 12, and since then, for the past four years she has been continuously bringing her music to the studio working with Roo Pigott and Tim Bradshaw to produce her songs such as “Guys Like You”. Having recently completed her International Baccalaureate and graduating school in Singapore, Soph will be taking a BA in Music in London starting in September.

 

LIST OF JUDGES AT FINALS

Greater China

  • Andrew Lo, Head of Creative and Digital Media, MTV Asia
  • Cao Chuan, Deputy Director, QQ Music
  • Eric Wang, General Manager, Aloft Guangzhou Tianhe
  • Shan Qi, Planner, Musician, Producer, Director

 

India

  • Faiz Alam Ansari, General Manager, Aloft Bengaluru Cessna Business Park
  • Jagjit Singh, Head of Music Content, MTV India
  • Jastirath (Jesse) Julka, Senior Manager, Content Acquisition, Promotion and Syndication, Artist Aloud, Hungama Digital Media Entertainment
  • Naveen Deshpande, Founder, Mixtape
  • Priyanka Bhattacharya, Founding Partner and Business Director, Curious Mind Entertainment

 

South Korea

  • Bernie Cho, President, DFSB Kollective
  • Chan Kim, CEO of Fluxus Inc. and Chairman of LIAK (Label Industry Association of Korea)
  • Dona Inthaxoum, Head of Talent & Music, MTV Asia
  • Rachel Park, A&R Manager, S.M. Entertainment
  • Simon Ahn, General Manager, Aloft Seoul Gangnam
  • Yo Namgung, CEO, BuskingTV
  • Youn-Hyuk Lee, General Manager, LIAK (Label Industry Association of Korea)

 

Southeast Asia

  • Archie Gromley, Marketing Director, Asia, Universal Music Group
  • Dona Inthaxoum, Head of Talent and Music, MTV Asia
  • Priyanka Bhattacharya, Founding Partner and Business Director, Curious Mind Entertainment
  • Rahul Kukreja, Director of LIVE Events & Entertainment, The Livescape Group
  • Sumate Posayanukul (Po Posayanukul), Senior A&R Director, Bec-Tero Music
  • Vincent Ong, Senior Director, Asia Pacific Brand Management, Asia Pacific, Marriott International

 

###

 

About Aloft Hotels

With more than 100 hotels in 16 countries around the world, Starwood’s Aloft brand delivers a fresh approach to the traditional staid hotel landscape. For today’s (and tomorrow’s) connected, curious and communal evolving global traveler, the Aloft brand offers a tech-forward, vibrant experience and a modern style that is different by design. For more information, please visit www.alofthotels.com/experience.

About MTV

MTV is the world’s biggest youth entertainment brand. With a global reach of nearly 785 million households, MTV is the cultural home of the millennial generation, music fans and artists, and a pioneer in creating innovative programming for young people. MTV reflects and creates pop culture with its award-winning content built around compelling storytelling, music discovery and activism across TV, online and mobile. Outside of the United States, MTV is part of Viacom International Media Networks, a division of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all platforms. For more information about MTV in Asia, visit www.mtvasia.com.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS

Daryl Pan

t: +65 6335 4879

 

Viacom International Media Networks Asia

Loh Bi Feng

t: +65 6420 7154  

Aloft is a brand built for early adopters who seek the newest trends in technology, design and music. Since its introduction three years ago, Project Aloft Star has seen remarkable success in identifying the next generation of talent showcasing Asia at its best through original music representing the cultural and social diversity that is so rich in this region. With the music competition growing immensely stronger into its third year, Aloft Hotels has set itself apart in the hospitality industry as the leading platform for supporting talented musicians.

Vincent Ong, Senior Brand Director, Asia Pacific Brand Management, Marriott International

It’s heartening to see continued strong interest and support from fans and aspiring talents for the third Project Aloft Star, Amplified by MTV competition. Congratulations to the winners! A big thank you to everyone who voted and sent in their entries. The judges had a challenging and enjoyable job evaluating the submissions and finalists’ performances. It’s been great for MTV to partner with Aloft to increase visibility of these talented musicians and grow the appreciation of the music scene in the region. We hope this competition will motivate and inspire those in the field to keep creating and performing their music.

Paras Sharma, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Southeast Asia, Viacom International Media Networks

Thank you Aloft and MTV for organising this competition to give us independent artists a platform and the opportunity to showcase our work. I also want to thank the judges and all the staff who worked behind the scenes. I will definitely continue singing Chinese hip hop!

Wang Dazhi (a.k.a Big Tattoo)

We're so happy to be the India winner of Project Aloft Star, amplified by MTV. We had a wonderful night and received great hospitality. Thank you MTV and Aloft!

After Acoustics

First of all, we’d like to thank MTV and Aloft for giving us such an opportunity as well as all the staff that was working behind the scenes. We will continue to do music that isn’t just one-way but interactive and communicative and again, we would like to thank everyone who has given an indie band like us the opportunity to help spread our music to the world.

Brown Whale

I just want to say a massive thanks to Aloft Hotels and MTV for this amazing opportunity. I'm so grateful and a massive thank you to all those who voted for me. I won't be here without you guys. Thank you so much!

Soph Retief
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Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), is comprised of many of the world’s most popular multimedia entertainment brands, including MTV, MTV LIVE HD, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Comedy Central, Paramount Channel, and more. Viacom brands reach more than 3.4 billion cumulative subscribers in 180+ countries and territories via more than 200 locally programmed and operated TV channels and more than 550 digital media and mobile TV properties, in 40 languages. Keep up with VIMN news by visiting the VIMN PR Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/VIMN_PR. For more information about Viacom and its businesses, visit www.viacom.com, blog.viacom.com and the Viacom Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/Viacom.

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