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Project: Aloft Star Asia-Pacific 2018 kicks into high gear with finalists announced for each region

September 4, 2018 Accolades No Comments Email Email

This year’s Asia-Pacific edition of Aloft Hotels’ artist discovery competition Project: Aloft Star Asia-Pacific kicks into high gear with five original musicians from across Asia shortlisted to compete in the Grand Finals to be held at Aloft Seoul Myeongdong on 20 September 2018, battling it out to be named Asia-Pacific’s 2018 Project: Aloft Star.Marriott International’s “Different. By Design” Aloft hotels are hotspots for music makers and music lovers from around the world, and the brand has been fostering and incubating emerging musical talents around the world for over a decade. Project: Aloft Star is a global artist discovery competition running in four regions around the world, powered by Marriott International’s partnership with Universal Music Group & Brands (UMGB). UMGB is the brand strategy division of Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment.

Between June and July this year, unsigned artists, bands and songwriters in Asia-Pacific were invited to submit their original compositions to the competition website at From the entries submitted, UMG’s renowned executives selected one finalist from each cluster in the Asia-Pacific region. The next round, from September 3 to 19 2018, will see public voting opened up to fans to show their support for the finalists by picking their favorites to win the grand prize. The three voters who correctly pick the winner and share the reason for their choice, will stand a chance to win 50,000 loyalty program points each, redeemable for stays at participating Marriott International hotels around the world and other rewards.

Bollywood star Salim Merchant, Taiwanese singer and actress Rachel Liang, Korean R&B singer, songwriter and producer SAAY and Australian Triple J presenter Alex Dyson will also be mentoring the Project: Aloft Star Asia-Pacific finalists in preparation for their performances in Seoul. The finals event will feature a special performance by SAAY.

While the finale is open to everyone to join, the best way to experience it will be as a member of Marriott’s award-winning loyalty programs Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) and Marriott Rewards. Special member benefits will include a pre-concert meet & greet cocktail with SAAY, an autographed record and exclusive event merch – available for redemption with loyalty program points through SPG Moments and Marriott Rewards Moments.

The five finalists chosen to compete head-to-head at the finale are:

Australia finalist: High Tropics 
Dubbed as “infectious garage pop” by Rolling Stone, High Tropics is the moniker of Queensland based singer-songwriter Josh Stewart and his band. The indie rockers have already built a steady following, packing out venues along the East Coast of Australia and amassing close to half a million streams with their last two singles ‘You Never Made It Easy’, and ‘Wait For You’.

Southeast Asia finalist: Nate Nontree 
Nate Nontree is a singer, musician, voice teacher and interior designer from Bangkok, Thailand. Although he majored in interior architecture, Nontree is a classically trained pianist and always loved to sing. In high school, he started making cover videos on YouTube, later joining University Big Band (C.U. Band), cutting his teeth in the Bangkok live music scene before appearing on The Voice Thailand in 2017.

India finalist: Hanita Bhambri 
While studying brand management at MICA, Hanita had hopes of connecting with people on an emotional level through her amazing storytelling. This talented musician’s songs are often melancholic reflections about love and loneliness, revolving around her personal experiences. She has creatively collaborated with Miti Adhikari and Christian Wright, at Abbey Road Studios in London.

Korea finalist: Blah 
Blah has been uploading and distributing his own music on Soundcloud since he was a university student, reaching out to a broad audience. He’s also participated as a featured artist and producer for notable Korean artists including Way Ched and Chamane. As a musician, Blah’s life-long goal is to continue producing and performing music that allows many people to relate to his tunes emotionally.

Greater China finalist: Eric Kung 
Eric Kung is a singer, musician, and an information systems engineer based in Taiwan whose musical style has been influenced by John Mayer. Although working as a full-time engineer, Eric has dedicated his life to music. Every song represents the different stages of his life. “I live with music. It’s simple, it’s good and that’s all it matters,” says Eric.

“I am simply blown away by the talent that we’re seeing in this year’s competition,” said Alex Dyson. “It is amazing, and all of them truly deserve to win and to have the chance at making it big in the industry. But there can be only one grand prize, and I look forward to helping Josh Stewart and High Tropics slay it onstage at the finals in September.”

“Discovering and nurturing local music talent around the globe is our mission at Universal Music Group. Creating an innovative platform for emerging artists to showcase their music to new fans around the world with Aloft Hotels, shows what a brilliant partnership can deliver,” said Gus Henderson, Head of New Business Asia, Universal Music Group & Brands. “Their brand is all about providing opportunities for up-and-coming musicians to break into the industry, with competitions such as Project: Aloft Star. We can’t wait to see this year’s group of diverse and talented musicians shine on the stage in Seoul.”

“This year’s entries to Project: Aloft Star, which is now in its fifth year, bring a whole new level of competition,” said Mike Fulkerson, Vice President, Brand & Marketing Asia-Pacific, Marriott International. “The competition is bigger and louder than ever, and we have an incredible grand finale lined up for fans at Aloft Seoul Myeongdong in September. We can’t wait to see these outstanding artists battle it out for the chance to gain the recognition and support they so richly deserve and to kickstart their careers in the music industry.”

Project: Aloft Star Asia-Pacific 2018 Finals Details

  • Date: 20th September 2018, 7pm
  • Venue: Aloft Seoul Myeongdong

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