PROJECT ALOFT STAR 2015

ALOFT HOTELS PROJECT ALOFT STAR IN ASIA PACIFIC

Clinton Cerejo with Project Aloft Star 2015 India Winner Run Pussy Ru......-2

More than Half a Million Votes and Over 350 Original Music Entries Received From Asia’s Emerging Music Talent

After more than half a million online votes and over 350 entries received, Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ leading-edge Aloft® brand and MTV today revealed the winners of the second annual Asia Pacific edition of music talent discovery competition Project Aloft Star, Amplified by MTV. The contest aims to identify and support the hottest emerging music artists throughout Asia Pacific, with three competition clusters.

This year’s cluster winners are:

Gusian Yu (China)

“I really appreciate this opportunity that Aloft and MTV has given for me to perform and be a part of Project Aloft Star. I’ll remember this night forever! I was over the moon when I was announced as the winner of 2015 Project Aloft Star – really thankful for the esteemed judges that saw my passion through my performance and song.”

Run Pussy Run (India)

“We are absolutely thrilled that we won the Project Aloft Star, Amplified by MTV competition! It is the first time we have participated in a competition, and winning it has been the most encouraging and rewarding experience so far. All the participants were lovely, and it was humbling to meet and share the journey with everyone. This equips us to release our debut album and perhaps a video too! Kudos to Aloft and MTV for supporting and paving pathways for independent artists!

Project Aloft Star 2015 India Winner Run Pussy Run (Credit - Aloft)

Jennifer Lackgren / Jenny & The Scallywags from Thailand (Southeast Asia, comprising Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore)

”We’re completely thrilled to be the winners for Project Aloft Star 2015, amplified by MTV. From the day of our video submission to the very moment of our winning performance, our journey has been an exciting whirlwind. We definitely want to use the US$10,000 and the momentum from this amazing platform to create good music videos and our extended play that will be released early next year for Sounds Like Maybe and How to Break Up with Somebody. We’re over the moon and can’t wait to see where this journey takes us. Thank you MTV and Aloft!”

The top finalists battled it out at the finals held at Aloft Hotels in Kuala Lumpur, Bangalore and Guangzhou over the weekend in front of a panel of judges. They were evaluated on music composition and song-writing skills, originality and creativity, technical skill, “wow” factor, showmanship, and stage presence. The judging panel comprised the following representatives from Aloft Hotels, MTV, celebrities and music industry experts:

• For Southeast Asia,
o Paras Sharma, Vice President, MTV and Comedy Central Brands and Digital Media, Viacom International Media Networks Asia
o Vincent Ong, Senior Brand Director, Asia Pacific Brand Management, Starwood Hotels & Resorts
o Aliff Aziz, a Singapore born singer and actor who won the reality TV singing competition, Anugerah when he was 16 years old, making him the competition’s youngest winner. He is currently working on his fourth album, having just released his current single “Selayaknya Aku”
o Aziana Ali, General Manager – Marketing, Sony Music Entertainment Malaysia
o Valent Soisuvarn, Executive Director, MTV Thailand

• For China,
o Charles Chan, Creative Director, Head of Content Production, MTV China
o Master Dong Shan, a pop singer who won multiple newcomer awards when he debuted. His fourth and latest album《四张机》 was released this year.
o Shan Qi, renowned planner-musician-producer-director who is also known as ‘China Fashion Festival Godfather’
o Sofia Wong, Hotel Manager, Aloft Guangzhou University Park

• For India,
o Bobin James, Head of Programming and Artist Relations, MTV Indies
o Clinton Cerejo, award-winning composer, producer and singer who has lent his inimitable voice to a number of Bollywood hits
o Hazel Ooi, Manager, Brand Management, Asia-Pacific, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft, Element

As part of the prize package, each winner was awarded a US$10,000 cash prize and will soon be featured in MTV Seen, a video spot of that will air on MTV Asia, MTV China and MTV India channels in October. Winners will also be featured in individual vignettes on the Project Aloft Star website.

“Cool and dynamic experiences in music, design and technology have made Aloft the must-have brand for today’s hyper-connected global traveler; and our partnership with MTV Asia underscores those passion points,” said Vincent Ong, Senior Brand Director, Brand Management, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Asia Pacific. “Since last year’s Asia Pacific debut, Project Aloft Star has seen immense response and quality submissions – a testament to the immense pool of talent in the region— and Aloft is proud to continue to offer a platform of exposure for emerging artists.”

“MTV is proud to partner Aloft for the Asia Pacific edition of Project Aloft Star for the second year running. We were impressed with the quality of work submitted and the increase in the number of entries and votes received shows us the amount of fresh music talent out there and the extent of public support for them. The competition has given these young performers the chance to shine and they are definitely the ones to watch. Keep playing!” said Paras Sharma, Vice President, MTV and Comedy Central Brands and Digital Media, Viacom International Media Networks Asia

The 15-week competition kicked off on 22 May, garnering close to double the number of published original music video submissions from aspiring music talent compared to the inaugural edition held in 2014. Fans lent their support by voting for their favourite music videos, with voting numbers skyrocketing over 20 times last year’s, to more than half a million.

Gusian Yu (China)
Gusian Yu, 27 years old, works in Huamei, a leading hotel consulting company in China. As a professional consultant who visits more than 100 high-end hotels each year, he devotes most of his spare time to composing music. He gains inspiration from life, such as a piece of social news, a touching movie, a deep poem, an extraordinary scene or even a stranger. He aspires to become a hotelier who knows music best and a musician who knows hotels best. Through learning to play the piano and compose music himself with seven years of passion and perseverance, he has composed about 20 original songs and gained recognition from several influential singing competitions in China and Taiwan, such as the Sing My Song and Spring Wave Music and Art Festival competitions.

Run Pussy Run (India)
Run Pussy Run is a Freak Funk project led by singer/songwriter Gowri Jayakumar, with Behrooz Mihankhah on keys (formerly – he is currently moving countries), Abhishek Debsikdar on drums, and Anjo John on bass. Primarily a platform to collaborate, the songs are composed by Gowri, and rearranged/rewritten by the band to integrate the members’ own inimitable styles and perspectives. The sonic space is guided by heavy grooves, experimental harmonies, clever word play and unpredictable rhythms. They made their debut TV appearance in May this year on Kappa TV’s MusicMojo program, where they performed nine original compositions.

Jennifer Lackgren / Jenny & The Scallywags from Thailand (Southeast Asia, comprising Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore)
Jennifer Lackgren is a Thai/Swedish independent artist known for her success in the Bangkok live music scene with her band Jenny & The Scallywags. With a unique voice and acoustic/folk style, Jennifer first caught the public eye with her performances on season two of The Voice Thailand. She has since released her first single Sounds Like Maybe and will release her EP by the same name soon, with plans to tour and promote her original work in Southeast Asia and Europe in the near future. Band members are Jennifer Lackgren (Lead Vocals, Acoustic guitar), Adam Sharpe (Lead Vocals, Ukulele), Charlie McSkallywag (Solo guitar, Vocals and Harmonica), Paul Romaine (Bass and Keys), and Christopher Oldman (Percussions).

About Aloft Hotels
With 100 hotels open now and coming soon in 15 countries around the world, Starwood’s (NYSE:HOT) 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 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 1,200 properties in some 100 countries and over 180,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, Element® and the recently introduced Tribute Portfolio™. The Company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG®), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood recently announced plans to spin off its Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc. business, a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands, into a standalone public company by the end of 2015. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.

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.

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