Project Aloft Star 2016 #aloftstarMTV

PROJECT ALOFT STAR, AMPLIFIED BY MTV 2016 (FINALISTS’ BIOS – INDIA)

ABHISHEK SHARMA

Abhishek Sharma is a singer composer based in Kota (Rajasthan) well-versed in writing meaningful lyrics. He started singing at the early age of 14 but came into music formally at the age of 19 when he and his family went through a tough phase. However, this period turned into a boon for him and brought him professionally into music. He has not turned back since and is still raising the bar. Abhishek has been amongst the top finalists of a couple of national level music shows in past two years.

Abhishek is a music (vocal) graduate in Indian classical music and is now pursuing his master’s in music from IKSV University, Chhattisgarh. He took his initial training from Sh. Manoj Gautam and Pt. Mahesh Sharma. Later he went to Karnal and learnt from Shri Shyam Sahota ji. He is presently learning under the guidance of Sh. Sada Shiv Gautam from Kota. Abhishek also holds a master’s degree in business administration. Some of his major projects in past were “Yaariyaan - A Bond Forever”, a music video based on the story of three close friends, which received praise from many viewers. "Euphony - A Romantic Medley" also received a very good response with over 12,000 hits on YouTube in just a week. Abhishek has over 240,000 views on his YouTube channel. He is currently working on some of his own compositions and will soon be coming up with new projects.

AFTER ACOUSTICS

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 called 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.


MUHFAAD

Muhfaad a.k.a. Gaurav was born in 1994 in New Delhi, India. He began as a performer at the very young age of 10. He started was a dancer for three years and finally came out as a Hindi rapper in 2012 after deciding to focus on music instead of electrical engineering. In his final year of studies, he decided to dedicate his each and every second to music and choose rap as his career. He happened to become a member of a newly formed band RAHIB and used to play keys in the band and rap. This year, Muhfaad decided to work on his solo portfolio. Muhfaad has that spark in his lyrics, music and performance from day one, so he came out as an underdog when he started releasing his music. Many famous names from Indian music industry like Raftaar, Badshah, Raxstar, Ikka, Tony Kakkar and many others appreciated his music on social media. In August 2016, Muhfaad signed with Desi Music Factory along with Neha Kakkar, Sonu Kakkar and Tony Kakkar.


ROHIT VASUDEVAN DIARIES (RVD)

‘Rohit Vasudevan Diaries’ (RVD) is a collaboration by four talented musicians who each play a part in bringing to life the songs in Rohit’s head.

The band includes Rohit Vasudevan on guitars and vocals, Saket Rao on drums/percussion and backing vocals, Gaurav Korgaonkar on keyboards, and Amit Gadgil on bass.

RVD as a band speaks the language of groovy funky rhythms combined with melodic vocal lines – real, unadulterated, and heart-felt music.

RVD has just completed work as music directors in an upcoming Bollywood movie.

WHEN CHAI MET TOAST

A simple breakfast. A simple melody. When Chai Met Toast takes inspiration from the lighter side of life to create music that is heart-warming, happy and smile-worthy. The newest band from the land of coconuts, they gained fans quickly with a special acoustic setup and a unique brand of infectious happy music, which transcends age, genre and even language.


PROJECT ALOFT STAR, AMPLIFIED BY MTV 2016 - JUDGES’ BIOS – INDIA


FAIZ ALAM ANSARI
Complex General Manager, Aloft Bengaluru Cessna Business Park and the Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel & Convention Centre

Faiz Alam Ansari has over 22 years of experience in the hospitality industry and has been associated with Starwood for over 10 years now. Prior to taking over the management of Aloft, Faiz was the hotel manager of the flagship Westin Hotel in India at Gurgaon, New Delhi. 

Faiz is well known among colleagues and the fraternity for his positive approach and knack of creating a climate of teamwork by encouraging co-operation and communication. At the helm of operations, his constant motivation and encouragement drives the team towards the realm of success. 

Faiz believes in excellence and the many awards and accolades won by him holds witness to his success over the years.


JAGJIT SINGH
Director, Head of Music Content, MTV India

A music aficionada, Jagjit has been a part of the bandwagon that brought iconic musical properties like MTV Unplugged, Coke Studio@MTV, and MTV VMAs to India. He’s been the man promoting hip hop in the country by creating properties like MTV Spoken Word and electronica by creating shows like MTV Sound Trippin. Before he became an integral part of MTV, Jagjit was a radio jockey cum show producer.  He’s been in the music/media and entertainment scene for almost a decade and now heads Music Content and Artist Relations at MTV India.  


JASTIRATH (JESSE) JULKA
Senior Manager, Content Acquisition, Promotion and Syndication, Artist Aloud, Hungama Digital Media Entertainment

Jastirath has been promoting independent music since 2010. Prior to his current role, he booked local and international acts for various festivals in India with Plus 91 Music. He also started India's first online independent music radio "FREEDOM Radio" with Radiocity 91.1fm featuring some of the biggest names in India's indie music scene. His specialty is acquiring and promoting independent talent across digital and social media channels with innovative and creative ideas.

NAVEEN DESHPANDE
Founder, Mixtape

Naveen Deshpande’s introduction to the music industry began in 2000 when he and some friends started organizing shows in Pune. “We were just college-going kids trying to develop a scene in Pune. We even set up a company called Noiz Gate events in 2003 which was a full-fledged events and artist management company,” Naveen says of his journey. Four years later, Noiz Gate dissolved and Naveen decided to move to Mumbai to work with OML, where he managed bands and helped execute events. “In 2010 I felt the need to take a plunge on my own and that’s how Mixtape was formed,” he adds. 

Naveen has seen the music scene evolve from a motley crew of people to a small-scale industry over the decade that he has been involved with it. Having worked with Only Much Louder – where he managed bands like Pentagram, Raghu Dixit Project, Shaa’ir + Func – Naveen today oversees a team of people who help run Mixtape and maintain the same standards of efficiency and dedication that he is known for within the music industry.


PRIYANKA BHATTACHARYA
Founding Partner and Business Director, Curious Mind Entertainment

Priyanka has 14 years of exhaustive experience within the entertainment and marketing industry. She has been an Art Director in one of the top Advertising Agencies in India. She then teamed up with a highly reputed Celebrity Management Agency where she empowered entertainers to create their public image and ‘brand’ themselves to achieve celebrity status. Priyanka relocated to Singapore in 2012 to work with leading brands across Asia to handle their social media and marketing. And then, she left it all to follow her passion for entertainment marketing. Priyanka is now a founding partner of BandViews, a platform that gives musicians a digital stage to shine from, everyday, 24X7. 


AFTER ACOUSTICS IS INDIA WINNER IN “PROJECT ALOFT STAR, AMPLIFIED BY MTV 2016” MUSIC TALENT DISCOVERY COMPETITION

More than 500 Original Song Entries Published and Over 600,000 Votes Cast 

Suggested social message: @Afteracoustics is India’s winner in “Project Aloft Star, Amplified by MTV 2016” music talent discovery competition #aloftstarmtv

India, 3 OCTOBER 2016 – Cutting-edge Aloft® brand and global youth brand MTV today revealed After Acoustics as the India winner of the third annual Asia Pacific edition of music talent discovery competition Project Aloft Star, Amplified by MTV. The competition aims to identify and support the hottest emerging music acts throughout four clusters spanning nine markets Greater China (China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan), India, South Korea, and Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand). 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.

Now in its third year, the competition kicked off on 1 June and culminated in the finals for the India cluster held over the weekend at Aloft Bengaluru Cessna Business Park. After Acoustics performed alongside four other finalists - When Chai Met Toast, Rohit Vasudevan Diaries, Muhfaad and Abhishek Sharma, in front of a live audience and a panel of judges. View a video message from After Acoustics HERE.
“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.
Winners’ Profile – 

After Acoustics
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 called 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.
View their original competition entry HERE.

As part of the prize package, After Acoustics walked away with US$10,000 cash prize and will be profiled in MTV Seen and individual winner vignettes to be featured on the competition website projectaloftstar.mtvasia.com. In addition to this, they also get to embark on a 5 city tour with Mixtape, India's premier artist management company.

 “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.

The Project Aloft Star 2015 India winner Run Pussy Run was a special guest performer at the finals. The finalists were evaluated on music composition and song-writing skills, international appeal, originality and creativity, technical skill, “wow” factor, showmanship, and stage presence. The judging panel comprised the following representatives from Aloft, MTV, and music industry experts -

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

Judges with Winners of Project Aloft Star 2016 India cluster – After Acoustics

(Judges L-R: Jagjit Singh, Naveen Deshpande, Jastirath Jesse Julka, Priyanka Bhattacharya & Faiz Alam Ansari)

The finals for the Southeast Asia competition cluster will take place on 7 October at Aloft Bangkok Sukhumvit 11.

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

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

About Aloft Hotels 
With more than 100 hotels in 16 countries around the world, 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.

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