Marriott’s millennial brand Aloft hotels is once again kicking into high gear for their annual Project: Aloft Star, a good ol’ fashioned band comp that, for the past few years, has been uncovering and amplifying unsigned musicians from across the Asia-Pacific region. Fashioned as an “artist discovery competition”, the program is nearing its grand final with five original musicians from various countries, and Australia is well-represented by garage-indie rockers High Tropics from Queensland.
Given the band’s last two singles, “You Never Made It Easy” and “Wait For You”, we think it’s safe to say that lead Josh Stewart and his band have got what it takes to win this thing. Although they’ll be up against some stiff competition: Nate Nontree, a singer, musician, teacher and – funnily enough – interior designer from Bangkok; Hanita Bhambri, an inventive and evocative vocalist from India; Blah, a popular musician and producer on Soundcloud based in Korea; and Eric Kung, a musician from the Greater China region who cites John Mayer as a key influence and works full-time as an engineer.
The finals come after two months – June and July – of unsigned artists, band and songwriters in Asia-Pacific submitting their original compositions to Project Aloft, a large pool from which one finalist from each cluster was chosen by various executives from Universal Music Group, the competition’s official partner.
Voting is now opened up to the public up until September 19th, where three voters who correctly pick the winner of the grand final stand a chance to win a very tempting 50,000 points credited to Marriott International’s loyalty program. After that, Aloft Seoul Myeongdong will host the final round on 20th September, with all five aforementioned musicians and bands playing live sets alongside a guest performance from Korean R&B artist SAAY, who will also be mentoring the finalists alongside Bollywood star Salim Merchant, Taiwanese singer and actress Rachel Liang, and Australia’s beloved Alex Dyson.
“I am simply blown away by the talent that we’re seeing in this year’s competition”, said 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 only be one grand prize, and I look forward to helping Josh Stewart and High Tropics slay it onstage at the finals in September”.
The event in Seoul will be open to everyone and kicks off at 7pm local time, though the finale will also be live-streamed on Aloft’s Facebook page. More information about the competition and public voting can be found at projectaloftstarasia.com.