I was privileged to be invited to be a part of the Project Aloft Star India Regional Finals at Aloft Bengaluru Cessna Business Park towards end of September 2014. Unsigned bands and artists in Asia were invited to be a part of the contest by uploading their original videos to MTV Asia website. After uploading, they had to get votes from fans and friends so that they could be in the finals. 40% of public voting plus 60% of decision by MTV decided who would be the 5 finalists who would take part in India Regional Finals at the brand new Aloft Bengaluru Cesnna Business Park in Bangalore.
5 finalists in Bangalore for the Project Aloft Star India Regional finals were Boby Techi, Keith Castelino, Natania Lalwani, Rahul Jain and Stebin Ben. The idea was to promote local up-and-coming music talents and give them a global platform to perform their music on! Before the regional finals, we got an opportunity to interact with the bands on an Unplugged level where we could hear their stories and also understand their music in a much better way.
Regional finals happened at W Xyz bar at Aloft Bengaluru Cessna Business Park. The lighting was perfectly done and the drinks were very well organized by Diageo. All the finalists created some wonderful original music and also enthralled the audience with their musical repertoire. The crowd favorites were Rahul Jain, Natania Lalwani and Boby Techi.
Judges for Project Aloft Star India Regional finals in Bengaluru were General Manager Aloft Faiz Alam Anari and one of the leading Indi-pop singers of all time – Dr.Palash Sen of Euphoria! It was wonderful to meet my teenage idol whose songs like “Maayeri” and “Kaise bhoolegi mera naam” were my anthems while growing up! It was great to see Aloft promote this event so passionately as they always promote local cultural tastes and musical talents!
In the intense contest among the 5 finalists, the winner was 21 year old Natania Lalwani from India who has graduated from Musician’s Institute (Los Angeles) with a degree in Vocal Performance. She was named one of the HOT 100 Unsigned Artists to watch by Music Connection and was one of their top 20 reviews of 2013. She won the legendary worldwide songwriting competition Unsigned Only with the “Honorable Mention Award” in 2014 for her song “Cherry Love”.
As Music is in the DNA of the Aloft brand, they were thrilled to kick-off Asia Pacificâ€™s first Project Aloft Star competition to identify the latest emerging music artists in the region. Project Aloft Star had been hugely successful with five editions in North America; and this year they were very proud to have Asia Pacificâ€™s very own edition to discover the regionâ€™s immense potential pool of talent. I even tried my hand at playing the coveted guitar at Project Aloft Star India!
There were some amazing cocktails made by Diageo at Project Aloft Star India Regional finals at Aloft Bengaluru Cessna Business Park. These cocktails were Skyscraper (A casual twist on a highball, with Johnnie Walker Black Label, Italian Wermouth); Blood and Sand (A classic cocktail where the warm flavors of dark fruit are balanced by mild citrus and hints of smoke from Johnnie Walker Black Label) and Black Scotch Sour (A Scotch Whisky take on the classic sour, with sweet and citrus elements complimenting the big bold flavors of Johnnie Walker Black Label).
Project Aloft Star is the latest example of how the Aloft brand is committed to cutting-edge music programming that supports emerging talent whilst discovering great music. Mindful that the millennial global traveler seeks authentic experiences, Aloft Hotels bring together live music acts from local and established talent through its Live at Aloft Hotels music program in its buzzing W XYZ bars. Featured artists have included Imagine Dragons, The Lumineers and Atlas Genius. For more information on the brand’s dynamic music programming, visit www.LiveAtAloftHotels.com.