Project Aloft Star
 
Past Winners
2015
Southeast Asia
JENNY & THE SCALLYWAGS
Jenny and the Scallywags is an up-and-coming folk/pop band based in Bangkok. After winning Project Aloft Star, Amplified by MTV in 2015, the band released their first EP. It features their single "Sounds Like Maybe" which topped Thailand's top indie radio station's chart and has been featured on MTV, Channel V and iTunes.
What have you been up to since winning Project Aloft Star, Amplified by MTV in 2015?
It’s been an exciting and busy year. Our priority was to focus on the music, become the best band we can be and produce music we are proud of. I think we have really come together and that synergy is embodied in our self-titled EP.
What did you do with the prize money?
We invested in the release of our two singles "Sounds like Maybe" and "The Beast". As musicians, there is nothing you want more than to have your music be heard and that goal is both easier and harder to achieve today than ever before.
What was your biggest takeaway from the Project Aloft Star, Amplified by MTV experience?
Winning Project Aloft Star was our launch pad and the biggest push forward we've experienced for our original music careers, but the reward is just beginning. Work as hard as you can to ensure you take advantage of that spark while it’s still there.
What are your future plans?
Recording a full album of our own material is a key part of our plans. Beyond that, we want to keep creating awesome video content and nurturing our ever-growing fan base.
Any advice for future contestants?
It doesn’t matter how much money or media attention you have, focus on the fundamentals of writing and producing great music that you can be proud of. Good luck, and enjoy the ride!
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China
GUSIAN YU
28-year-old Gusian Yu, is a crossover musician whose occupation is in developing hotels. He studies lyrics and musical arrangements in his own time and has accumulated 30 original works over seven years. He won Project Aloft Star, Amplified by MTV in 2015 and also obtained the Viewer's Choice and Best Original Music Awards.
What have you been up to since winning Project Aloft Star, Amplified by MTV in 2015?
Although music is not be my main career, I have been creating more trendy works which help me gain many opportunities in the music industry.
What did you do with the prize money?
In 2015, I made three trips with 1/4 of the prize money! I traveled through Hanoi, Siam Reap, Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur - places I had never been before, which inspired my life and music. This year, I'm going to learn arrangement and dance with another 1/4 and save the rest.
What was your biggest takeaway from the Project Aloft Star, Amplified by MTV experience?
Through the Project Aloft Star experience, I saw another face of myself. Since music is not my major career, the chances to learn and to be guided are limited, so I really appreciated this opportunity. It was also exposing as I got to communicate with other musicians and grow together with them.
What are your future plans?
Writing five to six good musical pieces, participating in influential musical events and letting people hear my voice are things I've been trying to do. Thanks to Project Aloft Star, I had a chance to shine and witnessed an important moment in my music career.
Any advice for future contestants?
Give your best, and be prepared before walking on stage. Although it is a contest, it is important to differentiate the necessities over the accesories! Also, maintaining a good mood is priority.
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INDIA
Run Pussy Run
Run Pussy Run is a collaborative project led by Gowri Jayakumar. With cheeky lyrics, unpredictable rhythmic and harmonic journeys, RPR played for Kappa TV’s Music Mojo program. After their win at Project Aloft Star, amplified by MTV Asia 2015, RPR went on to win the Best Songwriting Award at the Hornbill International Rock Contest. After a 5-month hiatus, RPR will come together again in June.
What have you been up to since winning Project Aloft Star, Amplified by MTV in 2015?
Since we won Project Aloft Star, the line-up changed. The members of the collective are currently playing with different acts, and we plan to come together in June to work on new material. I (Gowri) have been working on my electro project Pulpy Shilpy and plan to release my solo acoustic album later this year.
What did you do with the prize money?
With the new line-up, we worked on new arrangements for a week, and then used the money to travel and perform at the Hornbill International Rock Competition in Nagaland, where Run Pussy Run won the Best Songwriting Award. Now the new line-up is coming together in June to work on new material and take it to the studio to record.
What was your biggest takeaway from the Project Aloft Star, Amplified by MTV experience?
There are many subtle and little-known opportunities all around to support your effort. Project Aloft Star not only financially pushed us forward, but also built our confidence and faith in what we are doing.
What are your future plans?
The band consists of full-time musicians and we plan to keep doing what we do best - music! The idea is to keep learning, composing, travelling, collaborating and documenting this process through albums, singles, etc.
Any advice for future contestants?
Keep it real and perform your best. Don’t think of it as a competition. It is another platform to showcase your work, so do it honestly.
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2014
SOUTHEAST ASIA
GTXPERIMENT
Formed to participate in Project Aloft Star, Amplified by MTV in 2014, GTXperiment’s uniqueness – a multiple-lead-singer setup that sees members sharing vocal reins - crowned them champions of Southeast Asia. Their singles "Highdrated" and “Lost” have topped local radio charts and their music videos have been featured frequently on MTV. The band is currently working on their first album.
How have you been discovering your voice and sound in the music industry?
Entering Project Aloft Star was the most significant thing that gave birth to GTXperiment and launched our music career. We’ve been blessed with a lot of opportunities since and have a lot more plans for the years to come.
What are some challenges you faced or are currently facing as an artist / band?
The biggest challenge is making time to get down to creating music. Another challenge is getting our music out there and being heard. That’s why we feel platforms such as Project Aloft Star is fantastic!
How have you been discovering your voice and sound in the music industry?
We've discovered that our music tends to sound like what we were feeling at the point of writing our music. We are continuously experimenting with fresh sounds that we feel define us. The broader the musical spectrum, the more ideas we have to work with!
What do you wish you knew about the music industry before you entered it?
Making music isn't just about making music. Our local music industry is pretty small but while we are seeing more aspiring artists with originals of their own, we've learned that maturity and staying true to how you were raised is important. We are lucky to have the support of our parents and a label that is very supportive of local acts.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
Learn to accept criticism. Once you are able to accept, then you can analyze. Use criticism to improve yourself and continue making music!
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China
Pandabros
Founded in 2011 by Paipai, Devil, Teacher Ma and Fugui, PandaBros released their first albumPandaBrosin 2013 and later in 2014, they became champions of Project Aloft Star in China. They released their first micro-music movieFarewell Melodyin 2015 and was shortlisted for both Prato and Miami's International Film Festivals.
How have you been discovering your voice and sound in the music industry?
2015 was a big year for us. We released our first micro-music movie, 'Farewell Melody', and had the opportunity to give a lecture on Chinese Pop music trends at Berkeley College. Furthermore, we released a new song, 'Biu Biu Biu', and was shortlisted in the Weibo Golden Melody Awards!
What are some challenges you faced or are currently facing as an artist / band?
We received a lot of support and opportunities through Project Aloft Star. However, as independent musicians, we also have our own jobs. As it has become more and more difficult, we decided to hire an agent to help us.
How have you been discovering your voice and sound in the music industry?
Chinese male pop music bands are populating the industry, with most of them taking on Korean styles. However, we uniquely position ourselves as 'uncles'. Musically, we are trying new things like combining our visuals with film and TV.
What do you wish you knew about the music industry before you entered it?
All about the money! Independent musicians do not have a company behind them and need consider the plan and budget by themselves.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
Be yourself and have fun.
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INDIA
NATANIA LALWANI
Hailing from India, 23-year-old singer-songwriter, Natania Lalwani, is making waves globally with her smoky voice coupled with humble melodies. Since creating buzz in India - winning three Radio City Awards and playing sold-out shows - Natania is now based in Los Angeles working on her artistry and is part of the songwriting duo 'Hits & Giggles' pitching music for artists in the US.
How have you been discovering your voice and sound in the music industry?
Project Aloft Star helped me grow my fan base in Asia! After going back to Los Angeles that year, the prize assisted me in pursuing music full-time. I’m currently working on new music which I’m excited about sharing.
What are some challenges you faced or are currently facing as an artist / band?
The biggest challenge is getting my music heard by a wider audience. However, it is a challenge that can be overcome with hard work!
How have you been discovering your voice and sound in the music industry?
I've learned through working with different producers and collaborators in Los Angeles that it so important to collaborate with other people. They inspire you to create something fresh and the end result is always growth as an artist!
What do you wish you knew about the music industry before you entered it?
The key - Positivity! You’ll receive rejections and encounter negative people. One of the biggest things to guard is belief in yourself. Don't take no for an answer, push it behind and move on to the next thing.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
You have to be your own manager. Once you have great songs, you need to market them. Even if you have a team, you need to be pushing your music out yourself. Work hard on the unseen, mundane things even if it's not your favourite part!
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