X Ambassadors are acting as just that (ambassadors!) to hopeful talent looking to rise to the top.
As a part of Aloft Hotels — Marriott International’s brand for music lovers and music makers — and Universal Music Group & Brand’s artist discovery competition, Project: Aloft Star, the rock trio will mentor three finalists who are selected from the competition on alofthotels.com
“It’s an opportunity for us to give back,” the band’s lead vocalist, Sam Harris, tells PEOPLE. “We got very lucky early on and had some great mentors, ourselves, to begin our career.”
“It was so of value to us to have someone to give us candid advice and have an insight as to what we should expect as working artists,” he adds. “Knowing how important that was for us, it’s really a gift for us to work with young talented people.”
From now until Aug. 20, unsigned bands and artists across North America and in select countries in Latin America can upload two original songs and a picture through Aloft Hotels’ website to enter their name into the contest. From there, a panel of judges from UMG, Aloft Hotels and Aloft partner Bandsintown will select three finalists. Those finalists will then receive a mentoring session from X Ambassadors, before performing at the Project: Aloft Star finale at Aloft Austin Downtown on Nov. 1, where the winner will then be chosen based on the judges’ picks and fan votes received from Sept. 17 to Oct. 22.
“There are so many talented people in this world, especially in the arts,” Harris says. “It makes more than that to have any sort of a solid career and longevity and to be professional in the arts.”
So what exactly does it take to “make it?”
“You have to be very patient, diligent and hard-working, and you really have to understand the nature of the job,” he says. “Not everyone has that instinct, but it can be learned and taught if there is a spark of desire to want to work hard and have that instinct to never give up.”
The winner of the competition will have an opportunity to record a single at the iconic Capitol Studios in Hollywood that has been selected after meeting with UMG’s executives, and will receive 500,000 loyalty points for Marriott International hotel stays.
“It’s always so exciting to see new people in any industry, especially in the music industry, because we are always aware of new artists popping up all over the place, but it’s hard to keep track of everyone,” Harris says about what he’s most looking forward to when it comes to guiding these rising stars. “I’m excited to have an inside look at some exciting new talent out there.”
And Harris says it’s especially important that he and his New York-based band always keep growing themselves.
“No matter what level you are at, that feeling of not quite being there never goes away,” he says. “I truly believe that even the most ‘successful’ and biggest artists in the world still look at themselves as amateurs.”
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