"A Lot of Determination Is What It Takes To Become a LIVE Artist Today" - Salim Merchant

Entertainment | July 9, 2018 | Interview

Aloft Hotel Salim Merchant

Marriott International’s Aloft Hotels, in partnership with Universal Music Group & Brands (UMGB), the brand strategy division of Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, has launched the 2018 Asia Pacific edition of  Aloft Hotels' artist discovery competition Project: Aloft Star Asia-Pacific. Universal Music has roped in singer and music director, Salim Merchant to mentor the artists. EVENTFAQS got in touch with Salim Merchant about the collaboration here's what he has to say about it.

Tell us something about your collaboration with Universal Music and Aloft Hotel?

This unique collaboration is very interesting because we have talent that is local, talent based out of places that have small bands and artists that are locally famous. We are hoping that we can get participation from one and all. These guys are doing something fabulous by having this amazing talent contest, where people submit their videos, with their musical abilities, and if they are good and if we select them, the finalists get a chance to get a mentorship from me and get to go to South Korea to compete with Asia’s best competitors in this Project Aloft Star. Apart from that, Universal Music Group is going to give them a record deal and also give them a music video and make them part of the Universal Music Group Family. It’s a lot of good things that can happen to an individual or a band if they have what we are looking for.

2. What are your expectations from this Project?

I think whenever there is an opportunity for an artist to do something amazing like that, I expect people to really participate to show us what they have in terms of their musical abilities. A lot of artists sometimes think it’s just one of those competitions but it’s not just that. It’s a beautiful concept because none of the hotels have anything like that which gives an opportunity to the local artists to go ahead. So that’s a brilliant thing and I am hoping that we can get great participation from a lot of amazing talent.

3. What kind of Mentorship program have you designed for this Project?

I have an idea to guide them beautifully. I know that there are new people and that they have unique talent, and they will obviously have their ways and means to do things but I have a few things that I have learnt myself and I will be happy to share my knowledge with them, show them that few little things which really works as an artist. You know sometimes you get stuck, sometimes you need warm-ups, sometimes you get a tip about how to select a song, what to perform, how to present your song, and what kind of unique element you should have in your performance to make it big.

Share with us how did your music journey begin and when did you realize in your life that you wanted to pursue music as a career?

Since I was 9-10 years old, but at that time I did not want to be a part of this music industry. I was performing in my school at the age of 14 and I met somebody who was in the audience and he was a music composer and he told me “you know what, you have something really special”. I was in the 10th standard and he called me and he said “you know what, you can come by and do a recording with me”. I did that and from then onwards, there was no looking back.

What were some of the biggest challenges of your career and what have you learned from it?

I think every day is a challenge for me quite honestly. There have been certain hurdles, Chak De India was one. While composing the anthem I made 6 to different 7 versions before I could come up with the only version and it was quite a struggle, a difficult one, and the final one is the one which we all listen to right now. It was a big struggle. In 2010, we made the anthem for FIFA World Cup which was a big challenge for us, to take that forward, to pursue and to firstly compose that and then perform. We were working on a movie called 'Bhoot' sometime back, which was a challenge. Every day is a new thing. when I signed Indian Idol as a judge, that was a difficult one as well, very difficult for me to judge talent because I myself was hesitant about what kind of championship and leadership do I have. I think if you look at life, every day is a challenge.

6. What challenges you more, giving music for movies or performing LIVE and why?

Both have their glory and both have their challenges. I personally feel composing music for films is far more difficult because you are composing for a story, there is a film involved with lots of other things.

7. What does it take to become a Live Artist today?

A lot of determination.


Salim Merchant talks about his collaboration with Aloft Hotel for Project Aloft Star.

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