We Are Discovering Talent: Aloft, Champion of Live Music, Partners with Indie Rockers We Are Scientists to Expose Hottest Unsigned Band

Much of rock history has happened in hotel rooms. Now, Aloft is about to make another musical milestone.

July 17, 2012 // Franchising.com // Aloft, the sizzling "style at a steal" brand from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT), is partnering with hot indie rockers We Are Scientists to discover the world's hottest unsigned band. The groundbreaking "Play & Stay at Aloft" contest will see the winning band write and record a new track with We Are Scientists in a custom-built studio at Aloft London Excel.

"Play & Stay at Aloft" continues Aloft's dedication to giving new talent a world stage to connect with audiences. Aloft recently announced the biggest lineup ever for "Live at Aloft Hotels", the performance series that showcases up-and-coming artists at Aloft properties around the world. Aloft also became the first hotel brand to "break" a new musical artist when its "Project Aloft Star" talent competition launched in 2010.

Aloft has been conquering the globe with style since launching in 2005. Industry-rocking initiatives in music, design, and technology have positioned Aloft as a must-have brand for the next generation of travellers. The sizzling "style at a steal" brand blends modern and vibrant design with a social guest experience. Select Aloft hotels within the portfolio have earned designations in TripAdvisor's 2012 "Top 25 Trendiest Hotels in the World" rankings.

Here's how the "Play & Stay at Aloft" competition works: To enter the competition, bands need to email a demo, such as a track or video clip, or simply a link to their website, Facebook or Myspace page with their songs on it, to playandstay@aloftlive.com. Entries to the competition close on 8th October 2012 with the gigs taking place in Abu Dhabi, Brussels and London throughout September and October. The studio session and We Are Scientists' exclusive gig is scheduled for 1st November 2012.

The live performances will also become each band's final "audition" for the grand prize - the songwriting and recording session with We Are Scientists at Aloft London Excel. Aloft will provide all shortlisted bands with a presentation video, a complimentary night at the hotel where they perform, and dinner on the house. Bands will be encouraged to drum up as much buzz as they can from fans, who can watch their live performances.

The winning band will spend 12 hours with We Are Scientists in a converted suite at Aloft London Excel writing and recording a brand-new track. The track will then get its global debut in an exclusive live gig with We Are Scientists at Aloft London Excel on 1st November.

In an Aloft twist on the conventional recording process, fans will be able to interact with the winning band via a live stream on Facebook for the 12-hour session. The band will be able to view suggestions and take inspiration from followers to help create the new single.

Formed in Berkeley, California in 2000, We Are Scientists achieved their breakthrough with 2006's 'With Love and Squalor', which sold 100,000 in the first six months. They achieved further success with their albums 'Brain Thrust Mastery' and 'Barbara' in 2008 and 2010 respectively. The band is currently recording their new album due for release in early 2013.

"We're looking forward to spending 12 hours locked away with the winning band at Aloft London Excel creating what is destined to be something pretty incredible" said Keith Murray, one half of We Are Scientists. "It's definitely going to be interesting to see what fans suggest through Facebook!"

According to Brian McGuinness, Starwood's Senior Vice President of Specialty Select Brands, Aloft has had music in its DNA since launch. "We share our guests' love of music, their passion for discovering new talent, and their excitement for live performances," he said. "What's most exciting for us is that guests tell us we've become their partner in exploring music and finding cool new artists. More than just a hotel brand, Aloft has become a lifestyle brand for them, and it's one of the reasons why Aloft's a worldwide hit."

For more information on Play & Stay at Aloft, and to check out Keith Murray and Chris Cain from We Are Scientists discuss the competition, visit http://bit.ly/aloft-live.

About Aloft Hotels

With more than 60 hotels in 10 countries, Aloft has rocked the hotel landscape by offering "style at a steal" everywhere from Baltimore to Beijing to Bogota to Brussels - and everywhere in between. For more information, please visit www.alofthotels.com.

Aloft, like all brands within Starwood's portfolio, is proud to offer the Starwood Preferred Guest(R) program, which offers a breakthrough policy of no blackout dates on Free Night Awards. To learn more, please visit www.spg.com.

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1103 properties in 100 countries and territories with 154,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W, Westin, Le Méridien, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft, and Element SM. The company boasts one of the industry's leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit http://www.starwoodhotels.com

Media Contact:

Jenni Benzaquen
Director Public Relations
Starwood Hotels and Resorts
Europe, Africa & Middle-East
t +32 2 204 5494



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