For more than three years, Kumu has connected content creators and digital artists with audiences all over the Philippines and around the world. They recently achieved major media milestones in the form of TV collaborations and a movie launch and now the fast-growing social entertainment app is shaking things up in the music space with Sing for the starsan international singing competition that will take place entirely live, the first of its kind.
Competition features four-time Grammy winner Michel Buble and Tony Award winner Lea Salonga. At a global press conference held on March 11, 2022, the two celebrity judges sat down with a TV personality K.C. Monterowho is also Kumu’s Vice President of Content, to talk about the role of social media in staying connected, their advice to budding stars, and their first dip in competitions on an all-virtual panel.
Montero, who is no stranger to hosting various television and radio shows to his credit, kicked off the press conference by introducing Kumu as a virtual place for creativity that values the culture of authenticity, highlighting its Filipino roots and its main goal to attract creatives and foster content. from around the world, with the added benefit of amplifying local voices on an international platform. Kumu already has the advantage of several established subsections and has a vast sea of digital podiums in its league: “You’ll find a buffet of genres,” Montero says, “like gaming, cooking, lifestyle , financial advice – all under the stars.” One of the fast growing genres of Kumu-nity is music: “We’ve always had people jamming in their live streams, like an online street corner, and now it’s one of the most broad categories of the platform.”
After a short video detailing exactly how much music audiences have grown on the app, he introduced Kumu’s Senior Vice President for Strategy and International Business, Anand Roy.
“Thanks to technology, geography is now a thing of the past,” Roy quips. “Kumu is at the forefront of breaking down barriers between people.” Montero and Roy then discussed the groundbreaking nature of an all-virtual competition and the role music plays in the app’s success. “Every day on Kumu feels like a multi-stage music festival,” Roy recalls, “and like [a social network] for musicians, by musicians, we believe it is right to create an opportunity that allows [all artists] to really shine.
By coming together and conducting an entire season of a musical face-off, Kumu, Warner Music Philippines and the judges hope to help achieve the social entertainment platform’s main goal of creating meaningful connections, whatever regardless of location or distance, and to foster inclusiveness in creative spaces. “I know so many artists who gravitate around Kumu in particular,” Salonga says. “It’s such a natural fit, and kind of a boon, really, for artists to keep doing what they love.”
“[I’m sure] we’re going to find someone who will just make us say ‘Wow’,” predicts Bublé. “I bet you five years from now, when the winner tops the charts, we’ll be looking back [Sing for the Stars] and we can say, ‘They came from this, we found that.’ I can’t wait for these artists to come into my life. With the judges giving local and international perspectives on their work in the music industry and tips on performing in general, this project with Kumu is a first even for them – proving that even the most seasoned artists can still do something new and surprise the public!
When it comes to advice for contestants (and any singer), Salonga has this to say: “A good artist is a good storyteller. The technical ability and the way you convey the emotion have the same weight for me. So bring your A game.” Bublé adds, “Music is such a pure bond, like the greatest romance with something that will never let you down; if you’ve fallen in love with it, you’re already a winner. So between breaking boundaries and finding the next generation of stars, Sing for the Stars is the something to watch right now — or, at least, from March 19 at 9:00 p.m. PHT, when the judges finalize the final four of 15 prospects and officially kick off the melodious tournament.
Ready to see future stars in action? Download Kumu for free from App Store, Huawei App Gallery and Google Play. And who knows? Next season it could be you streaming to stardom.
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