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MX Player, Red Bull & Smule hunt for India’s next rap superstar

Red Bull Spotlight will see eight rappers go head-to-head for the title

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MUMBAI: With the hip-hop scene in India fast evolving and artists from the country making their mark on the global stage, a new series gives the next generation of rappers a platform to learn from the best and hone their skills. An MX Original Series, Red Bull Spotlight, featuring beats from Smule’s hip hop music app AutoRap, is a nationwide hunt to discover and support India’s best emerging rappers, now streaming for free on MX Player.

Started in 2019 as a platform to discover India’s newest rap talent, Red Bull Spotlight is now a six-part series that will see eight rappers go head-to-head for the title. The winner will receive the opportunity to record a full-length album in a professional studio, a music video, an EPK and more, selected following a finale judged by the biggest names in Indian hip-hop – Divine, Naezy, Emiway Bantai and Dee MC.  

MX Player COO Vivek Jain said, “We’re delighted to have partnered with Red Bull and AutoRap to bring alive the biggest battleground for budding rap enthusiasts in India. This three-way partnership presents as the perfect harmony of brands coming together for a bespoke integration and digital first content solutions, that we’re able to weave into stories or formats that can appeal to our large user base.”

Smule president Bill Bradford described Red Bull Spotlight as a launch pad for the next generation of hip hop talent in India. “We’re proud to provide the musical creation platform these rising stars can use to share their stories, and to serve as the backdrop of their art,” he added.      

In the series, produced by Red Bull Media House and MX Player with Supari Studios and directed by Nisha Vasudevan, the finalists spend a week under the mentorship of some of the finest in Indian hip-hop, attending workshops and sessions, doing challenges and more. Mentors include Sofia Ashraf, Naezy, Dopeadelicz, Sez on the Beat, and D’evil.

“I was pleasantly surprised by the wide-ranging talent in the finale. I think that says a lot about the selection process and also about the quality of talent waiting to be discovered and given a platform in India,” said hip-hop artist Divine, who was a judge at the finale. “Red Bull has been supporting music and culture in many different formats right from before I started as well and up to now. Spotlight is another endeavour in that long line of platforms given by them in helping talent get discovered and work towards building sustainable careers for them.”

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