CO:LAB - Partnering with MTV to search for gifted young artists in Asia

CO:LAB - A project between Lenovo and MTV


It’s rare to be able to work on projects that help make an impact on people’s lives. On February 25, 2013, Lenovo partnered with MTV to launch CO:LAB, a program that searches for Asia’s most talented DJ, Musician, Motion Graphic Artist, and Film Maker.

The winners were awarded with US$10,000 cash, mentoring from industry experts, Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga convertibles, and a chance for their own music video to be showcased on MTV. The idea of the program was to help further the careers of gifted young artists by helping them hone their skills, providing them with collaboration tools (i.e. the Yoga!), and giving them more media exposure.


We received close to 1,000 submissions from seven countries including Japan, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Philippines. After two months of voting and careful selection by our industry experts (including contemporary design and art collective, PHUNK and international DJs, Brendon P & Matty Wainwright), Nick Chan from Singapore, Karan Bedi from India, Ron Roumsub from Thailand, and Yuji Mitsuhashi from Japan, were victorious as Asia’s most talented DJ, Musician, Motion Graphics Designer, and Film Maker respectively. MTV flew to the winners’ hometowns and created vignettes documenting their journey, passions, and inspirations. I thought MTV did a fantastic job and was truly inspired by the stories!

Rocking DJ & Producer Nick Chan
Nick studied at Raffles Junior College, one of the most prestigious pre-university schools in Singapore. Like many Asian families, his parents expected him to go to university and become a doctor or lawyer. But his love for music took him on a different path. Check out his story.

Super Guitar Player Karan Bedi
Karan from New Delhi is the youngest of the lot, winning the contest at just 19 years old. His mom gave him his first guitar at the age of 11 and is now a part of a band called “The Zephyr”. Karan says CO:LAB has already gained him some fans and upon advice from the mentors, he will start building an online presence to house all his music for fans and potential bookings.

CG Artist Extraordinaire Ron Roumsub
Perhaps the most soft spoken of the bunch, Ron’s love for art started when he was drawing and reading comics as a kid. While he spent some time overseas, Bangkok is really home for him and his wife. His winning entry “Siam Heart” is a computer generated beating heart meant to show both the hustle and beauty of his hometown.

Film Maker Yuji Mitsuhashi
Living in Tokyo, Yuji-san is an experienced film maker who has already created many films and videos for different brands. He grew up watching the films in his parents’ huge movie library and he hopes his film work will one day inspire kids too.

I had the opportunity to meet the winners in Singapore (I almost pinched myself to make sure it was real). I watched the winners put the finishing touches on their music video, which was based on the theme “Pulse of the World”. Yuji and Ron had conceptualized the look of the video while Nick and Karan recorded the track. Being there and witnessing it all coming together was one of the highlights of my career. Some pics captured below:

Figure 1 - From Left to Right - Ron, Karan, Amy (me), Nick, Yuji

Figure 2 - Me with Regional Mentors: DJ Matty Wainright (to my left) and DJ Brandon P (to my far left)

Figure 3 - Lucky Draw winners won a trip for two to Singapore. Their first time outside of India!

Figure 4 - Yuji-san showing his film concept to mentors

Figure 5 - Ron showing the animation he developed for the film

Figure 6 - Nick and Karan recording their track

Figure 7 - Hashy Yusof lending her voice and image to the music video

The final music video was completed and will air following a 30-minute “Making of” on the MTV Show. Here are the lyrics for the song - quite beautiful I think:

Roadblock, lights out//
Crawling slowly//
Return to innocence//
This is your time
Space fight, blind date//
Feelings feelings//
What is all this dialogue doing for you?
Weak heart//
Broken rib//
Endless waiting patience//
Deliverance, I try to understand you
Fake fires//
Burning burning
Do you really wanna it? Burn for you?
Turn my baby around
Turn my baby around
And we'll find you
Standing right in front of me

Be sure to check it out on the CO:LAB website or on TV!

Guest blogging by Amy Wong, Brand Manager, Lenovo AP Branding & Advertising