It was a little over a month ago when an enthusiastic 14-member Now United performed in Dubai and there was chatter that another member from this region could find space amid the diverse group of young pop idols.
Following up on that promise, Now United has now officially announced it is launching a search for a new member from the Middle East and North Africa to join the global pop group.
Working in collaboration with beverage brand Pepsi, Now United has put out a call for audition videos from budding talent who could bag a chance to join the group created by music industry icon Simon Fuller, the man behind pop icons such as the Spice Girls, Kelly Clarkson, Annie Lennox and reality shows such as ‘American Idol’. With 14 young artists, each from different countries, already forming an integral part of the group, Fuller called the addition of a new member from the Mena region ‘a natural and important move’.
“Now United is all about incredible young talent coming together to share their passion for music and dance, and to represent their unique backgrounds in a positive spirit,” Fuller said in a statement. “The Mena region has such rich and diverse musical influences. We are looking forward to finding extraordinary talent who will represent the region on a global stage, whether they are from Riyadh, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, or anywhere else in this wonderful part of the world.”
“We’re so glad to have Pepsi support us in our search to find the newest addition to our Now United family. We can’t wait to come back to the Middle East to look for someone to join our Now United family — we know we are going to find someone incredible,” Now United’s Indian group member Shivani Paliwal said in a statement.
Last month, during Now United’s Dubai concert, singer Noah Urrea told Gulf News tabloid! that another member joining the pop group from the Mena region was a distinct possibility.
“I would love for that to happen. I mean, what’s so cool about Now United is that there’s 14 of us now, but we just announced that we’re gonna get a new member from Australia and we definitely have ... We’ve been talking about getting a new member from another place that … you never know. You just never know,” Urrea said at the time.
Now United comprises 14 singers and dancers from different countries and was formed in December 2017. Fuller and his team selected 14 singers and dancers — each from a different country — through a social media talent search.
Since, the band has announced plans to add two new members, one from Australia and now, one from the Mena region. Band members include Bailey May (Philippines, 17), Noah Urrea (US, 18), Any Gabrielly (Brazil, 16), Joalin Loukamaa (Finland, 18), Sina Deinert (Germany, 21), Sabina Hidalgo (Mexico, 20), Heyoon Jeong (South Korea, 23), Sofya Plotnikova (Russia, 16), Shivani Paliwal (India, 17), Krystian Wang (China, 19), Lamar Morris (UK, 19), Diarra Sylla (Senegal, 18), Hina Yoshihara (Japan, 17) and Josh Beauchamp (Canada, 19).
How to audition
Now United and Pepsi are inviting potential group members from across the Middle East and North Africa to submit an audition video to Search.nowunited.com. Fuller and the group will then select the best candidates to attend a ‘rigorous audition and boot camp’ planned for late January, from which one candidate will be chosen as Now United’s newest group member.
Submissions will be accepted until January 12, 2020. Invitations to participate in the audition boot camp will be sent out shortly thereafter. The boot camp is set to take place at the end of January.