How Nvak Yerevan Works
In 2016 and 2017, Nvak ran its pilot summer pop music workshop on the TUMO campus in Yerevan, Armenia.
The student experience was intense. Over the course of three weeks, students collaborated on dozens of songs, from which ~12 were selected for guided rewrites before being demoed in Yerevan and sent to our producers for post-production. Students also performed their original works for a live audience in the heart of Yerevan. Our Nvak 2016 concert was done at Kami, a buzzing local nightclub, while our Nvak 2017 concert was done outdoors at the reopened Moscow Amphitheatre, with ~350 locals in attendance (in the rain!).
Starting in 2018, Nvak will become an independent and permanent entity in Yerevan. In addition to our annual summer pop workshop, Nvak will grow into a year-round program which guides our graduates through regular songwriting and production workshops, organizes concert events, and produces video and audio content for their songs to help promote their careers. Students submit work on an ongoing basis to industry professionals for music placement opportunities (in advertising, television campaigns, film, etc), feedback and more. Nvak also plans on developing rehearsal, recording, and performance facilities for use by Nvak students and artists/musicians in the wider community.
All workshops, classes, exercises, and opportunities are offered to students free-of-charge.
Musicians in Armenia face unique challenges. With a national population of less than 3 million people, access to outside opportunities and exposure is crucial for the creative community.
Unfortunately, local government corruption, combined with state control of the main television and radio outlets, means that local musicians who are not well-connected often find it nearly impossible to find career exposure, creative outlets, and commercial opportunities. Restrictive visa exit requirements make it equally difficult for Armenian musicians to pursue educational and career opportunities in the wider Western market.
In spite of this, Armenia has a thriving underground of young, passionate, and extraordinarily talented young musicians and writers who are eager to make their voices heard.
Nvak Yerevan's Impact
In just two years, Nvak has developed an alumni community of over 100 active and engaged singers, songwriters, and producers in Yerevan.
- Local Exposure: Each week, our staff and interns organize social events and live performances (in the form of open-mic nights, busking, songwriter circles) in and around Yerevan.
- Regional Exposure: In February of 2018, two of the songs written by five of Nvak’s songwriters were featured on Depi Evradesil, Armenia’s qualifying show for Eurovision.
- Global Exposure: Nvak is working with Universal Music Publishing to produce a 6-song EP of original music that Universal will release in early 2019.
- Industry Collaborations: Nvak gives students the opportunity to collaborate with world-renowned popular music artists. Our students have written topline for beats donated to Nvak by System of a Down’s Serj Tankian and Capital Cities’ Sebu Simonian, and have had their songs workshopped and produced by Evanescence’s founding member Ben Moody.