• Nvak Yerevan

Our Flagship Program

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.

Why Yerevan?

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 active alumni community of over 80 active and engaged singers, songwriters, and producers in Yerevan, all of whom were former students.

  • Local Exposure: Each month, our students self-organize live performances in and around Yerevan. ~ 8-10 Nvak songwriters perform per show and ~ 30-40 people attend. They also take ownership of content creation by regularly filming video content of original music and covers, released on Nvak’s social media channels.
  • Regional Exposure: In February of 2018, songs written by five of Nvak’s songwriters - Lusine Mardanyan, Gagach Derkhorenian, Yana Karapetyan, Sanahin Papazian, and Ovsanna Khublaryan - 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 the late spring/ early summer 2018. In the offices of executives at Atlantic and Interscope Records, artist management firms, and Hollywood music supervisors, industry tastemakers are listening to - and helping to shape the futures of - our artists.
  • 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 Tankien and Capital Cities’ Sebu Simonian, and have had their songs workshopped and produced by Evanescence’s founding member, Ben Moody.

Nvak 2018