EXCLUSIVE: “The Four” Adds App, Expands To Global Talent Pool For Season 2
The Four on Fox Season 2 is all about showing up and showing out. The panel is looking for the next big international superstars and you at home are in the fourth seat when you use The Four app. You can watch auditions and tell the judges who you like and have the power to send the challengers packing if they don’t bring it to the battle. The Four begins where most competitions end: with the four finalists.
The battle for stardom will be interesting for the four that were chosen to compete this time around. This season is starting out with two southern belles Carvina Jones from Jackson, MS and Sharya J. from
Atlanta, GA, plus two international sensations. Stephanie Zelaya representing Guatemala City, Guatemala and James Graham, who is the only guy with a seat right now, hails from Chelmsford, Essex, England.
theJasmineBRAND correspondent Miss Conversation Piece got a chance to catch up with the panel for a roundtable discussion with Diddy, Meghan Trainor, DJ Khalid and host of the show, Fergie. This season Diddy is letting it be known that The Four is taking it up a notch and season two will be tougher and more entertaining. Khalid commented that since the people have demanded a season two,
it only gets better and better and like Diddy said we coming with it we ain’t playing no games.
What about the show stands out from the competition?
Diddy: The number one thing is hip-hop. We are the first competition show to give hip-hop an opportunity. We welcome everything from country to pop to R&B, hip-hop, EDM and last but not least it’s not just a competition show it’s actually a battle. It’s actually one person challenging another person to see who wants to fight for their dream and who is more prepared to make their dreams come true.
Do you think it is better to be the one with the advantage to have that seat or to be the underdog to come for that seat?
Diddy: It’s always a lot of pressure for the champion in anything that’s competitive. I think that people naturally want to root for an underdog, I know I do and they always want to see changes and something new and something different and that’s the beauty of our show. We embrace that and I think the chair holders know what they have to do and the challengers they have to really, really step up but whenever you’re on top, I don’t know if you’re the one that gets rooted for. There are just people that are special and they have a special connection maybe with their fans or the way people see them but most of the time were always rooting to see another person get to the top.
You are very vocal about the challenges, you love a challenge…how would you describe yourself as a judge?
Diddy: I would describe myself as brutally honest and as a judge, I have the best intentions just like as an executive producer I have the best intentions for the people I’m critiquing. I want them, even if they are not gonna make it to the next level, to be able to learn and to be able to grow from the experience so I see myself as truth.
Do they need to have that dedication to the grind or is the talent the focal point right now?
Diddy: Definitely not talent, its preparation… Greatness is preparation. Talent is something only a few people have greatness is something that you have to earn and have to work hard for.
Fergie, what would you like to see more of this season that you didn’t get a chance to see last season?
Fergie: I get really excited about this show because I feel like it pushes boundaries that these talent competitions haven’t gone to before. I love that there are rappers competing in this game. It’s exciting to me, just the diversity of the whole scope of music that is there. I’d also like to see the personalities come out and the bravery that these competitors have. I feel like there are so many different types of talent and I think that the bravery that these people have. I’m up there kinda like a mommy. In one way I’m there if anybody needs a hug, sometimes I’m the one who needs a hug, but I’m there also feeling their energy and I can feel that fear and when those emotions are going to come out.
They just push through and push past those fears and say something really brave or really confident and I just am inspired by them because I love seeing that sort of beast. You have to have that bravery inside to push through that and that self-love to know,’ ok I can take this and I’m in this business,’ push through that and even have some swag about it. Talk some trash and have a laugh about things and move on and move forward.
Do you meet the contestant before?
Fergie: I get to meet a lot of them before the judges and do some pre-interviews. Sometimes I’m at rehearsal for the cues and I get to peak at some of the rehearsal so I get excited. I get a little invested. Sometimes when you see those tears up there I really have seen a peek of them rehearsing and I know that they are putting everything into this.
Do you want to eventually judge or do you prefer the host position?
Fergie: I really love where I’m at. I feel like I believe that everything has a reason. I’ve learned to be grateful for my no’s and doors that are closing because I know that another one is opening up, but I feel like this spot was meant to be for me. It came at the right time in my life. It’s perfect. I’m in Los Angeles. I can be home with my son also be nurturing to these artists. Also, I’m looking at Diddy, Khalid, and Meghan who all have these different perceptions and different ways of looking at an artist.
I’m sitting up there almost taking some of that artist direction and putting it in my notes because they are great at constructive criticism and showing the way to that light and that door. I mean I was really surprised by you I have to say [ to Diddy]because I’ve known you for years and you’re just amazing because you’re showing a side that’s more intuitive than I ever knew you to be.
Diddy: One thing I want to say about Fergie is she is not the quote on quote host she is the ringmaster. She is in control of the energy and she is not somebody that cant whisper, or give some advice and hasn’t been in that position. We did that by design to make sure we had somebody that could also be a judge and have an opinion because it’s important for her to have an opinion and be able to say something that matters to the challengers and the contestants. I think that it was an incredible choice. She does it all.
You always tell the leaving out contestant walk your path with pride what do you want them to take from that?
Fergie: I think it speaks for itself. I didn’t know that my path was going to go this way. I knew that I wanted to be in the game. I knew that I wanted to be an entertainer from a very young age. I knew that. I didn’t know that it was going to go in this direction, in that direction, but that is what makes the tapestry of my life. I don’t see my life as a ‘you better get here or it’s a loss.’ Every fail that I take is a lesson and it’s my path that I’m supposed to walk so why not walk it with pride?
The winner last season, where are they now and how are you helping them?
Evvie, I just got off the phone with her and we’re involved in their career that’s the thing that separates us also. Our whole thing is we don’t want to duplicate greatness; American Idol is great, the Voice is great, we wanted to stand on the shoulders of greatness and do something new and disruptive. When it comes time to make a record, you know that’s what we know how to do and we know how to make an artist. I don’t throw them in the studio right away. We start with some artist development. I come from the school of Berry Gordy and Motown. [I need to] Find out where her voice was at, what she could do and her range and then form an artist. I want to help mold and shape a true artist.
So then we have to go into what is her story? What is her voice gonna be? She has started recording and we’re going to drop something as soon as we feel we have something that best represents her. We just stopped the first season like 12 weeks ago so it takes time and God willing by the finale you will see her debut her single and you will see it all come to fruition. She is definitely a star.
How do you suggest an artist prepare for battle on this show whether they’re a seat holder or the challenger?
DJ Khalid: You have to come on the stage and give it your all don’t think you can just have a second round or a second chance. In life, you can have as many chances by the way, but I’m talking about on that stage. Come with it so you can get the opportunity to challenge one of ‘The Four’ and if it’s you on ‘The Four” defending your seat you got to be ready to defend as well and you can’t be comfortable in the seat. So to answer your question is: go all out don’t think that ‘they will like me now and then I can come again.’
Meghan: If you’re about to go on there a lot of it is mental and I tell myself still to this day before going onstage ‘prove to this audience why you deserve to be here’ and I would tell that person if I got to talk to them before prove to us, the panel and prove to the audience and everyone watching at home, why you deserve to get up on that stage and why you deserve a chair.
DJ Khalid: ….and I want to make it clear just cause you don’t accomplish what you need to accomplish on that stage that doesn’t mean you don’t have another opportunity in your life to become the star that you want to be because you might be the greatest star ever but it wasn’t your time.
You’re so positive I love it…
DJ Khalid: The reason why is because I think about myself. It took me 25 years of hustling and grinding. Blood, sweat, and tears and it’s a lot of work.
How do you prepare before you get out on set?
Meghan: First season I was always scared. What am I gonna say after Khalid or Diddy? What am I gonna say? I finally feel comfortable and it’s not scary work anymore I’m so excited to meet new artist and I’m chilling with my family before the show. We say a prayer together and then we go out there and have a great time.
What type of sound would you like to hear emerge from the contestants this season?
DJ Khalid: I’m looking for something that I never heard before it has to make me feel a certain way. I remember when I first heard biggie. I remember when I first heard Run DMC. I remember when I first heard KRS-One. I remember when I first heard Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and Tupac. Those were all special moments in my life musically it made me feel a certain way. I want to feel something new from the new generation of new artists. I think that’s what makes you a superstar and God willing to be an icon or you can make music and be like the rest. I don’t think that’s the goal.
You said that you have been grinding for 25 years to get to this point and Ashad is your son and he pretty much has everything that I want. Do you feel like, even with these contestants, does that hunger come from having to get it out the mud or learning from a great that’s right in your home?
DJ Khalid: It comes from both. Before I was a father it was all about me coming straight from the mud to where I’m at now. Every door that closed on me, doors I had to break down, just the grind everybody goes through but Ashad came and he gave me more life. It’s not about me no more it’s about Ashad, and my family, and my queen. So I’m not only working to provide for him but also everything I do I’m an example for my son. While I’m doing this interview, the way I walk, the way I talk, the way I breathe, the way I eat, the way I exercise. Everything I do I am an example for my son. I gotta make sure I’m a great example.
Did you stay in contact with anyone that after the show that didn’t make it finalist wise that you felt you could work with and is that something you can do?
DJ Khalid: I’m always retweeting something or liking their post. Natural love.
Can they get in the studio with you?
DJ Khalid: Absolutely, they can get in the studio with me. Right now I’m saying to myself it’s about finding the time and really doing it to give the right love.
Meghan: Ash Minor that was on the first season. He is incredible and I was always saying like ‘man if he doesn’t make it I’ma still work with him.
Catch The Four on Fox.