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Diddy, DJ Khaled, Meghan Trainor & Charlie Walk dish on the new show, which premieres Thursday night.
There’s a new reality music competition in town. Fox’s The Four: Battle for Stardom is a fresh take on talent searches, introducing four top-notch vocalists who battle it out to retain their spots against new challengers week after week.
“We start where all the other shows end and, when you’re in this music industry, everybody is fighting for that number one spot,” Sean “Diddy” Combs says about launching the show with four pre-selected vocalists. “You control your own destiny. The new generation is taking control of their new destiny.”
A star-studded list of judges — media mogul Diddy, producer DJ Khaled, Grammy-winning artist Meghan Trainor and Republic Records President Charlie Walk — will hit the stage to offer their expertise to contestants and, ultimately, find the next “star,” who will not only have the backing of the panel of judges, but will also be crowned iHeartRadio’s “On the Verge” artist.
Billboard chatted with Diddy, DJ Khaled, Trainor and Walk about the show, including how it’s different from other talent reality shows and how the Fox series will move the culture forward.
Why do you think the winner of this show will have more success in comparison to winners of other singing competition shows?
Meghan Trainor: We guarantee the love and support from all of us and a record deal. iHeart supported us by giving the Artist on the Verge award to them already, so they will be playing their songs on iHeart, and everyone listens to iHeart. It’s a guarantee us artists, who were working for years, want.
Diddy: It’s more of a vocal combat, vocal gladiator format, where we start where all the other shows end with the final four. Then, someone from home — just someone being home on their couch or in trains on their phone — is like, “I’m better than that.” They can send their audition to The Four’s website and we’ll see it. And if we like [what we] actually see, then me and Khaled…you can get a call at night from me saying, “Get ready to pack your bags!”
Charlie Walk: I think we we are thinking about it differently from other shows. We are not even thinking about other shows. The premise of this show is to take four great singers to start, who get challenged every week by four really interesting challengers. Then, in the battle of this, and through some of our commentary and expertise inside this panel, good becomes great, and someone great in the end not only wins, but we will really get to work. They also win this iHeartRadio prize of being treated like a superstar in a very immediate sense. Once we have that record tight, we’ll look at each other and pop it.
How will this show move the music industry forward?
Walk: We’re doing this to move culture. To me, it’s a legacy thing. If we do this and it works, we change someone’s life. We figured out how to break the code on something that hasn’t happened in a very long time. We’re not doing this to make a TV show. We’re doing this to move culture, and that’s what is exciting.
What’s something you wish you knew entering the music industry?
Trainor: How important the radio is and relationships are and how important it is to be kind when you show up to work — no matter where you are. Say hi to everyone! People remember if you were upset that one day, they are going to remember that and be like, “Wow, she was grumpy that day.”
DJ Khaled: You have to believe in yourself. If you say you’re going to succeed, then you must believe in it. Just because things don’t happen that second or that moment, that doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen. Some people, it’s quick. Some people, like me, it took over 25 years to get where I’m at. I didn’t give up, so my advice to the whole world is don’t give up just because you been denied or the door may be closed or something is hard…that doesn’t mean you can’t make it. It takes a lot to be great or No. 1. I’m speaking for The Four: These artists that are coming out, you got to come with it.
Walk: Good is the enemy of great. I could look into your eyes in 30 seconds and sense whether you’re that star or not. I’m not really concerned of how great of a singer you are. I’m concerned about what kind of an artist you are. Can you move me and make me care? If you can do that to me, you can do that to thousands of people.
The Four premieres Thursday (Jan. 4) at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.