Zaytoven, Tina Davis Talk New BET Music Competition, ‘Next Big Thing’

In the past, we’ve seen music competition shows push aspiring artists to their breaking points—all in the hopes of becoming the next Beyoncé or Drake.

BET Networks is bringing a new twist to the reality music competition game with its newest show, ‘The Next Big Thing.’

Head of A&R at Empire Records, Tina Davis, entrepreneur and record executive Dame Dash, and Grammy Award Winning producer, Zaytoven, make up the panel judges also known as “The League,” alongside host, Charlamagne tha God.

“This has never been done before and absolutely, not on this scale,” says, Davis. “The finale will change someone’s life.”

Davis notes that “After watching all the other [shows],  I can’t tell you more than  2 or 3 of them I’ve ever seen in concert that can tour by themselves. Let alone, sold anything over other artists that are not even on the show. You have 50 million people watching you and you can’t go Gold—that’s a sign.” Adding, “You have to touch people. You have to be able to perform and be an entertainer to do so and this show gives you the tools for that.”

21 up-and-coming R&B and hip-hop artists will go through an intense artist development boot camp designed to create superstars.

Judges are looking for someone with that long-lasting star quality and dedication. But musical skills alone won’t help these acts.

Zaytoven discussed the expectations that come with this competition and why it’s not only about the music.  The producer even referenced longtime friend and collaborator, rapper Gucci Mane, as someone the contestants can learn from.

“One thing I learned about Gucci is, he’s going to do whatever it takes to keep the attention on him. Whether it’s buying jewelry and cars, whether it’s music and now he’s fit and looks a totally different person. It goes to show, to be the next big thing or the next big artist, you’ve got to have more than just your talent of singing or rapping.”

Noting that in this industry, you have to be the total package in order to survive.

“What’s else are you going to do to intrigue people? That’s going to keep people wanting to see you and watch you or even care about what your music sounds like. Gucci has been a prime example of that and that’s what we’re looking for on the show.”

Take a look at a clip from our interview above.

In case you missed it, check out the trailer below.


The Next Big Thing airs every Tuesday at 10 pm/9 pm CT on BET.

Tabie is your friendly neighborhood transplant, currently attempting to live out the big New York dream. During my free time, I like to write stories and short essays. I also use this expensive thing I bought called a camera. I capture moments and the beautiful people I encounter. I live by the motto "collaboration over competition" because why waste energy bringing someone down when we can rise together. Manhattanville College Alum.