THE FOUR: BATTLE FOR STARDOM: Sharaya J. CR: Michael Becker / FOX.

Kennesaw’s Sharaya J opens second season of ‘The Four’ June 7

Originally posted by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Fox’s “The Four” has fashioned itself as the brasher, more hip cousin of “American Idol” and “The Voice.” 

Plus, it has reverse engineered the entire process. It starts with four “winners” who were hand-picked by the producers to start the competition. Then others come in to try to pick them off one by one. 

Three judges remain from seasonone: Meghan Trainor, DJ Khalid and Sean “Diddy” Combs. Record executive Charlie Walk is gone after sexual harassment charges were levied against him though allegations were not linked to his work at “The Four” specifically.

During the first season, which aired earlier this year, all four original performers were ousted by the second episode. 

This season’s opening quartet features a Kennesaw-based female rapper who goes by the name Sharaya J. Born in Hawaii and raised in New Jersey, she came to metro Atlanta about six years ago. “It’s popping for music,” Sharaya said in a recent interview.”It was just the best place for me to record and be creative. I also have a dance background and I have a lot of friends who are choreographers.”

Season one of “The Four” was only six episodes. This summer edition runs eight episodes so the gauntlet to win will be even rougher. 

Sharaya watched season one and figured out that to win, she will need to quickly get the crowd on her side as much as the judges. “You have to connect with the people when you get on that stage and own it. I am a dancer and a showman. I will bring all these aspects of myself on that stage” 

One of her mentors as she broke into the business was Missy Elliott. “She gave me so much wisdom,” she said. “She helped me develop my musical side and taught me the business as well.”

She has also written short films and wants to pursue a Hollywood career as well. “I definitely want to break into acting,” she said. As for “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta,” she has no interest. “I like to focus on creativity and the craft,” she said. “Not that.” 

She likes the way contestants on “The Four” have to battle head to head for spots. “Hip hip is all about the cockiness,” she said. “Standing your ground, getting in there. I’m as competitive as it gets. This excited me.”

The other three opening contestants are R&B singer Carvena Jones, soulful British artist James Graham and Latino performer Stephanie Zelaya

PREVIEW

“The Four,” 8 p.m., season two debut on Thursday, June 7, 2018, Fox

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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