Zaytoven’s Search for the Next Big Thing


BET’s The Next Big Thing premiered on July 9, 2019 and has been getting more intense as the competition progresses. Each week in the build-an-artist bootcamp, someone is sent home while the others are given an opportunity to prove themselves until the next elimination. By the end, two contestants will get the chance to audition for four major record companies, but only one will claim the title of the “next big thing.”

Creating a spotlight for up and coming talent, the show proves itself to be beneficial for contestants whether they make it to the final round or not with guest mentors included Tamar Braxton, Lil Kim and Remy Ma. The ten episode series began with 12 contestants who strove to win weekly challenges while impressing the judges: the Vice President of A&R at Empire Records, Tina Davis, record producer Damon Dash and Xavier Dotson a.k.a music producer Zaytoven. Although most of the pressure is on the contestants, Zaytoven shared his experience adjusting to his time on camera. 

“This is new for me, me expanding myself and expanding my brand,” the producer said during an interview at the shows premiere on July 8. “There wasn’t really any preparation,” he continued, “ I was just ready to jump in the fire. I always work with up and coming young artists so that wasn’t hard for me. But having the cameras on you is something different.”

Despite having to get used to the cameras, Zaytoven loves his new job. “I feel born again!” he exclaimed. “I feel like a whole new person so I’m excited! I was excited just to see myself on the screen.” On the show, Zaytoven is looking for the “IT factor.” Working with artists such as Future, Usher, Gucci Mane and more, the self proclaimed trap hero knows talent when he sees it. “For me it’s still a feeling. I have to see the person, watch the person, and be able to say, ‘that's it they got that it factor,” he said.

As for the future, Zaytoven is just enjoying the ride. “I’m always excited to see what God has for me next,” he said. “Sometimes I don’t even know what it is but that’s what keeps me excited.” In the meantime, when he’s not creating songs like “So Icy” or “Versace” (some of his favorites) Zaytoven will be using spare time for family time. 

Be sure to keep up with Zaytoven on Instagram at @zaytovenbeatz and tune into The Next Big Thing on BET on Tuesdays at 10 p.m.

Lenique VincentComment