Chris Bivins goes from reality TV to a Jay Verze collaboration
Last summer, the CW network attempted to jump into the post-American Idol gold rush of singing competitions with â€śThe Next,â€ť which went from city to city looking for hometown heroes. I recapped the episode in which the showâ€™s celebrity mentors came to Baltimore, and pop singer Jordan Baird won the night and went on to compete in the first season finals. At the time, I regarded Chris Bivins, the teenage R&B singer who was mentored by Nelly and performed an Usher song, as the weakest of the episodeâ€™s four prospects. But heâ€™s been apparently emboldened by his moment in the spotlight, and his new track â€ťHeavenâ€ť is pretty good.
â€śHeaven,â€ť the lead single Bivinsâ€™s upcoming HoCo Red EP, features a guest rap from up and coming Baltimore MC Jay Verze. Producer BJR gives the track the kind of brooding, textured production that makes it feel very up-to-date with R&B in 2013, not necessarily a hit in the making but certainly a confident first step towards mainstream radio. And the video, co-directed by Bivins and Addy Play, may be as impressive for showcasing the young entertainerâ€™s visual sense as for his singing and dancing skills.