We’ve heard the contestants put their spin on hits of yesteryears as part of the Samsung and Billboard’s NXT 2.0 singing competition, but now they’ve shined a light on their own style.
For the second round of the contest, the 12 contestants were instructed to show off their chops with original songs, using their Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4, and the submissions varied in delivery. While some contestants highlighted their roots by singing in another language, others put effort into performance-style execution, pairing the mood of their tracks with their filming set. Much like their covers of BTS’ dance floor anthem, “Butter,” the dozen delivered a bit of everything sonically from sultry ballads, pop/rock offerings and feel-good odes to romance.
As with the previous round, the contestants were then ranked on a specialty Billboard chart, with one final challenge ahead of them. The last announcement will be revealed by a third celebrity mentor in the singing competition, who will join the likes of Mariah Angeliq and Flo Milli.
The winner of Samsung and Billboard’s NXT 2.0 competition will land on the cover of a special digital issue of Billboard, receive a meeting with a record label, studio time to record their first single, funding for a music video and tickets to the 2023 Billboard Music Awards. Check out each submission as part of the original song challenge, and click here to follow along for the latest on the Samsung NXT 2.0 competition.
Leonforte is in a better place after closing the door on a toxic romance as viewers heard in his submission song, “Better Without U.” On the pop-charged track, he delivered heightening vocals as he belted about the aftermath of the breakup.
To highlight her origins, Ellie opted to sing her song in Spanish and it’s clear why “Infeil” is so important to her. The reggaeton track is the very first song that she ever wrote and even jumpstarted her music career.
FIKI put her culture on display in her submission track, “Wahala,” which is a Yoruba word that translates to “problem.” On the stripped-back song, the singer declares just how much she wants to swerve all kinds of drama.
Trekking to an empty parking lot, King offered up his dance moves in a mini-music video style submission for “Like Me Too,” a self-love track that he wrote after his frustrations with dating in 2022.
It was a moody start to the day in Rose’s challenge video, which highlighted his original song, “Dangerous.” The silky R&B track came about after his realization about an ill-fated romantic connection.
For this round, Lordus got personal, singing her original song, “What Is,” which she compared to a page out of her diary. In her submission, the singer put a spotlight on the slow-burning cut’s adlibs as clips of her backing vocals were emphasized throughout the video.
Hicks’ original track, “Heart At War,” is meant to be up for interpretation, but the contestant said the piano ballad reflects physical and spiritual struggles, and those emotions were heard loud and clear during this week’s submission.
Tortolani put her all into her Spanish-language track, “Me Quedé En El Aire,” a song that she produced and even filmed a music video to pair. In her submission, she delivered some light choreography to the Latin track, which she released in 2021.
Nyla XO sent a message to “all the lovers” out there in her second challenge submission with “Perfect View.” The uplifting track was written with her husband in mind and captures the emotions that come about when she’s doing life with her special someone.
McMahon created “Someone” after he was feeling a bit lonely and surrounded by people in happy relationships. For his submission video, the aspiring star brought out his guitar for the emotionally-charged pop/rock track.
“Livin’ Rent Free” is Vaishalini’s unique concoction of sass, vocal layering and a perky beat to pair. The singer said she wanted to create a record that keeps in mind her overall artistic agenda: to empower her listeners.
To complement the context of his song, “You Break My Heart,” Wampy opted for a moody bedroom set for his submission video. On the R&B-charged cut, which happens to be his very first original song, the singer put his heart on his sleeve while reflecting on a breakup.