Josh Levi: ‘The X Factor’ Alum Bursts onto the Scene with His First Project

Though The X Factor only lasted a few years in the United States, it did bring us a lot of great talents, including the members of Fifth Harmony. Another one of these acts is singer Josh Levi. He was initially a frontrunner in the competition who was controversially eliminated and rightfully brought back. Several years later, Levi has finally released his debut EP.

Josh Levi in 2018
Josh Levi in 2018 | Paras Griffin/VMN18/Getty Images for BET

Josh Levi on ‘The X Factor’ and after

Levi first gained fame as an actor. He had a recurring role on the acclaimed NBC/The 101 Network series drama series, Friday Night Lights. He appeared as the character Darius Merriwether from 2009 to 2011.

A couple of years later, he was a contestant on the U.S. version of the reality music competition series, The X Factor. Levi was on the show’s third season and made it to the finals as a member of Paulina Rubio’s “Boys” group. He was initially eliminated in the first live show before being brought back by the judges. He placed eighth on the show overall. Songs on the show he performed include Rihanna’s “Only Girl (In the World)” and “Stay,” Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up,” Bruno Mars’ “Treasure” and many others.

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After the series, he continued to release music, putting out several singles and releasing cover videos over the past few years. He also appeared on the Nickelodeon series, Game Shakers. Levi was also briefly in a boy band, Citizen Four, before departing to focus on his solo career. He released his first solo project, DISC ONE, earlier this month.

Here’s what the musician says about his new album

Describing his music as  “meeting” between the music of the past that he loves as well as the future, he essentially said that it isn’t easy to categorize his sound. He refers to his music as “genre-less.”

“It is hard to categorize music, especially like as a Black male artist,” he said to Hollywood Life in a recent interview. “So because I’m not one thing, there’s elements of pop, there’s R&B, there’s rock, there’s all the things that I love, there’s alternatives, some of everything.”

He also talked about the current events and the Black Lives Matter movement, including how he thinks he can assist by using his platform. “I think Black people owe it to themselves to in a world that’s against them, be their best selves, because that’s actually what shifts things,” he said. When you’re in positions of power, or create a platform or go against the grain of grapes, the rules or push the envelope, you’re showing people that you’re powerful and that you matter, and that you’re not afraid. So I think that’s also amongst the many goals that I have in terms of just the movement and my community and just trying to push and promote Black artists much as possible in this project and everything I do moving forward.”

DISC ONE is currently streaming on all major music platforms.