Meet Saeed from ‘The Four’
The premise for The Four: Battle for Stardom has already collapsed — two of the four were replaced in the show’s first episode. Today we’ll meet the “Fifth Four,” soul singer Saeed.
He showcased his beautiful, soulful voice in a moving rendition of Run to You by Whitney Houston. Judge Meghan Trainor was drying tears as she told him, “I’ve never had this experience in my whole life. I just lost who I was, and it was just you and myself.”
He won the right to challenge one of the Four, and picked Blair. Saeed’s second song was Love Me Again by John Newman, a high-energy ballad that showed his full range. No surprise — the audience voted Blair out and Saeed took his seat. He may be on the show for a long time, so let’s get to know him.
Hometown: Lives in Los Angeles, born in Brooklyn
Genre: R&B, gospel, soul
Describes Himself As: “Singing with love, experiencing love, giving love, sharing love, losing love, and introducing the ultimate love.”
Credits: Saeed won a Grammy last year as a songwriter on Lalah Hathaway Live, which was awarded Best R&B Album. He also co-wrote one of BMI’s Ten Most Performed Songs of the Year (2016), Bless This House, performed by Dorinda Clark-Cole. Saeed has opened for Aretha Franklin and for Chrisette Michelle. He’s now a producer, vocal arranger, and vocal coach.
Fast Facts: Saeed is one of 21 (!) children. He says the first songs he ever remembers hearing were Aretha Franklin’s Ain’t No Way and Patti LaBelle’s If Only You Knew. He joined the “family choir” (21 kids, remember) and by age 9 was writing music. His SoundCloud account is full of emotional covers and clever harmonies. On Twitter, he constantly shows gratitude to his fans:
His Instagram strikes me as pretty humble: Full of quotes, photos of family, and lots of images that are not of him. Saeed’s influences include Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, Whitney Houston, the Winans, Luther Vandross, Commission, and the Clark Sisters,
Why He’ll Win: Meghan Trainor said Saeed had “the best smile I’ve ever seen in my life.” Saeed possesses humility and an optimistic spirit. He’s talented enough to have found some success in the “real” recording industry. And he’s old enough that voters may think of The Four as his last chance for stardom. There’s very little not to like about him.
Why He Won’t: But can he win? The show wants to be a ruthless competition; lose one challenge and you’re gone forever. While Saeed is unstoppable in the soul and gospel genres, a flashy, noisy singer could dethrone him with one great performance. He may be a star, as Diddy says, but not a superstar. And the judges on The Four really seem to want the latter.