Carisa Zhavia Ward is an R&B singer, songwriter, and musician from America. She is more popular by the mononym Zhavia. A native of California, Zhavia harbored musical aspirations since she was a child. She was inspired by the likes of Wiz Khalifa and Post Malone as well as by her parents, who were both singers. She started off her career as a singer by performing at talent shows and open mic challenges and later landed an opportunity to be a part of the Urban Music Department of the OC Hit Factory, which is a recording academy run by producer Thomas Barsoe. In 2018, she appeared as a contestant on the first season of Fox’s reality television music competition series ‘The Four: Battle for Stardom’ and finished the series as one of the finalists. Since then, she has put out two singles, ‘Candlelight’ and ‘Deep Down,’ and has collaborated with Diplo, French Montana and Lil Pump on the song ‘Welcome to the Party’ for the soundtrack of the superhero film ‘Deadpool 2’.
Rise to Fame
In October 2017, executives from Fox Broadcasting Company reached out to Barsoe with the offer to conduct auditions for some of his singers for their new music reality competition series, ‘The Four: Battle for Stardom’. They informed him that the concept of ‘The Four’ vastly differed from that of ‘American Idol’ and ‘The Voice’. While the last two shows revolved around relatively untrained talents, ‘The Four’ was looking for polished artists who would be prepared for a career as soon as the show concluded. During their conversation, Barsoe realized that Zhavia was the perfect candidate for the show. At the time, she was writing music in the next room. Barsoe asked her to join them and she gave a successful audition but did not want to participate in the show. However, they eventually managed to persuade her.
Zhavia made her television debut on the first episode of the first season of ‘The Four’, which aired on January 4, 2018. She not only received positive votes from all the four judges but also went on to be declared the winner of the episode. She was eliminated in the week four episode but was eventually brought back because of audience voting. She finished the competition as one of the four finalists and later signed a record deal with Columbia Records.
Since then, she has released two singles: ‘Candlelight’ and ‘Deep Down’ and was featured in Diplo, French Montana and Lil Pump’s track ‘’Welcome to the Party’’, which was part of the ‘Deadpool 2’ soundtrack.
Zhavia is very popular on various platforms of social media. She has about 200 thousand followers on Twitter, more than one million followers on Facebook, and 3.3 million followers on Instagram. Furthermore, she has accumulated over 530 thousand subscribers and about 20 million views on her YouTube channel.
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Zhavia was born on 6 or 7 March 2001, in Orange County, California. Her mother’s name is Bobbi Jo Black. She has two sisters, Poiema Victoria and Tabitha, and a brother, Pierce. Zhavia’s father was an R&B singer himself. Her mother used to be a member of a metal band before she became a hairdresser and businesswoman. She currently runs a beauty salon in Los Angeles.
Zhavia’s parents divorced when she was quite young and she and her siblings were subsequently raised by their mother in SoCal between Norwalk and Monrovia. They moved from one house to another during this period, living with friends and relatives.
Music has always been a part of her life. Besides her parents, she drew inspiration from the careers of popular artistes, such as Wiz Khalifa and Post Malone. By the time she turned 15, she had been already singing at local talent shows and open mic events.
In February 2017, Zhavia and her mother met Thomas Barsoe, a Danish record producer who had set up the OC Hit Factory at The District Shopping mall in Tustin Ranch. Their Urban Music Department was headed by rapper Curtis Young, the son of Dr. Dre. Barsoe and Young were looking for raw, new talents in the Orange County area and immediately recognized Zhavia’s potential. A week after meeting Barsoe, she auditioned for him and Young, singing The Fugees remake of ‘Killing Me Softly’. Her performance deeply impressed both of them and Barsoe convinced Zhavia and her mother to let him be her manager and promised them that he would garner big opportunities for her before Christmas that year. She subsequently was home-schooled so that she could graduate early and focus on her singing career.