‘The Voice’ Interview: Sundance Head on Creating a Winning Strategy, Performing with Kiss and More
Another season of The Voice is now behind us, and Blake Shelton can claim yet another win with season 11 team member Sundance Head.
BuddyTV participated in a conference call with Sundance. He shared his thoughts on what led up to him winning, the importance of choosing songs with positive messages, performing with Kiss and how he has grown over the years since being on American Idol.
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Did Sundance Have a Gut Feeling He Would Win?
Regular viewers of singing competition shows know that song choice is very important. Sundance believes that what he performed made all the difference for his chances, and he got a feeling that the title was within reach.
“I think that I did have a lot of momentum going into the last episode, especially the finale,” he said. “For me, I felt like everything was lining up the way that it should, and it was the right time for me. I was being rewarded from the world, and I had been putting a lot into everything that had led up to that day, and I really felt like my hard work was finally paying off.”
Regarding his song choices in the finals, he said, “The song choices that they gave me — from playing my dad’s song to being able to play with Kiss to singing ‘At last’ for my finale song and to be able to sing my original song ‘Darlin’ Don’t Go,’ which I wrote by myself for the love of my life — it just felt like it was too perfect. I thought it had to be going the right direction, but you still have to tell yourself there’s a possibility that maybe you won’t win, so I just tried to keep an even keel and not really get too sure of anything.”
But in terms of the groundwork that was laid in the weeks leading up to that moment, Sundance credits that to Blake. When he sang “Me and Jesus,” it was actually Blake’s idea to perform a gospel number. He told his artist, “‘I think it’s a good idea right now to do a gospel song. I think people want to hear one right now. There’s a lot going on in America right now. People are divided and they don’t even know why anymore. And I think we just need to bring it back around and try to have a really positive message about love and unity and faith.'”
After the reception he got for “Me and Jesus” (and “No One” before that), he knew what the plan was going to be moving forward. “Every song that we have from now on ’til the end of the show, as long as I’m on it, we’re going to go out and we’re going to sing songs that have positive messages about unity, love, respect, anything that has to do with just really good vibes. … It really changed everything.” He believed that songs like this would really connect with people in middle America.
How Much Did Performing with Kiss Mean to Sundance?
As we saw during the finale, Sundance got to perform with his favorite band, Kiss. But not everything was smooth sailing for this performance. Sundance admitted that he messed everything up during rehearsals. “I was dropping lyrics. I know all of their songs, and I could be the lead singer if I had to. But when we were standing there, I was so amazing that it was actually happening, I didn’t really know where I was.”
He says the experience was like “the first time I had ever been alone with a girl in a bedroom as a teenager. I really had no idea what to do and I was just so overthrown with emotion and it was such a wreck.” Fortunately, the band members were very understanding and gave Sundance advice. “They really talked to me and tried to calm me down and told me, ‘Hey man, we’re just lucky, man. It’s our honor to be up here with you. Just relax and take it easy.'”
Sundance also humorously admitted that “besides marrying my wife and having three children, that’s probably the fifth most important thing that’s ever happened to me in my entire life. Even more important than winning The Voice, I think, was just having the opportunity to play with Kiss on stage. As ridiculous as that sounds, that’s how much it meant to be. And I know that no matter what happens, if I go on to actually be famous or I don’t do anything else for the rest of my life, that’s a moment in my life that I will never be able to have again.”
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How Has Sundance Grown Since Idol?
Sundance was a contestant during season 6 of American Idol but was eliminated one week short of the Top 12. When he spoke with reporters after his Voice Blind Audition, he said he “squandered the opportunity” on Idol and was “immature and unprepared.” Now he’s going into more detail on what he was like back then and how he’s grown.
“I didn’t really have an identity as an artist, even to myself, so that was the first major problem with the whole thing,” he explained. “And secondly, I didn’t realize how important it was to pick a genre of music or a style of music and really try to target a fan base and try to continually target that fan base. On Idol, I was all over the place, and really none of it was good. … There’s just so many things I did wrong on that show.”
Regarding how he’s grown since then, Sundance says that “everything about me is better,” adding that he doesn’t know he ended up on Idol. “I tried out for that show on a whim. Really, I had no talent. I didn’t really know any songs. I couldn’t play guitar. I didn’t know myself as a human being, much less as an artist, and I hadn’t discovered my vocal abilities.”
He was the complete opposite going into The Voice, saying, “The experiences were so much better. I was so much more prepared as a person. I knew exactly what I wanted to do going into this, exactly what kind of strategy I had. I was going to try and cover as many female songs as I could that were females that I thought were super wonderful singers with great songs. And I tried to stick to that strategy as much as possible, and it did pay off for me.”
Were you excited that Sundance won? Did you like his performance with Kiss? And if you remember him from Idol, do you agree that he’s grown a lot as an artist? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
The Voice season 12 premieres Monday, February 27, 2017, at 8/7c on NBC. Want more news? Like our Voice Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of NBC)
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