Sundance Head: 'The Voice' is my second chance, I squandered the opportunities I had on 'American Idol'
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/21/2016
Sundance Head is trying to take his music career to the next level on The Voice after finishing in thirteenth place on American Idol's sixth season years ago.
Sundance, a 37-year-old musician from Houston, TX, performed a cover of Otis Redding's "I've Been Loving You Too Long" in his cowboy hat and boots on the premiere of The Voice's eleventh season, and both Blake Shelton and fellow mainstay coach Adam Levine pushed their buttons and turned around for him.
The son of Roy Head, who's behind the 1965 hit called "Treat her Right," first competed on American Idol in 2007 when he was only 26-years-old, and the following year, he signed a recording contract with Universal Motown Records. However, Sundance experienced a lull in his music career afterwards.
Now, Sundance -- whose given name is actually Jason -- has been given a second chance after choosing to join Blake's team on The Voice.
During a Tuesday conference call with reporters, Sundance talked about his decade-long journey from American Idol to The Voice.
What happened after American Idol? Did you work a day job?
Sundance Head: After American Idol, I signed with Universal Motown. I'm the only artist on that show that signed a major record deal that didn't make it into the Top 5. I had a four-year contract with Motown and we recorded some stuff, but they decided not to release anything.
So, I just rode the contract out. And then whenever I came home, I started getting work. People would hire me, but I didn't know enough songs on the guitar to play 45 minutes. (Laughs) So I had to start learning how to be a musician all over again, you know?
So one thing I'm really thankful about when it comes to the experience on American Idol is that it did teach me in my soul what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, write music and be a musician.
I spent a good part of the last 9 or 10 years trying to develop my life to be the best father, husband and son that I can be, along with making a living playing music and writing songs and figuring out how to juggle all of it to create a good life for my family. And I feel like we're doing that right now.
I'm just really excited about everything that's going on right now. I've got a bunch of wonderful people on the show... [After Idol], I did take a job at a machine shop, and I did work there for a good part of eight years. I was an expeditor for a machine shop, and when the oil company started to go down about a year ago, I told my wife I needed to do music full-time.
So, I've been doing it full-time for about a year now. Back in Texas, I'm nominated for New Male Vocalist, Artist and Song of the Year for a song called "Darling, Don't Go." The music awards are this month and I'm really excited to see if I'm able to bring any hardware home. But even just to be nominated, I'm really proud.
Could you compare your American Idol experience to The Voice so far?
Sundance Head: Well, for me, I really feel like I squandered the opportunities I had on American Idol. I was unprepared, I definitely was not ready for what went down.
I think they spent a lot of time trying to help me out and trying to guide me in the right direction, but on the same note, I was a little bit naive about the whole process, and I should've paid more attention to what the show was trying to advise me to do as far as leadership.
And with this show, the difference that I can see right now, to be honest with you, is that they have a lot of intent on helping the artists and the performers on the show to grow. And they go out of their way to give you outstanding advice and leadership.
Now, it was probably done that same way during the Idol show, it's just, like I said, I was immature and unprepared for that whole experience. And I'm really thankful this time that I'm going to get another shot, and I hope that this time I can do things correctly, to be honest with you.
Well since it's your second time around on reality TV, I'm sure you've learned from prior mistakes and become a better musician all around.
Sundance Head: Absolutely. That's absolutely the truth. Like I said, I'm thankful that I have another opportunity. I'd also advise anyone... who has aspirations to be a singer or vocalist, just don't be scared and give it a shot.
A lot of people would like to do it, but they're afraid to lose. And I have to tell you that if you don't take the chances, you're never going to know what success is. That's my only advice.
So tell me why exactly you auditioned for The Voice after such a long gap since your time on Idol.
Sundance Head: Well, I needed to find a booking agent and a new gig! No, you know, it's out of passion, and I have a lot of people who believe in me. I have children now who are getting older, and I wanted to show them that it's important to take risks.
And I accepted the challenge because they asked me to do it. So, pretty much, it's just a learning experience for my family. Also, I think I've grown tremendously as a musician and artist and vocalist, and I just wanted to try to give it another shot if it was possible.