After rocking out on TV this spring as a contestant on NBC’s The Voice, Broadway veteran Tony Vincent (American Idiot, Jesus Christ Superstar, Rent) has just released a four-song EP titled In My Head. Broadway.com chatted with Vincent about his latest solo effort and what he learned from his time in the TV spotlight.
“It’s fun to be able to return to my own music after so many years of performing somebody else’s,” Vincent, who has sung the music of Green Day and Queen in stage musicals, said. “I’ve had two major record label deals in the past, and I’ve finally been able to approach some personal issues and characteristics of my personality the way I want to present them. When I was first signed to Epic Records, their intent was to have me be the next George Michael. I wanted to be the next Liam Gallagher. I love Brit pop, and that’s all over this record.”
Now in control of his own career, Vincent says the EP, which features songs like “Starting Over” and “Stronger Than Before,” is a new beginning. “The reason it’s called In My Head is I wanted to show a very intimate side of me, something a little more aggressive than people have heard before on my solo releases. I also want them to see a bit of vulnerability, so I discuss the sin in my own life, the downfalls and times I continue to fail and disappoint myself.”
Vincent began work on the EP before appearaing on The Voice and opted not to rework the material after his TV appearance on the advice of mentor Cee-Lo Green, as well as famed producer/singer Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds. “Talking with them, I realized I would be a fool not to put out a project that I was incredibly proud of,” Vincent said of the new songs, which he originally intended to send out as pitches to record companies. “They said, ‘You don’t have to change anything you’re doing. We’re not going to give you any advice because what you’re doing is incredibly authentic and we would be doing you an injustice if we told you how to angle what you’ve done.’”
On The Voice, Vincent performed songs like “We Are the Champions” and “Sweet Dreams,” making it to the final three members of Green’s team before being eliminated on April 10. Vincent says the show definitely raised his profile. “TV is a part of the puzzle of making the artist accessible,” he notes. “If you don’t have that type of exposure, you’re going to be beating your head in a van touring 295 days a year, never seeing your family or having a life of your own. When I was in L.A. [filming The Voice] I was noticed all over the place because I still had a shaved head and was wearing eyeliner.” Returning home to New York (with his hair growing back!) has allowed Vincent to become “a little more incognito.”
While Vincent is focusing on his solo career for the time being, he hasn’t turned his back on the stage and hopes to write his own musical someday. “I look at people like Duncan Shiek who entertain the pop world and still return to the theater world. Writing a musical would be a coming home in an exciting way.”
In My Head is now available on iTunes. Vincent will also perform at New York’s Rockwood Music Hall on July 23.