Staying ‘humble and kind,’ and of course talent, are perhaps what drew Blake Shelton to Bakersfield-based and bred musician and pastor, Jim Ranger from day one on ‘The Voice' and took him all the way to second place.
“This entire existence is a gift and not to be squandered. It’s doing the most you can with every situation you are given,” Ranger said. “So when this opportunity came up, it wasn’t something I was chasing. It just happened. [My wife and I] talked about it and said, ‘let’s see how far this rabbit hole goes.’”
After what he says is a crazy ride, he’s back home in Bakersfield with his three kids and wife, Camilla. Home is where his love for music began, whether in Arkansas, Bakersfield or on the road.
“I grew up in a home where music was extremely normal. The first five or six years of my life, we lived in a motor home and traveled around the country and did music, so it was such a normal part of my life.” Ranger said. “I joke all the time that it was first around 11 years old before I realized that not all families gather around the piano and sing together.”
Ranger added that he started taking music “more seriously” as a teenager, when he picked up guitar, wrote songs and joined choir at Ridgeview High School, where he sharpened his performing skills outside of church. ‘The Voice’ was not Jim Ranger’s debut on the national stage. Back in 2010, he auditioned for ‘American Idol’ on a whim.
“When it was over, I wasn’t sad. I didn’t have my break down moment, ‘you’ll see me again’ type of thing, you know?” Ranger said. “It was a silly rollercoaster I got to ride, and that was the end of it.”
But that was not the end of it. Ten years later, after playing music with local band Soulajar and putting out a worship album, he found himself submitting an audition tape for ‘The Voice.’
Through all of this, his family has been cheering him on. His wife and fellow New Life Church campus pastor, Camilla Ranger, said she’s enjoyed watching him grow as a man and a musician after almost two decades of marriage.
“One of the things I heard consistently is, ‘the same Jim we heard on ‘The Voice’ is the same Jim that we know.’ For me and the kids, this is the same man we have at home all the time. The world just got to see him,” Ranger said. “That’s what came through, and I think that’s what drew Blake to him.”
Now that the music industry, Ranger said, is off holiday break, he’s about to have some major talks, and he said, a record deal could be a possibility. In the meantime, he said he’s giving his all to his church and family.
Watch the full interview with Jim Ranger below: