Winner of NBC’s “The Voice” Makes Anthology Debut

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 16:57

An Interview with Javier Colon

by: Casey Pukl

The title of this post really should’ve been “Javier Colon: Just As Rad As You Thought He Was On TV”. Not only can he sing, play guitar, and write incredibly moving songs, but he also has a great sense of humor and an overwhelming gratitude for where he is today. His latest album, Come Through For You, is receiving great reviews, and is a welcome progression for this acoustic soul singer/songwriter. This week, I had the chance to chat with him about his experience on the show, where his inspiration comes from, who he listens to, and his bromance with “The Voice” coach, Adam Levine.

CP: Tell me about how you found out about “The Voice”, and what that whole experience was like for you.

JC: I found out about it through my manager who got an email about the competition going on. And at first, I was like well, they’re not going to let me do that because I had a previous deal with Capitol Records, so I assumed I wouldn’t be eligible. But my manager inquired about it, and found out that I actually could do it, I just couldn’t have a current record deal, which I didn’t. So it took a little coaxing for me to want to do it, but I ended up thinking it would be a good thing for me to do it, so I went out for the audition, and here we are.

CP: It seemed like they gave you a lot of freedom to really do your own thing as an artist on the show as opposed to things like American Idol and some of the other singing competitions. Do you feel like you were really able to represent who you truly are as an artist on the show?

JC: Yes, I definitely agree with that. Thanks to Adam who was my coach, he really did let me be who I wanted to be, which was awesome. He allowed me to do songs that meant something to me, and he let me be the artist that I wanted to be on the show. It was important to me to show people who I really was as a person and as an artist, and he really let me be that.

CP: You just released your latest album, “Come Through For You.”

JC: Yes.

CP: Did you find recording this record to be a different experience for you than it has been in the past following the show?

JC: It was absolutely different. Going into the recording process and getting to write with some amazing writers was just amazing. Having this opportunity now is much different than the opportunity that I had before with Capitol Records. When I was there, no one knew who I was. I was a new artist just trying to break into the industry, where with this opportunity, I was on this huge TV show that millions of people watched every week, so it was a step in the right direction. There were people already following my career and waiting for music to come out.  It was great.

CP: Had you done a lot of co-writing prior to this record?

JC: Yeah, because of the two previous albums with Capitol, I did have a lot of experience doing co-writes. It was very comfortable for me to jump into something I had a lot of experience with in my previous deal.

CP: Prior to pursuing your solo career, I know you were in a few bands, The Derek Trucks Band was one of them. Do you feel like what you’re doing now as a solo artist is very different from where you started?

JC: It’s a very different experience. You get to call your own shots. I loved being in Derek’s band. He’s one of the most amazing musicians that I will ever know or have the opportunity to work with. But in order for me to really live out my dream, I wanted to be able to have my own thing and do whatever songs I wanted. I wanted to have my own schedule and be the leader of the band so to speak. Ultimately in order to do those things, I had to go off on my own. I ended up leaving Derek’s band to pursue the deal with Capitol Records, and it was something that I had to try. Even though it didn’t work out exactly how I wanted it to, it was something that I had to explore.

CP: What’s your writing process like? After talking to so many songwriters, everyone has something different to say, so I’m curious. I know some people like to start from a lyric or a melody or a title, story, whatever. Where do you fall?

JC: All of the above! Songwriters don’t usually start one way. There’s not only one way it’ll come to you. I’ve had experiences where I’ll be noodling on the guitar, and I’ll play something that sparks a song. Sometimes it’s just a couple of words, like you said before with the title. Sometimes it’s a melody. I’ve had times where I’ve woken up in the middle of the night, and I’ve gotten two full verses that spill out of my mouth for no good reason (laughs). Actually, the title track on my album, “Come Through For You,” is a song that I wrote that way. I woke up and all of a sudden had these two full verses. I had a fight with my wife the night before, and I was trying to figure out where my career was going and what the future was going to look like, and I woke up at 4 in the morning and these words just came out. I got them on tape, and I ended up revisiting it later that day. It comes all different ways, and just as long as it comes, I don’t really care how it comes (laughs). I’ll take it any way it wants to come just as long as it keeps coming!

CP: Ah, the elusive dream song. Such a weird feeling. You’re never really sure how it happens, but it’s a great feeling.

JC: (Laughs) Yes it is.

CP: I have to ask about the song that has been stuck in my head pretty much since the finale, “Stitch by Stitch”. I can’t even tell you how much I love that song. I’ve got to know where that one came from.

JC: Awww, nice! That’s awesome! I’m so glad to hear you say that! That song actually came about with Lindy Robbins, David Hodges, and Dave Bassett. They’re three great songwriters in Los Angeles. They worked on the song, and toward the end of the show, they brought it to us as a potential song for the show. I got in there kind of late, but I was able to put in my own input and make some changes to put my own spin on it. I love the song. I think it’s such an amazing song. I’m really happy to have been a part of it.

CP: Who inspires you musically?

JC: Back in the day, and even now, some of my biggest influences have been Stevie Wonder and James Taylor. James Taylor really inspired my folk singer/songwriter side, and Stevie really inspired the soul side of me. Otis Redding and Sam Cooke also really inspired me. And then lately, someone who really is incredible and swept the Grammys just last night is Adele. I think she’s an amazing artist, and she’s paving the way for real music to come back to mainstream radio and life. I’m really excited about how well she’s doing. Hopefully that means something great for the rest of us.

CP: Are you and Adam Levine keeping in touch? Maybe working on some projects in the future?

JC: I just saw him actually. About 3 weeks ago, we both had shows in Vegas, which was awesome. He’s been super busy with the show, and I’m on tour, so we don’t get to chat as much as we would like, but he’s a great friend and mentor.

CP: Bev McClellan came through here in November and mentioned that y’all had quite the bromance happening (laughs).

JC: (Laughs) Yeah. That’s my dude!

Special thanks to Javier for his time! Be sure to pick up a copy of his latest album, Come Through For You, and join us March 1 for Javier’s Anthology debut!

Javier Colon on Spotify

WHAT: Javier Colon
WHEN: Thursday, March 1, 2012, 7:30 pm
TICKETS: $17-$69 Buy Tickets
MORE INFO: Artist Profile