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The Voice Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

Javier Colon

This is an interview with The Voice Winner Javier Colon on June 30, 2011 about the show The Voice.

Question:
We know you had the support from Bieber. Did you hear from him after you won in the post winning phase or any other celebrity support that you can mention?

Javier Colon:
I did not hear from Justin. I have not checked my Twitter too, too much. I checked a little bit last night but there is so much to go through. I have not seen everything. So he may have tweeted but honestly I'm not sure. But yeah, which was really cool of him to do. I also got earlier in the week I think we had Kim Kardashian who tweeted at one point and Ashley Pia Toscano from American Idol also tweeted her support for me, which I thought was really nice.

Question:
Now that you've won The Voice, what's next? Do you have any plans to keep working with Adam?

Javier Colon:
Absolutely. Adam and I were at the wrap party for The Voice yesterday and we talked a lot about that, about getting in the studio and either him producing a track maybe or at least us getting in together to work on writing a song together. He had some ideas and he wanted to share them with me so I'm hoping that we get to do that really soon. He's pretty busy with his upcoming touring schedule and then things like that. So I want to try to get together in the next few weeks to try and work out something. But you know, I love working with him. I love singing with him. I mean singing Man in the Mirror with him was amazing. I thought our voices blended really well together and I'm looking forward to getting together with him on some more music in the future.

Question:
I just wanted to talk with you a little bit about sort of the family atmosphere that kind of developed on the show and also what you thought about working with all the coaches?

Javier Colon:
Okay. Absolutely. The family aspect that they showed in the show, I mean the family thing is the biggest piece of me. I mean family always comes first and I've got a beautiful wife and two little girls that are 3-1/2 and 22 months. And they're my world. They are the reason that I live and breathe and the reason that it was so important for me to get my career going because if I didn't, if this show didn't come along I guarantee you by this time I would have been doing something other than music to support my family because the income just unfortunately wasn't enough.

And with respect to Blake, he's awesome. I spoke to him at length last night as well as with Miranda Lambert, his wife. And they are just such down to earth people. I mean I absolutely love them. I mean he is - I think this with all the coaches. I mean they are who you see. I mean Adam is the same way. He's such a genuine, nice guy.

And like what you see is what you get and Blake and I, we talked last night. I'm actually going to send him a couple songs that I had written that I wanted to get his feedback on and he's just - I mean he welcomes everybody with open arms. I mean obviously his artist was Dia but he was just so friendly and so genuine with all of us. He's just an amazing guy and it's great to have gotten the chance to meet him though I didn't get a chance to work with him.

Question:
We're doing a story about your family and we wanted to know the names of your daughters and wife and how you spell them>?

Javier Colon:
We were just talking about this, Akiva. My wife's name is Maureen, M-A-U-R-E-E-N. And my oldest daughter is Solana, S-O-L-A-N-A and she is 3-1/2. And my youngest is Amaia, A-M-A-I-A and she's 22 months.

Question:
Have you made any friendships with the other contestants and are you planning on staying in contact with them?

Javier Colon:
I mean absolutely. Throughout the whole process I have met folks that are just absolutely amazing. I mean even when we first started the journey and there were like 70 or 80 of us before we even got to the blind auditions. Just there are so many people I mean especially thinking obviously most recently of our final four in Beverly, Dia and Vicci. I mean absolutely love them to death and I love them like sisters. And we just share a unique bond going through this experience together, all wanting the same thing, which is just to be able to better our lives. And to be able to do something that we love so much, just to be able to sing music, to play and share our music with the world. So I'm sure we're going to be very close for a long time.

Question:
How did you celebrated your big win?

Javier Colon:
There was a Voice wrap party that they had for us, which ironically was just right across the street from my old record label, Capitol Records. It was very strange to get out of the limo and go to walk in and then I look across the street and there was the old record label that I was on, the iconic Capitol Records building. You know, it was a great, great night. We had a really, really fun time. We did some performances with some of the guys from The Voice band that are so amazing. Yes, we all got up there. We sang some Journey and Cee Lo got up there, Vicci got up there, Nakia, Curtis Grimes. I mean almost a lot of the people from the top 16 were also there too, which was really great. It was such a fun night.

Question:
When we were down to the end it was just you and Dia, What was going through your mind in that moment?

Javier Colon:
In that moment I was expecting Carson to say and the winner of The Voice is Dia Frampton. That's what I was preparing myself for. I just you know, I didn't think I was going to win. I just you know, I just was preparing myself. I mean I've been through so much in the business. I have this you know, probably not the greatest habit but I have a habit of having either very low or no expectations at all based on just what my past experiences have been. And you know, Dia is absolutely amazing.

She's an incredible person, she's an incredible artist and if she had won I mean I would have been extremely happy for her. And I would have completely supported her, I would have given her a hug and I would have told her how much I loved her. And I just would have supported her 100% and I really felt that that's what was going to happen. And when he said my name I just honestly was in shock. I just couldn't believe that I had come so far and I actually won.

Question:
When you look back at the struggles of the past, how is the comfort in knowing this is how it was supposed to happen?

Javier Colon:
You know, it feels good man. I'm a firm believer in what's meant to be is meant to be. And I actually have a song on my EP that I released last year that just talks about that, you know? Yes, I harbor even when I was talking about Capitol Records before, I harbor no ill will towards Capitol Records or anybody in the building. I mean I think everything happens for a reason. It just wasn't supposed to happen the way it did back then and I'm just glad that things came around and I was able to make it work this time. And I'm you know, hell bent on making sure that it works this time.

Question:
What was it like for you to perform with Stevie Nicks? And why Landslide?

Javier Colon:
You know, I am still in shock that I got to perform with Stevie Nicks. Adam surprised me and told me that I would be singing with her and I just about lost it. I mean I just couldn't believe it. And then why Landslide? I think it was the song that either Adam chose or the song that Stevie wanted to do. But I have a feeling that Adam wanted me to sing Landslide with her. It's just she's such an icon and it's just such a timeless, amazing song. And I was so nervous going in and singing with her.

And we ran through it one time on the stage like before we even stepped up to the microphones just kind of standing in a circle with her guitar player. And then we stepped up to the microphones and we started doing a couple run throughs on the stage and it really hit me when I looked to my left and I saw her standing there looking back into my eyes just really intently and really focused.

And I realized, I'm like oh my god, I'm singing with Stevie Nicks right now. And I just got a little emotional in the rehearsal because I was like I cannot believe that I have this opportunity. I mean there are so many accomplished artists that have been doing music professionally and successfully for years and years and they haven't had this opportunity. So I just felt very, very blessed in that moment and I will never forget that for as long as I live.

Question:
What was the best piece of advice that Adam gave you during this entire process was?

Javier Colon:
You know, Adam really, his best advice for me, we talked a lot about we dissected the songs a lot and one of the best things that we talked about in every song really was how to deliver the lines to make people connect with the songs. And especially in the beginning when you're first singing a chorus for example for the first time and we were actually talking about it in Fix You for example. I remember the episode when we were talking about it and he was demonstrating it by singing to me the lights will guide you home, that particular part and how he wanted me to do it in a particular way.

And I'm so glad that we talked about it because it made perfect sense to establish that beautiful melody and to make sure that I don't rush through it, that I did it nice and slowly and it's almost everybody's favorite part of the song and things like that. Just like the intricate things in the songs and delivering the lines are what really I took away from our sessions together.

Question:
On your family, I know that you have been pursuing this career for quite some time and your girls are still pretty young but obviously you and your wife have had a discussion about what your career will do as far as how things are going to be changed for your family. Have you guys since your win or coming up to the finale when you knew that there was a possibility that you could win, have you talked about what this will do logistically? Are there any big plans of moving or how is that going?

Javier Colon:
We have definitely had some discussions on the possibilities of things. And you know, my goal is to keep my family as close as I possibly can at all times, to be with them as much as I possibly can. Are we going to be moving from Connecticut permanently? Absolutely not. My home base is Connecticut. It's my wife's home base. She grew up in Massachusetts and our support system is there. I would never especially if I'm going to be traveling a lot, I would never you know, uproot my family from the support system that my wife has got, two sisters and her parents that are all within an hour to two hours.

My parents are within an hour, my sister is within a half an hour, my brother is within an hour and a half. So everybody is really, really kind of centrally located there in Connecticut where we are. So I don't think you know, actually I know for a fact that moving is not something that we have in our plans. Now I mean if I'm working on a record in California or somewhere and I can bring the family with me for a few weeks to a month or something like that so that they can be close, that's something that we would possibly consider. But nothing permanent for sure.

Question:
So you had a deal with Capitol that you talked a little bit about before and had a couple unsuccessful albums unfortunately. Could you talk about why you think you might have been unsuccessful in the past and how you think The Voice will change that for you?

Javier Colon:
Well, I think I'm the same person that I always was. I think that back when I was with Capitol there was you know, kind of a push to try to make me in a way sometimes someone that I was not. And also even with my first album on Capitol, which I was happy with a lot of the songs on my first album. The problem with it, I thought that it was being marketed in the wrong way and they were trying to kind of pigeon hole me into just a straight, strict R&B genre when I thought that it was more of a pop singer-songwriter kind of vibe that they just unfortunately just didn't know how to.

I felt at the time they didn't know where to put me with regards to the marketplace and to genre. But it's - you know, I'm just glad that this time around I'm going to have a chance to be myself and to really you know, show folks who I am and that it's going to be more. Basically it's going to be more of a pop leaning direction.

Question:
Whose idea was it for you to sing Man in the Mirror? And also, was it intent because of Michael's anniversary passing?

Javier Colon:
You know what, it was Adam's idea and it was a great, great idea. We almost did that song as our top four Team Adam song. But I don't think that everybody was into it at the time. And I also don't know that the song was cleared for us to do but Adam was able to get it cleared for our duet together and I was just so glad that we did. And I don't know that it was purposeful that we timed it on you know, the week of Michael's passing but I guess I think it just happened that way.

Question:
The general consensus was the other contestants thought you were going to win. Did you have any feeling of that backstage?

Javier Colon:
No. I mean I knew what the talk was and I knew that folks were calling me the ???frontrunner??? or what have you. But it's just not in my nature to let that even seep into my brain for a second. I mean I knew how talented everybody was or is and I knew that basically you have to go out there and you have to perform your absolute best every week and if you don't you could be outsung or outperformed and you could go home. And even if you went out there and did your best you could still get outperformed or outsung and go home.

So the fact that people were saying things like that was really flattering but I mean it didn't seep in at all. It was - I knew what my task at hand was and that was to go out every week and to focus on one song at a time and go out there and perform that song to the best of my ability. And that was the only thing in this competition that I myself could control. And that was the goal and I know that folks you know, early on had mentioned things like that and I would just shrug them off and I would say thanks but you know, it's that we have a long way to go and that was where I left it.

Question:
What is your ideal timetable now for an album? And now that you've got the hookup, can you tell us a little bit more about what kind of an album you want to make?

Javier Colon:
Well, the timeframe is going to be September from what I was told. And the type of album that I'm going to make is going to be kind of a mixture. I'm a singer-songwriter at heart. And it's probably going to be more of a genre of pop I guess you could say, a singer-songwriter pop thing. It's going to be kind of like a cross between you know, James Taylor meets Maxwell meets John Mayer meets like database thing if that's possible.

Question:
I wanted to say Dia said something really interesting to me when I talked to her recently. She said if she had known the scope of the show and how big it was going to be she might not have auditioned for it. What were your thoughts when you realized just how big of a sensation this was going to be and what you had gotten yourself into?

Javier Colon:
You know, I too had no idea how big this was going to be. It exceeded my expectations for sure. Yes, I mean I don't think we had a clue as to how big this opportunity was going to be for us. And just not only that but just how great of a show it was and how well received it was. I mean every week that we went out there especially for the live performances it felt like we were doing Grammy type performances with all that was going into these performances with the fire and the dancers and just all of my string section that I had for Angel.

They really were just pulling all the stops and just doing everything they could to make these performances amazing and we just weren't expecting that. I don't think anyone was expecting the show to be just as successful as it was. And we're so obviously just so happy that people liked it and we're happy to be part of season one.

Question:
My question is obviously all four judges turned around for you. When you were contemplating whom you were going to pick, who were you deciding between? Who was your kind of second choice? It was Adam or who?

Javier Colon:
You know, I went into it pretty open. I wanted to really see you know, I was thinking of this from the beginning I was kind of trying to think of this. You know, I knew that it was a competition. And I wanted to think of it from a competition standpoint what would be the best thing to do. And I had favorites. I mean I'm a huge fan of Christina and her music. I love country music. I mean I would have been so happy to get on any of their teams if only one person turned around. But I did think about the possibility of all of them turning around.

And you know, I really just wanted to go with someone who was really excited about having me on their team because you know, say for example my favorite artist in the world was Blake Shelton. Well, he was the last one to turn around in the very last seconds of the song, which doesn't necessarily you know, show to me that he's super into what I did.

So even though he's my favorite artist in the world, that doesn't necessarily mean for this competition that I should choose him. I think you really had to put more weight on who really wanted you on their team and who was really saying the things that you wanted to hear and that you'd have to believe that they really wanted you.

And that person for me was Adam. I mean he was very animated when I was up there, almost distracting at times when I was playing because he was trying to get Blake to stress his vibe. And he was just jumping up and down and he just made it very clear that I was really important to him and that he wanted me to be on his team. And that spoke volumes to me and I was honored to be on his team.

Question:
Did you find it more or less difficult when you were competing against your fellow Team Adam family versus the final four?

Javier Colon:
You know, we all got really close even when we were in the top 16. I loved all my fellow Team Adam teammates even when we were in the top four. But we all knew what was coming. We all knew that in order to advance that we would have to be the last person standing in the end. I think the pressure was always intense every time that we got out on stage. We knew what was at stake. We knew roughly about how many millions of people were going to watch us. And you had to go out there and we had to perform.

I think it was equally difficult and maybe a little more difficult in the finale I mean knowing that you were finally in the finale. But you know, I just wanted throughout this whole thing, this whole process I told myself if I could get to the finale then I felt like I had won, that I had gotten everything out of the opportunity that I could have ever asked for. To have been on the show that many weeks and just I would have been you know, I would have been very happy if you had told me four months ago when we started this process that I would have made the final four. To be able to win was just amazing.

Question:
How did Adam best prepare you for your newfound success or your newfound fame as you said?

Javier Colon:
He told me hold on. He said hold on for the ride man because it's going to be crazy. We were standing at one point on the red carpet over at the Warner Brothers lot and everybody was just snapping pictures and there were just flashes everywhere, every which way you could look. And he's like get used to it man because this is now your life. And I was like wow, it's something that he's been living with for many, many years that all of a sudden I'm thrust into. You know, it's definitely going to be I mean even with my things that I had done in the past with Capitol Records, the awareness about me as an artist wasn't such that I couldn't walk around.

And these people wouldn't even notice me and it was never a thing. But now that I've been on the show it's like you go to the grocery store even before the live shows started when I was back home and people would recognize you and show you a lot of support. So yes, he told me that some big things were coming and to brace myself and I'm doing my best to do just that.

Question:
Did you learn anything new about yourself as an artist when you sang with Stevie Nicks?

Javier Colon:
You know, singing with Stevie was just so mind blowing to me and I really just in that moment singing with her, all I wanted to do, I was following her every move. I mean you can see in the video that she was almost conducting this dance that we were doing musically. She - I just had my eyes locked on her the entire time and she was basically conducting us through this masterpiece of a song. And I just all I wanted to do was just support what she was doing and be basically her backup. And I just loved every second of it and I'll never forget it.

Question:
I was just wondering if there are any charities that you plan to support now or that you want to support in the future?

Javier Colon:
Absolutely. My mother and father are actually both cancer survivors. So looking into we have done a lot of charities in the past. We do some golf tournaments and things like that support a lot of charities all over the country and some all over the world. And I plan on definitely supporting charities like the Susan G. Komen Foundation as well as the Jimmy Lee that is based out of North Carolina that gives millions of dollars to research through their events that they hold every year. As you know, I'm a huge family guy and we might try to do some charities that are also very family based as well.

Question:
Had you tried out for any other TV singing competitions before this? And then just very briefly, your first album after The Voice, ideally you would have total artistic control based on your previous experiences. But how much will you be able to call the shots in terms of what's on that album? Will it be entirely your voice or will there be a lot of collaboration?

Javier Colon:
You know, with respect to the album I mean my goal is to have as much creative control as possible. Whether you know, that's going to happen is going to be something that only time will tell. But I'm looking forward to working with the record company and I do think that they have hopefully the same artistic vision that I have, much more so than in my previous situation. And I'm looking forward to getting started on that process. But my goal is again to have a lot of creative control.

I've learned from my mistakes from the last time in allowing folks to kind of you know, steer me in the right direction instead of leading the way. And I'm going to make sure that I'm a bit more vocal about things if it's not something that I agree with. But I'm really pleased with the folks that are at the label and how they have been so far. And I'm looking forward to working with them and I'm sure that things are going to be great.

Question:
Had you tried out for any other television singing competitions before The Voice? And you may not have been eligible for American Idol. I'm not sure. But anything else?

Javier Colon:
Right. No, there was nothing else. I think there was a very small window that I was eligible for American Idol but I never think that there was an audition. I don't even think I was ready mentally to jump into things at that point because I was just still in the process of trying to just find another record deal on my own as opposed to doing it through the show.

Question:
Can you talk a little bit about what your plans are for the tour, the show that you're going to do? And also just what it means to you to win the whole thing.

Javier Colon:
Yes. The tour is going to be awesome. We don't exactly know what the format is going to be and how many songs each of us are going to sing and all of those logistics yet. But we know that there is going to be the top eight of us are going to be on tour. And it's going to be awesome. There are going to be some duets that we're going to get to do with each other. We're going to sing some songs from the show as well as some songs that you have not heard us perform yet. We're going to have a great time. We're going to have the band that was on the show with us I believe is going to be coming out with us as well. And it's just going to be such a good time and I'm so looking forward to it as are my other seven contestants out of the top eight. We're all really looking forward to getting together and having some fun.

Question:
What does it mean to you to win the contest?

Javier Colon:
I mean it means everything. It's a new life. It means that I get to support my family doing something that I love. It means stability for my family. It means hopefully not having to you know, not pay one bill one month so that I can pay another one that is more important or that is more overdue. You know, it just means that I can take care of my wife and my babies and that means the world to me.

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