By Ronnie Gill
NEW YORK _ Javier Colon was almost the champion who never was. The first winner of NBC’s hit series “The Voice” nearly backed out of the competition the night before his audition. Turned down by a record label where he thought he had a shot just two weeks earlier and recovering from a cold, Colon says he was “kind of making excuses on why I shouldn’t go,” until his older brother convinced him he had nothing to lose by trying out.
Later this month, the handsome 34-year-old Connecticut native, who describes himself as a singer-songwriter with soul, heads up a brief tour of the show’s Top 8 contestants, which finishes Aug. 6 at the Beacon Theatre in Manhattan. We spoke with Colon last week.
Q. All four coaches rang in and wanted you on their team. What made you pick Adam (Levine)?
A. Adam and Cee Lo were the first to turn around, and then Adam was so enthusiastic and excited about what I was doing onstage. … And it was that enthusiasm that really won me over.
Q. Do you have any musical influences or musicians in your family?
A. The influence that comes to mind in my family is my father … a radio DJ at a Spanish radio station … and then he ultimately ended up becoming an owner of a small station in Bridgeport, Conn., where I grew up.
Q. Anybody in particular that you listen to today?
A. I’m a big James Taylor fan. … A lot of the way he plays has made its way into what I do.
Q. How did it come about that you got to do the duet with Stevie Nicks on the finale?
A. Adam told me a few days before, he said, “I have a surprise for you, you’re going to be singing with Stevie Nicks.” … I was just super-nervous going into the rehearsal, but it didn’t really hit me until I was standing there with her onstage. … I looked to my left, and I see her and she’s looking into my eyes … and I’m like, “Oh, my God, I’m singing with Stevie Nicks.”
Q. On the final performance show, you sang the original song “Stitch by Stitch.” Did you ever wish that you could have sung one of your original songs?
A. Absolutely. I really, really wanted to, but, unfortunately, some of the ones I wanted to had already been released and we weren’t allowed to do any songs that had already been released. But … I love “Stitch by Stitch.”
Q. You’ve said that when Carson Daly was about to name the winner, you didn’t think it was going to be you. Why?
A. You know, there’s nothing in this business that seems to ever really go my way. And … I knew that my competition was extremely stiff. … So, I prepared myself for Carson to say her (Dia Frampton’s) name.
Q. When Carson Daly would question you about your family you would become very emotional. Why?
A. When you become a father you realize that your life is not as important as the lives of your kids. … You want the best for them and what I was doing before this show I felt was not enough. … I would get emotional about it because I knew that I was close to getting there, to finally being able to give them the life that I feel they deserve.
Q. What happens to you professionally when the tour is done?
A. When the tour is done, I’ll probably go back into the studio and do all the things that you need to do to release a record. … We’re trying to get an album out in the next couple of months.
(c) 2011, Newsday.
Visit Newsday online at http://www.newsday.com/.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.