It’s been quite a ride in the last 2 years for Javier Colon after being crowned the winner of NBC’s hit TV show The Voice. Some highlights include releasing the record “Come Through for You” on the Universal/Republic label, gaining millions of new fans, and touring around the world sharing the stage with artists including Maroon 5, Colbie Caillat and Gavin DeGraw to name a few. It’s rare for an artist like Javier to experience so many facets of the music industry. He is been signed to two major labels, put out his own successful independent music, and claimed the top spot on one of the biggest television shows of our time. But what sets him apart from other artists (besides the obvious) in today’s never ending plethora of supposable talent? I recently got a chance to catch up with Javier in his new SONAR X2 home studio in Connecticut and find out what he’s been up to, and where he’s going.
CW AR: You’ve had a lot going on in the last 2 years after winning The Voice. You’ve shared the stage with artists ranging from Maroon 5 to Stevie Nicks, but what are a few of the most personally memorable highlights for you?
Javier: I’ve had some great memories over the last couple years since The Voice. I would probably have to say that one of the highlights for me was getting to sing with Stevie Wonder at a Charity event in CT. Darius Rucker, Michael McDonald and myself were invited to perform and pay tribute to Stevie. We each got to sing one of Stevie’s songs for Stevie and everyone in attendance. Afterward, Stevie came up and sang a couple with us which was crazy! I’ll never forget that night.
From spending a good amount of time with Javier over the years (he happened to be signed to Capitol Records when I was working there before Cakewalk), it’s obvious to see there are a few things that set him apart which give him a continued connection with old and new fans. For one, his story and history as an artist matches his genuineness; which all connect together through his delivery of music. That sounds deep – and it is.
You see, Javier got into the music industry on his own terms because he had to. It was the only thing running through his blood that would bring him to his destiny – and that destiny is not just an artist or the winner of a competition – it’s a father, a family man, and a guy who likes to enjoy life and live it to its fullest on his own terms of general and sincere appreciation. These traits are all brought forthright when he sings, and I think people can feel that, and gravitate towards it on some other level.
Javier: I’m happy to say that I am currently working on some new music. I will hopefully have something out before the end of the year, if not, early next year. I don’t like making people wait so there is a possibility that I might release a single in the next couple months.
I’m also looking to put out a song in Spanish soon as well. I had an amazing opportunity to tour in Mexico and South America with Maroon 5 last fall and it opened a lot of doors in the Latin market. I can’t wait to get some music to those fans and go back to all those countries.
Another factor giving Javier an added layer of depth beyond most artists is his music background and vocabulary. Many people don’t realize that he studied at one of the most prestigious music schools in the United States; the University of Connecticut’s Hartt School of Music. He’s also a seasoned percussionist which most likely plays a factoring role in his unique style of guitar playing. Rewinding back 13 years places Javier in yet another astonishing musical experience singing and playing percussion for The Derek Trucks Band. This jaunt gave Javier yet another genre under his belt which added to the individuality of his music today.
CW AR: You’ve been a SONAR user for a long time and you’re now on X2. What are a few of your favorite features and how do you use them?
Javier: I’ve been using some version of Cakewalk/SONAR for a really long time. X2 Producer is definitely my favorite yet. I love the way X2 is set up! It’s so easy to use, and is so customizable. The addition of the ProChannel in SONAR’s “X” series is killer. Everything you need is right in front of you, and it’s fast and sturdy! I just got up and running with the VKFX modules and they sound great. I’m psyched to see the ProChannel platform growing.
There are a few other things that really make SONAR X2 a working partner with my music creation. The customization and ease of use in the Slylight Interface make the workflow really fast. I love how easy it is to create instrument and midi tracks by dragging and dropping synths right into the session. I also love the fact that I can easily create project and track templates so that I don’t have to mess around with anything to start recording. I use a V-Studio 700 in my studio and SONAR X2 has everything automatically routed and saved for different types of sessions, so I’m always ready to go.
I’m currently writing and starting production on new songs for my next album on X2. The quality and fidelity of the sound engine alone is enough to keep me using it.
A final thought on Javier’s ability to stay in the forefront of the fan-landscape’s eye has to do with the direction of the music industry in general. With a new world of likes, shares, pluses, plays and digital endorsements, the intimacy of an authentic performance coupled with great songwriting will prevail on all fronts and make its way to the top. People still want to “experience” that hair-raising live performance, and that’s the space that Javier owns, and no record company or TV show can ever take that away from him.
For more information on Javier please visit www.javiercolon.com.