Ever since being crowned the winner of The Voice two weeks ago, Javier Colon‘s life has been a whirlwind of interviews, press junkets, and plane flights (nine of them, to be exact). We here at VH1 have been fans of his going all the way back to 2003, when Javier performed on VH1 Unplugged. So when he popped by our offices the other day to chat, we took the opportunity to show him video from that 2003 Unplugged session, which just so happened to be the first time he had seen the video in eight years. We captured the moment on our iPhone cam, and we’ve got it for you above.
Javier was also cool enough to answer some of our questions about his experience on The Voice, what it was like to duet with the legendary Stevie Nicks, the strategy that came into play when it came to ditching his trademark cap, and what his new album is going to sound like.
VH1: Well, first things first. Congratulations on winning The Voice! What has your life been like for the last two weeks since winning it all?
Javier: The first week I had nine flights, it was a lot of back and fourth, a lot of press and stuff. It’s been amazing, it’s been a whirlwind. I felt like I was living someone else’s life. Walking as someone else, walking through the mall or through the airport with people are yelling ‘Congratulations!’ from across the concourse, or you see people looking at you funny or doing a double take. It feels like your out of your own skin.
It seems like one of the big things that came through on the show, aside from your incredible talent and incredible voice, is that people really seemed to make a connection to your choice of headwear.
I got a lot of hats man, I got a lot of hats, I mean all types of hats. From Kangols to fedoras, all kinds of stuff. On the show, I only did baseball hats for the most part. But I’ve got a lot of different hats.
Do you consider that to be one of your trademarks?
Yeah, it is! I mean, the hat is definitely one of my things, there is a lot of people that actually took issue with the fact that I didn’t take it off, in the beginning and I was like “You know what? I’ll take it off actually in the middle of a song,” so I took it off in the middle of a Coldplay song.
I was gonna ask you about that! Was there any strategy to that decision? I was kinda thinking that was something that you would save for the final, to give you that extra little boost…
But what if I didn’t make it to the final, you know? I’m not one to really count my chickens before they hatch, so I just said to myself “You know what, this is a good time to do it.” I’m getting some grief from people, questions like “Why doesn’t he take his hat off, is he bald?” and “Is he upset that he’s bald?” And I’m like, it’s got nothing to do with any of that, I just like hats. But if you want to see my head, here it is, so I just took it off.
Did you get any counsel from any of the coaches like Adam or anybody else about using that as a good way to sort of market yourself?
No, I kind of did it on my own. I had my own logo for awhile and fortunately I was allowed to do that on the show. Now I’ve got people wanting to buy my hats!
Are they gonna go on sale any time soon, like maybe when The Voice tours?
I don’t know if they’re gonna allow me to have them on the tour, I hope so! That would be really awesome, but we haven’t discussed that yet.
So, on the final night of the show, you got to perform a duet of “Landslide” with Stevie Nicks. How much did you get to rehearse?
We rehearsed it maybe three times through before, and that was maybe a couple hours before showtime. That was the first time I’d ever met her, and I was more nervous for that performance than I was for anything on the entire show, even though the show was basically over at that point. All of the votes were in, but I was more nervous for that than anything I had done on that stage, because I was singing an amazing song with Stevie Nicks, and she’s a legend.
And I know you know your probably in the moment, but did you sort of notice as you were singing the song, she started doing a lot of movements with her hands to help guide you?
She was so comforting and so warm, and she has such an amazing spirit. I told her how nervous I was and she said “Don’t you be nervous, you sound beautiful, its gonna be amazing” and she just kept kinda reassuring me that it was gonna be great. She was definitely directing me through it; I wanted to be right in sync with her and we locked eyes and some hand gestures that were mostly for my sake, but kinda for both of us.
What can you tell us about your summer tour, and your new record?
We’re gonna get into rehearsals about a week or so before The Voice sumemr tour starts on July 27th in Los Angeles at the Gibson Theater. I guess we won’t figure it all out until we get into rehearsals, but we’re all trying to get to do some different songs, and do some songs that people have heard on the show, and then maybe you know mix it in with some stuff people haven’t seen. And for my new record, I’m thinking of a November release. We have to turn it in in September, so we got a couple more months, that’s not that much time, so we gotta get cracking.
What can you say about the new record? Is it going to vary stylistically from past albums you’ve done, or are you looking to continue that style with a new spin?
It’s absolutely, definitely going to be different than the previous things I’ve done. It’ll still be 100 percent me, but it’s gonna be a mixture of pop and a singer/songwriter type of feel. I love writing songs that could move people, and I’m really looking forward to getting into this album. We are really gonna try and focus on getting some greats songs, and just writing some great songs. Songs that not only I can connect with, but that other people can connect with too. Adam [Levine] and Cee Lo have both expressed interest about getting into the studio together.
Outside of those guys, is there anyone who your looking forward to working with?
There’s lots of folks that I’d love to get together with. Like Babyface, for example. I’d love to get down and play some acoustics with him and write something really special. James Taylor, who is one of my all time idols, I’d love to get to sit down with him and pick his brain that would be amazing. David Foster is another one I would love to work with.
Switching gears a bit, now that it’s summer time, it’s time to figure out what this year’s Song of the Summer is going to be. What are you listening to these days?
My ringtone right now is a little Jessie J, “Price Tag,” which is awesome. I like a lot of stuff, a lot of times I kinda get lost in just hitting shuffle on my iPod and just anything comes up, you know from some James Brown to some Coldplay. The only thing that is popping in my head right now is the Jessie J cus I hear it all the time.
Before we go, we’d like to show you a little video of yourself performing on VH1 Unplugged back in 2003. Is there anything you remember about that night?
I had performed at BB King’s the night before and I had a cold. I completely blew out my voice, completely blew out my voice and I remember saying, “Hey, can we reschedule this VH1 thing?” and they were like “NO!” I changed all the high parts in “Crazy” because I couldn’t sing them.