M83‘s lead single from their new album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming has an almost unstoppable momentum behind it, and it’s not showing any sign of slowing down. The song has already appeared on a Victoria’s Secret commercial and on the end credits for HBO’s How To Make It In America, and last night the band performed the electronic hit live on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. On stage last night (after being introduced by a giddy Fallon) M83 gave an energetic performance — we never thought that watching electronic music live could be so compelling. There was even live saxophone, and we’ve got to say, it’s rare that we’ve seen a saxophonist rock that hard!
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.
Javier Colon was probably happy that the other late-night shows were in reruns last night when he appeared on the Tonight Show, but considering the ratings that The Voice pulled in for NBC, other musicians would probably have been just as happy not to have to face off with the show’s champion. He played the original composition that helped him win the reality competition, “Stitch by Stitch,” and it sounded great?an amalgam of the best bits of his performance on The Voice (e.g. live drums) and the studio version (a more fleshed-out, but not obtrusive, arrangement). As a conclusion to the televised promotion of both himself and The Voice before the show’s summer tour kicks off, it couldn’t have gone better.
Javier Colon got a fresh shot at music superstardom when he was announced as the winner of NBC’s The Voice last night. But before he caught his (second) big break, he recorded two albums with Capitol Records, 2003’s Javier and 2006’s Left Of Center. While he was working the promotional circuit in support of his eponymous self-titled album back in ’03, he stopped by our VH1 offices for a lively Unplugged show. We decided to unearth two of the clips from this session, his cover of Bill Withers’ “Use Me” (above) and his very first single as a major label recording artist, “Crazy” (which is below). As you’ll see, even then, his trademark cap was in place.
A hearty congratulations are due tonight to Javier Colon, the winner of the first season of NBC’s The Voice. The 34 year-old, who was dropped from his label Capitol Records after releasing two albums under their watch, triumphed over his competitors Dia Frampton, Vicci Martinez, and Beverly McClellan.
We first felt like the Javier wave was about to crest last week after his stirring rendition of Coldplay’s “Fix You,” a performance which also saw him shed his (then trademark) cap for the first time. At the time, we opined that he might have pulled this maneuver a week too soon, but you know what they say about hindsight.
Last night, though, Javier proved himself to be one of this competition’s frontrunners with an engaging performance of his original song, “Stitch By Stitch” (which we have for you below). And tonight, he proved he had nerves of steel when he stood toe-to-toe with Stevie Nicks during a duet of the Fleetwood Mac classic, “Landslide,” never losing confidence despite Stevie’s not-so-subtle direction on how he should inflect his vocals. Judge/coach Adam Levine described it, perhaps with a smidge of hyperbole, as “one of the most beautiful duets I’ve ever heard in my life,” but there is no denying that Javier Colon is having one of the best nights of his life. He’s got a second chance at music superstardom, but only time –and perhaps the ticket sales for this summer’s The Voice multi-city tour– will tell if he’ll end up making Capitol Records regret their decision to let him go.
On the penultimate episode of NBC’s The Voice last night, two music business also-rans and two “singing lesbians that America loves” (to paraphrase a recent Los Angeles Times piece) wowed viewing audiences with their passionate final performances. However, as we have come to expect from The Voice, there was one very big twist: Over the course of the last ten weeks and change, Javier Colon, Dia Frampton, Vicci Martinez and Beverly McClellan have built themselves a passionate fan base with their personal renditions of already familiar songs originally performed by other artists. Last night, though, the contestants showed off something new. Namely, their own original songs!
Obviously, this last-minute twist gives a HUGE advantage to the two performers who already have experience writing and recording their own material, Javier Colon and Dia Frampton. They both took advantage of the opportunity given to them to not only showcase their voice, but also their artistry, and America seemingly approves. As of this morning, Dia’s slow-burning, piano-driven ballad “Inventing Shadows” and Javier’s slow-burning, guitar-driven ballad “Stitch By Stitch” are sitting atop the iTunes singles chart.
Buoyed by an extended onslaught of promotion, the premiere of NBC’s new series The Voice scored big ratings, outranking stiff competition in its two genres: music (Glee) and reality (Dancing with the Stars). The show’s structure is overly complicated (the four judges each recruit a team of eight singers, then train their team for competition against the other judges’ teams), and a few suspense beats that would have worked on series creator Mark Burnett‘s biggest success, Survivor, fell flat, but overall, the show works. So, a quick rundown:
By way of introduction, The Voice‘s four artist/judges performed Gnarls Barkley‘s “Crazy,” with Adam Levine on drums, Blake Shelton on guitar, and Christina Aguilera joining Cee Lo Green on lead vocals. The quartet won’t be forming a super-group anytime soon, but their rendition was polished, and successfully communicated the artists’ willingness and ability to succeed in a variety of musical genres.
The contestants range from rank amateurs to near-professionals: After belting Faith Hill‘s “Breathe,” Tarralyn Ramsey tearfully ad-libbed a few bars of “What a Girl Wants” when she was selected by Aguilera, confessing that she sang along to all of Aguilera’s songs, “even the Spanish ones.” She didn’t mention that in 2003, she won VH1’s Born to Diva competition, performed on Divas Duets, and got a one-record deal with Universal?the same grand prize offered by The Voice.
Jeff Jenkins, on the other hand, isn’t even a webcam Youtuber like some of the amateur hopefuls, yet he impressed all four judges with his rendition of “Bless the Broken Road,” made famous by Rascal Flatts.
But the clear audience favorite was Javier Colon: his emotive guitar-and-vocal rendition of Cyndi Lauper‘s “Time After Time” is currently the 43rd best-selling song on iTunes, where all of the audition songs became available for purchase immediately after the premiere.