Javier Colon was months away from giving up his music career when he auditioned for "The Voice" last year.
"I had just had another rejection from a label and I didn't have that many shows on the books," said Colon, calling from his Connecticut home. "I have a wife and two kids. . . . I was fed up worrying about the next month's mortgage. I have a degree in music education. I would've looked for a teaching job or done vocal lessons or worked at Home Depot. I would've done whatever it takes. I was ready to grind it out."
Colon said his audition for the first season of "The Voice" was his way of giving his recording career one last chance. When he ended up winning the show's first season with his mix of smooth, soulful vocals, storytelling ability and charisma, everything changed. (He says he's watching the current season, but because of his touring, he's too far behind to offer predictions. He does hope to be involved in the finale, though.)
Colon got a new major-label deal, support for a new album and loads of new concert dates, including the current tour that stops at the Boulton Center Saturday night.
What's the current tour like?
It's just myself and my keyboard player for more of an acoustic-style show. It's more intimate. I feel like I can talk more. I can draw the crowd in more, do more storytelling.
Storytelling is a really important part of your music, especially in a song like "OK, Here's the Truth."
It's one of the many hats that I wear. You can call the music I do all kinds of things -- pop, acoustic soul, a little on the country side. But what I always want to do is tell good stories. I like telling stories that don't just move you physically, but that move people emotionally.
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Did performing on "The Voice" prepare you for what happened next?
It's a nerve-racking thing to do to be seen and be judged. But that's what you do for your career. We're judged every day.
Were you happy with how your album "Come Through for You" was received?
I didn't know what to expect. Usually, I'm a pessimist because this is a very difficult industry. . . . But I'm in a much better place than I was a year ago. I wouldn't trade that for anything. Could it have gone better at the outset? Absolutely. There's always room for improvement. But I'm very optimistic about the future -- bringing my music to my fans and winning new fans over one at a time. It's not a sprint. It's a marathon.
WHO Javier Colon
INFO $40; 631-969-1101, boultoncenter.org
Here's what Javier Colon played when he opened his tour in February at the Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield, Conn.
"Life Is Getting Better"
"Come Through For You"
"Good Life" (One Republic cover)
"Raise Your Hand"
"Time After Time" (Cyndi Lauper cover)
"OK, Here's the Truth"
"Man in the Mirror" (Michael Jackson cover)
"Drop in the Ocean"
"How Many People Can Say That"/"Forget U" (Cee Lo cover)
"Fix You" (Coldplay cover)
"Use Me" (Bill Withers cover)
"As Long As We've Got Love"
"Someone Like You" (Adele cover)
"Stitch by Stitch"