Published March 11 2012
Fargo Star winner interviews ‘Voice’ winner Javier Colon, whom she’s opening for Tuesday in Fargo
On Tuesday night, the Fargo Theatre will host a winner’s circle – or, perhaps, triangle – of singers.
Javier Colon is generating most of the buzz. That’s understandable because he was the winning singer on NBC’s “The Voice” last year.
But his openers, Reed Waddle and Fargo Star champion Taylor Wall, also have a decent resume.
Waddle’s a Florida native who took his acoustic rock to Boston and New York, where he won the New York Songwriters Circle grand prize in 2009.
Wall, of course, is our Fargo Star. Just last month the 17-year-old from Breckenridge, Minn., won The Forum’s annual vocal showcase with her spirited take on Pat Benatar’s hit song “Heartbreaker.”
As part of her Fargo Star prize package, Wall earned the right to open for Colon at Tuesday’s concert.
But we thought we’d introduce the two winning vocalists before the concert by having Wall conduct a phone interview with Colon.
Here’s what the two champion vocalists chatted about:
Taylor Wall: What was your personal experience like on “The Voice”?
Javier Colon: “The Voice” was awesome, but nerve-wracking. But it was the best thing that happened to me career-wise, and it was definitely the lift that I needed to continue to make music.
How has your life changed since you’ve been on “The Voice”?
It has changed a lot because now I go and do shows and people actually show up to watch them. And I don’t have to worry about financial matters of how I am going to get bills paid and stuff like that.
I know your “Voice” coach was Adam Levine; did he help you a lot?
He was great. He helped me a lot while on the show, and he continued to help me and we worked together and I call him for advice while I’m working on the album, and he’s always been there throughout, which has been amazing.
So when you were choosing a song to cover for “The Voice” what was the decision-making process like for choosing a good song?
Especially for the audition song, I really wanted it to reflect on who I was as an artist. I wanted to be true to myself and I wanted to sing a song that I thought people would really recognize and people would say “Oh, wow, I remember that song. I like that song.” I didn’t want it to be one that was covered by a lot of other people and done two or three times over.
And I think “Time After Time” was the perfect song for my voice and the perfect song for me to sit down and play with my guitar. I wanted to do something different than what everyone else was doing, so that is why I picked “Time After Time.”
I saw you do that song on “The Voice,” and you were amazing. How do you manage the time with fame and your fans and your family as well?
You know, the best that I can when I’m away to be connected with my wife and kids. We Skype a lot and we talk on the phone a lot, and I like to know what’s going on on a daily basis back home so that I can connect to what’s going on.
There is a lot of travel involved, and right now I am on tour; there is a lot that needs to be done and places we need to be. I try not to be gone longer than a couple weeks at a time and try to be home for a day. I get home every chance that I get.
If you’ve ever had stage fright, how do you deal with it? Like, when you are on stage do you ever get nervous?
Stage fright is gonna happen, and it becomes less. It’s more nerves than you can handle, but that goes away over time. You get a little anxious, a little anxiety before you go out, but it’s not something that you can’t handle. Remember, it’s based on what you do, and if you want to continue doing it, you gotta do it in front of a lot of people, and you have to get over it quickly.
When you were younger, how did you train your voice and prepare yourself for your performances? Were you in any choirs?
I started singing lessons when I was in the seventh grade and basically straight through college, so I took singing lessons for a long time. I was in choir since seventh grade all through high school and some choirs in college as well.
How did you get initially noticed when you were first starting your career?
A friend of mine, when I first started, he had a band called The Derek Trucks Band. I was opening for another band when someone saw me and told Derek and his people that they might have found a new lead singer for them, and they ended up giving me a shout. And I did a couple of songs with them and they ended up hiring me, which was amazing to me to have my first gig as a full time musician.
I’m a 17-year-old girl from a small town in Minnesota, how would I possibly get noticed?
Well, I would basically go out and do anything and everything you possibly can to get people to hear your talent.
When I was in the sixth grade, I was singing in a little summer show that I didn’t even want to do. My mom made me, and I ended up meeting somebody there that became one of my mentors. And when I was a junior in high school, he called me and asked me to do a show with him in another town. I ended up doing it, and I met somebody there that basically introduced me to someone who got me my first record deal with Capitol Records. If it hadn’t been for that little thing in sixth grade, I wouldn’t have gotten a record deal until 12 years later. You definitely have to go out and perform; you have to be seen. You gotta do everything you can to get everyone to see your talent.
Well, aren’t you glad that your mom made you do that thing in sixth grade?
Absolutely! She was a smart woman, and still is.
What’s your favorite genre, or do you just pretty much listen to everything?
I listen to everything, I just like good songs. I listen to country music, I listen to classical music and I listen to everything.
If you don’t mind me asking, are you going to be singing the song “Someone Like You” by Adele in Fargo next Tuesday?
That is very possible. I sang it last night, and it is very possible I will sing it on Tuesday. It’s a good one.
I really love the way you sing it; it’s amazing.
Well, thank you, but I will have to do it without the dress.