Javier Colon was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the son of a Dominican father, who owned a Spanish-language radio station, and a Puerto Rican mother. Though raised in a mostly white, middle-class area, he experienced a broad cross section of music in his childhood, including latin, pop and, of course, soul. He ultimately attended the University of Hartford's Hartt School of Music, where he graduated in 2000. After graduating from Hartt, he served as percussionist for a soul band covering classic 70s soul and funk. When his band opened for jazz-funk outfit Soulive, he came to the attention of modern guitarist supreme, Derek Trucks, and ended up touring with the popular Derek Trucks Band for a year and a half.
Deciding to break out on his own, Javier recorded an EP and was signed by Capitol Records to record his eponymous debut album in Summer 2003. Javier was an interesting CD that clearly showed a talented young artist working to find his voice. And what a voice. Half Donny Hathaway and half Kenny Lattimore, Javier possesses a wonderful range and a talent for wrapping his bright voice around a tune. He also showed that he can write, as evidenced by the first single, "Crazy," an irresistible pop/soul tune that dominated urban adult contemporary radio all Fall. Similar ground was covered by "Biggest Mistake," where Javier did his Brian McKnight thing, delivering a hooky soul midtempo number. More interesting are two aching ballads, "Song For Your Tears," which recalls the aura of Donny Hathaway's "Giving Up," and "In Your Hands," a touching acoustic song. The disc finishes with "October Sky," a jazz vocal number (featuring jazz great Roy Hargrove) that doesn't quite fit the rest of the LP, but appears to be designed to show Javier's versatility -- and in that vein it works okay. The other songs on the CD, while not as compelling, aren't clunkers, either, and Javier ends up a solid overall disc, though maybe aimed a little more at the pop market than most recent Soul CDs.
After a three year delay, in March 2006 Javier released his sophomore disc, Left of Center, lesser disc on which Javier attempted -- too hard -- to mimic the faceless sound of modern R&B artists such as Bobby Valentino and Chris Brown. It died a quick death.
Javier remained quiet nationally for the next several years, until April 2011, when he became, at age 33, a favorite contestant on NBC's talent show, The Voice.He became a crowd and judge favorite and went on to win the competition. Around the same time he issued the self-penned single, "Stitch by Stitch," which shot to the top of the iTunes charts. Soon after, an EP of some of his acoustic work, entitled The Truth,was independently released.
In late 2011, Colon issued a new album on Universal Republic Records, entitled Come Through for You.It was a more personal record, with several Colon-penned numbers that showed his development into a real storyteller and a strong pop singer/songwriter. It also demonstrated the maturity of an artist whose time had come.
By Chris Rizik