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AN NRT EXCLUSIVE EDITORIAL
THE STORY OF MY LIFE: Colton Dixon
NRT's Paul Phillips talks about his touching experiences with the artist's music
 


AN NRT EXCLUSIVE EDITORIAL, THE STORY OF MY LIFE: Colton Dixon
Posted: June 09, 2022 | By: PaulPhillips_NRT
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Admittedly, I’ve had a soft spot for Christian pop artist Colton Dixon, ever since he auditioned on American Idol with his sister Schyler in 2012. He was my pick to win that whole season. I was disappointed when he didn’t.
 
Surprisingly, Colton confessed to NRT that he’s glad he didn’t win Idol. “With me wanting to do Christian music, it was a blessing that I didn't win. I would have found a way, had I won, to maybe not be as lyrically pinpointing about my religion, but it would still have the same message; you would've just had to dig a little deeper or whatever. I see it more as a blessing in disguise that I was cut so early so that I could start writing. Everything was timed perfectly as far as that goes.” (Colton’s reasons are sound, but I still think he should’ve won.)
 
What I appreciate about Colton is I find a lot of what I like about music in him. First, he was open about his faith in Christ on Idol. Second, he performed songs I connect with: Lifehouse’s “Everything” and Skyler Grey’s “Love the Way You Lie” are two great examples. Some songs he performed leaned more toward the rock genre. Something I’m also very fond of.
 

Even though Colton didn’t win, I hoped that he would pursue a career in Christian rock (I’ll talk more about hard rock later). He didn’t do much rock, but he found success in Christian pop and contemporary.
 
So, since Idol, I’ve followed his career. From his first hit, “You Are” to his most recent single, “Build A Boat.” If you’re interested in listening to Colton, here are some must-listens for your playlist. 
 
“Build A Boat”
 
I’m a sucker for songs that proclaim the faith. The song’s lyrics say it best: "I will build a boat in the sand where they say it never rains/And I will stand up in faith, I'll do anything it takes/With Your wind in my sails, Your love never fails or fades."
 
About the song, Colton says in a press release, "‘Build A Boat' is an anthem for anyone willing to stand up or step out for what they believe in. Just as Noah stepped out to construct an ark in the middle of a drought, faith can look a little crazy sometimes. I hope this song encourages you to go behind what's comfortable to experience the reward waiting on the other side of crazy faith." 
 

“Made to Fly”
 
Colton’s 2021 hit is a confidence booster. Some days I live my life one day at a time, without seeing the bigger picture. In my experience, I find living day-to-day important—especially during tough seasons. But in an NRT interview, Colton shares a different perspective (what he says really resonates with me.).
 
“I’ve seen how many Christians live in a way that they're focused on putting one foot in front of the other. We were made for so much more than that. This song is about living to your full potential. God has instilled that opportunity in us as believers to fly and to soar on wings like eagles. Don't get so caught up in the little things that you forget it, because when you realize that, you start living differently.”
 

“The Other Side”
 
Every time I hear this song, I tear up. Colton dropped it as a single around the time my grandmother passed away. The song’s about celebrating life after death. What made me smile was that my grandmother was going home.
 
My family left me in charge of putting together a playlist for my grandmother’s funeral. But I missed this song. I didn’t discover it until a short time after.  But when I hear it, it still reminds me of my grandmother.
 
“Everybody's dressed in black/The preacher's saying life goes too fast/The memories have turned to tears/Thinking back on all the years/I know that you're in a better place/But I'm still here missing you today/It isn't easy to say goodbye/But I know it's only for a little while/Run up ahead and I will catch up/'Cause I'm gonna see you when tomorrow comes.” 
 

“More of You”
 
In an interview with NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis, Colton used an analogy his youth group leader shared with him when he was younger. “Think of two cups of water. One cup is you; the other cup is God. The water represents anything you're putting before God. It could be entertainment, your family, or any of your favorite things. The water in God's cup simply represents Him. What God wants to do is fill us up with Him. He wants to draw us closer and closer to Himself and for us to be more and more like Him.”
 
Colton continues that if we want to truly experience God’s power in our lives we must, as Colton puts it, “empty our cups first to make more room for Him.”
 

“You Are”
 
I didn’t connect with this song at first listen. But that changed when I heard the acoustic version—a duet he did with his sister, Schyler. Later, I gave the original another try. And, voila, I found it to be better than the acoustic version. Actually, I wouldn’t mind seeing Schyler release her own Christian album. I mean it worked for contemporary superstar Rebecca St. James and her younger superstar brothers,  for King and Country.
 

“Our Time Is Now”
 
I’m a huge fitness buff, so I like music that motivates me to go that extra mile. Some like dance. I like rock music. And, Colton delivers on, “Our Time Is Now,” a collaboration with Christian pop king TobyMac. It’s a great headbanger for building up a sweat. Now, imagine a full album like “Our Time Is Now.” Maybe a duet with Skillet’s lead vocalist John Cooper or some gritty guitars with Disciple’s lead vocalist Kevin Young would suffice. Maybe one album would be great.
 

“Never Gone”
 
Colton dropped “Never Gone” shortly after his Idol stint. Like “Our Time Is Now,” the song has a rock sound (gritty guitars, heavy drums, passionate vocals). To me, “Never Gone” is Colton’s best song. At times when I think God is not present in my dark circumstances, this song reminds me that He never left. It also reminds me of the famous poem, Footprints In The Sand.
 
“I'm still standing here/No, I didn't disappear/Now the lights are on/See I was never gone/I let go of your hand/To help you understand/With you all along/Oh I was never gone.”
 

Paul Phillips is a Canadian journalist with 20 years of experience writing and editing digital and print content. He specializes in health, fitness, nutrition, and travel. He loves music, movies, and, of course, living for Jesus.

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