As life changes, art changes in tandem. Colton Dixon mirrors this transformation in his music. Expanding the scope of his signature sound for the first time, he imparts life's ebbs and flows into an empowering, engaging, and enigmatic take on pop referential of his catalog, yet evolved and steeped in newfound inspiration. Acclaimed by everyone from People to Billboard and streamed over 100 million times to date, the award-winning and history-making singer, songwriter, and producer channels such growth into his 2020 EP and debut for Atlantic Records, the self-titled Colton Dixon. Following a three-year break, he returns with a new sound informed by true experiences.
"A lot of spiritual growth happened in these last few years," he admits. "My faith was tested in a way I never saw coming, but we pushed through and here we are. I've landed on a style that complements the gifts God has given me. I've settled into a sound that feels authentic to who I am and what I love. I feel like I'm in a space now that I can comfortably live in, create in, and truly be me in."
In order to find this space, he challenged himself to not only adapt to personal and professional changes, but also pursue them. He signed to Atlantic Records and flew out to Los Angeles for dozens of writing sessions. Not only would Colton Dixon be his debut for the label, but it also marked his first time working with producers such as Robopop [Maroon 5, Lana Del Rey] and Grant Averill [The Holdup], to name a few. Under the influence of everyone from OneRepublic and Imagine Dragons to Adele, Justin Bieber, Lauv, and Shawn Mendes, he embraced the creative ecosystem.
"I've written so many songs over the past three years," he says. "Even though the world probably won't hear them all, I enjoyed every session. I've gotten to write with people from all different beliefs and walks of life. We were able to have real conversations about faith, family, struggles, and life, in general. I hope these songs reflect those conversations and inspire you to have conversations of your own."
The conversation starts by way of the single "Miracles." An unshakable groove pulsates underneath hypnotic and honest verses before swinging towards an arena-size chant on the chorus as Colton asks, "How do miracles just happen like that?" The upbeat bounce belies a much deeper meaning.
"'Miracles' is a song that has meaning and depth, but it just feels fun musically," he elaborates. "Some things are more than coincidence. I believe there is a God who loves you and looking out for you. I'm pointing out to others that there's more to life than meets the eye. I believe miracles happen all around us. I'd like to encourage all of us to slow down a bit, so we can see and appreciate the miracles for what they are."
It also serves as a powerful conclusion to a longstanding collaboration with the late busbee [P!nk, Kelly Clarkson, Jon Bellion]. Their partnership dates back to Colton's first #1 "You Are." On the day of the "Miracles" session, he snapped a Polaroid next to the songwriter and producer that holds a special significance for him much like the single does. "busbee was the best," Colton smiles. "He made it a point to always hear my vision for what we were writing. He'd bring his expertise to it. I really appreciate how he took the time to understand and support what I wanted to do. We're all going to miss him very much."
Elsewhere on the EP, handclaps, airy bass, and auto-tuned vocal echoes bring "edgy dark pop energy" to "Devil Is a Liar" where "the music changes." Over synth swells and buzzing 808s rather than guitars, the Robopop-produced "Wanderer" hinges on a robust chant. Then, there's the follow-up single "Can't Quit You." Finger-snaps and skittering percussion build towards a seismic pop hook. He adds, "It's a fun song about how I can't shake the fact I'm in love with my wife." Between bold piano chords, "Not Goodbye" deals with loss with the affirmation, "It's 'See you again, not goodbye'," he remarks.
For as much as the sound progresses, he clings to a perennial theme. "There are several themes on the EP, but it all goes back to hope," states Colton. "My goal is to spread hope. I see a lot of people looking for hope, and I'd love to come alongside of them and show support. I've learned so much about love. Love isn't always a feeling. Love is a commitment. Love sometimes means sacrifice. I'm glad I've had the opportunity to write about some of these things in the project. It's really me."
The world first got to know Colton when he surged to the Top Seven on Season 11 of American Idol. Crowned "Fan Favorite" by audiences, he formally kicked off his solo career with A Messenger in 2013. It made chart history by earning "the biggest first-week sales by a new solo Christian act" in addition to gracing the Top 15 of the Billboard Top 200 and soaring to #1 on the Billboard Christian Albums Chart. A year later, he returned with Anchor. The single "More of You" held the number one spot on Hot AC for three weeks straight and "Through It All" became his fourth #1 at the format. 2017's Identity marked his third consecutive #1 one debut on the Christian Albums Chart. Along the way, he garnered two Dove Awards for "Rock/Contemporary Album" and "Recorded Music Packaging" and received a pair of K-LOVE Fan Award nominations in the category of "Male Artist of the Year." 2019 saw him perform at the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Invited by the White House and broadcast on Reelz and Ovation, he joined an all-star cast of fellow stars such as Jessie James Decker and more.
On the 2020 EP and beyond, Colton now carries on a very powerful conversation that will ring out for a long time to come. "I would be honored if my music was a pick-me-up," he leaves off. "What is it that you're struggling with? Loss of a loved one? Depression? Bullying? Whatever it is, I'd be honored to talk with you about it. Even if we don't have the opportunity to meet, I hope my music can point you in the right direction to answering some of life's questions."
Great Guy!| Posted September 16, 2014
I've been a fan of Colton Dixon since before American Idol. I live about forty five minutes from Murfreesboro Tennessee where he is from so I used to watch him even before American Idol. I first saw him singing at MTSU and at local bars and he was amazing then. When I saw him on American Idol I was super excited for him and stayed voting for him each week. When he got voted off I wasn't sure how to feel. I'm glad he got a record deal out of hit and his singing. He's a great singer and I've liked every song he's ever done. Saw him in concert with Lecrae, Derek Minor, Plumb and Thousand Foot Krutch several months back for the first time and I'm glad I did he was excellent.
This guy knows his stuff.| Posted September 15, 2014
His song "More of You" really hits home with me because I feel like there was a time in my life where I wasn't with God. I felt empty and I was taking life into my own hands. And, here was Colton, and he made a song about my life and struggles. I love the song.