No doubt there are hundreds of Colton Dixons out there. Talented, can carry a tune, can write music, and they are ambitious, energetic, youthful. But only a few get to hit the American Idol stage, and less take advantage of it.
Dixon was one of the lucky ones. Despite his not-so-often-heard-on-mainstream-radio-stations musical genre, Dixon’s is Christian rock, maybe in his case the best kept secret of Idol is how it first gives aspiring musicians a platform and then, even in those less popular genres, they can jump off and quietly become a success.
So it seems to be happening that way for Dixon. From Murfreesboro, Tenn., he tried out in Season 10 and didn’t make the Top 24 with sister Schyler. She came back for a Season 12 tryout and he just went along for the ride to accompany her. She received a Golden ticket to advance to Hollywood and the judges talked him into trying again. He sang David Cook’s song “Permanent” and they handed him a Golden ticket as well.
The good news for Colton was that he advanced and went on to finish seventh last season. The bad news was that Schyler was eliminated from the competition during
the Las Vegas round.
Being ousted from the show didn’t deter Colton or even slow him down for that matter. He has merely taken advantage of the exposure he received from AI and he ran with it … halfway around the world for starters.
He recently performed in the Philippines with former Chula Vista resident and last year’s runnerup Jessica Sanchez who now resides in Los Angeles. And that was after traveling to the same venue with the Top 10 finishers at the tail-end of the annual American Idol Summer Tour last September.
And while he was doing all that, he just happened to mix in quite a few recording sessions in L.A. and Nashville, Tenn. for his just released album “A Messenger.” That album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Christian Music charts and No. 15 on its’ Top 200 chart.
“I am so excited about all that has happened with the record,” Colton said in a recent phone interview while on his way to Riverside for a radio gig. “I hope that all of my fans appreciate the record.” He wrote 11 of the 12 songs on it.
“It was really weird recently when we were driving somewhere and on the radio they played my song ‘You Are.’ I had to change the station it was so weird to hear that,” he said. Of course, what isn’t weird is the acclaim that song has received among Christian
Rock listeners – No. 1 when it was first released last October on the ITunes Christian & Gospel singles chart, No. 5 currently and it was selected as USA Today’s Song of the Week when it was released last fall.
“I do enjoy the recording part of all of this,” he said, “but it makes for long days … easily 9 hours in the studio. I like the creative part of all the musicians.”
Right now, at least, there is no slowing down the 21-year old. Thursday night he will be in Fairfax, Va. as the opening act on a 45-city tour (right now it gets no farther west
than Cheyenne, Wyo.) with the Christian group Third Day.
He hasn’t even had time to watch this season’s version of American Idol.
“I’l probably watch sometime,” he admitted. And the new judges? “I really
like Keith Urban,” Colton said. “But Nicki scares me a little bit,” he added laughing. “I’m just glad I had the judges that we did although I have to day I would have liked to have had Simon (Cowell) on the panel. I would have liked to have heard his critique of my performances.”