Tony Cummings reports on American Idol contestant COLTON DIXON
American Idol may not be everyone's idea of top rate television entertainment but few can deny its continuing ability to bring to prominence numerous singers including quite a few Christian ones. Colton Dixon is the 20 year old Tennessee native whose successful run in series 11 of American Idol has landed him a chart-making debut album released through Sparrow Records. 'A Messenger' takes its name from the Christian rock band Messenger of which he and younger sister Schyler are members. Colton spoke to JesusFreakHideout about his album. "People ask me what my favourite song is, and I end up naming five or six. But I think 'Scars' is a huge one for me, I really connect with that song. I'd say 'Never Gone' is another one that I really connect with, and it's still one of my favourites, just because it was really what I was going through towards the end of my Idol career. I really just felt disconnected from friends and family, and God at one point, and I just remember him comforting me and saying, 'I've been with you the whole time, and I promised that I would never leave you.' So kinda like an 'O ye of little faith' kind of thing; I'm sure his nickname for me is 'Doubting Thomas'. But yeah, that idea behind that song really encouraged me and I was able to bring it to life with my producers, and that's been one that I really connected with."
Colton was asked how he came to sign with Sparrow. "I had some time in there where I was just going back and forth [amongst record companies] and seeing what God wanted me to do. If I had the choice, I would've gone with Christian music from the get-go, but I just wanted to make sure that that's where he wanted me. So what I decided to do, instead of asking for a straight answer, I just asked that God would be in the middle of these songwriting sessions, you know? And, just depending on that, that God would answer it that way, with songs. And he did; it's pretty obvious that I needed to be in Christian music because some of these songs were pretty specific. But as far as Sparrow Records goes, it was suggested by my management company that we have a meeting with them, and I'd heard great things about Sparrow Records. They have such an amazing roster, but even after just one meeting with them, and really seeing who they are as people, not only as record people, I was sold. So it was just a matter of getting the business side of things taken care of, but I absolutely love everyone at my record label. I even go there just to hang out sometimes. They're just great people, so I'm really happy with that."
Colton will soon be touring the US with veteran Christian rockers Third Day. How did that come about? "Actually, management told me that Third Day were interested, and then I had dinner with Mac Powell and his wife back when the American Idol tour came through there. And they're so sweet; Mac officially extended the invitation there, and we talked about it a little bit and I was definitely on board. Even since management mentioned it, I said 'yes, definitely take that and run with that.' [I'm] really looking forward to that. They're great guys and they'll be great 'first mentors' for my first tour - being out on the road and seeing and knowing the 'do's and don'ts'; it's gonna be awesome!"
During his spell on American Idol Dixon was quite outspoken about his Christian faith and even sang some Christian songs, such as Lifehouse's "Everything". At the time of his elimination he said, "The producers and everyone else on the show are always saying to be who you are, you've gotten as far as you have because of that. I was going to do it anyway, but then it just gave me an extra little kick to do it. I'm a Christian and I'm not going to shy away from that, so I did it. I got great feedback for it, and I'm so glad I got to do it not once, but twice. It had an impact and encouraged fellow believers to take a stand for what they believe in and not be ashamed of it."
He was asked whether he had any regrets about American Idol and responded, "I'd probably think twice before wearing red leather pants again!" When asked what God has been teaching him recently, Colton was equally forthright. "I think it's just to put all my trust in him, and to be patient, to wait, and to listen. To really rely fully on him. He's gonna get the job done, but it's going to be in his time, so we just need to be patient with what he's doing. For me, I would say a prayer, and expect it to happen right then. But he's just been teaching me that it's all according to his time, and his plan, and I'm just thankful I get to be a part of it. In such a big way with the record coming out or whatever, and even just with all of that, with Idol, with the first season I tried out, it didn't end up working out, and I just remember feeling like, 'man, I thought this was it,' or whatever. And he's basically just saying 'not yet' or 'be patient, you just need to be patient.' And when I least expected it, I tried out for another year, and things went really well, and I knew that was God doing all that because I had absolutely no desire to try out again. But yeah, definitely just relying fully on him that everything's going to happen according to his plan, and in his timing."The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.