American Idol alumnus and Dove Prize winner Colton Dixon looks forward to an exciting new year as he was recently announced as one of the star performers of Winter Jam 2022. Starring Skillet with Tauren Wells, KB , I AM THEY, Newsong hosts and more, Winter Jam 2022 kicks off on January 7th. In this TCB exclusive, Dixon explains what his return to live shows looks like and his anticipation of the upcoming Winter Jam lineup. He also reflects on his upcoming appearance on “Grace Notes”, an unscripted series hosted by Elaine Bradley of Neon Trees, as well as what he took away from the “American Idol” experience.
Congratulations on your announcement on the Winter Jam 2022 artist list! How did you react to the news when you were first invited?
Winter Jam is such a big tour, and I’m still honored and excited to play this tour! I have become a family with so many of these people – artists, crew and NewSong, who puts it on stage. It’ll be great to catch up with them. They even keep the other artists in the dark about who else is on the tour, so I find out when everyone else is doing it. I know a few of the other artists on the tour and can’t wait to make new friends. The line-up is stacked, so it’s going to be a lot of fun!
You’ve had a couple of busy touring months this year, as well as Danny Gokey’s Stand In Your Faith tour and your own Miracles tour. Can you share what stood out to you the most during those nights? /
It was so great to have human interaction again. We toured with Skillet earlier this year, and while the human interaction behind the scenes was nice and necessary, we didn’t have the interaction from the fans. Seeing people in a room and meeting people again has been so refreshing. Even on the nights when we didn’t have a lot of people it was still really special, almost like they were making up for it with wit. It’s been busy, but amazing!
How has your goals / vision changed for live shows since you had a limited opportunity in 2020 to be in person?
It was a chance for all of us to refocus and make sure we are doing the essentials, the essentials. Especially now I have a wife and binoculars at home. No offense to those who attend the shows, but I would much prefer to be home if I didn’t feel called to that. We are here to love people, and everything we do is for them. With the Miracles tour, we’ve actually removed everything, so fans can see something new from me. It’s a chance to be intimate and vulnerable with everyone!
You will participate in the third season of “Grace Notes”. When did you first hear about this opportunity and what was your first reaction?
To be honest, it’s not something I knew very well before, but you better believe I know it now. It’s amazing what they do! They gave me a history lesson when I got there, and I’m a huge Neon Trees fan too, and after leaving for the day and doing the interview, I realized that the Neon Trees drummer was the person who interviewed me. I just think it’s so cool that even in a mainstream space, they’re able to talk about faith and what God has brought to us in an unspoken, non-rigid way.
Colton’s episode of “Grace Notes,” which also features Ellie Holcomb, is available to stream for free on the BYUtv app.
Thinking back to your experience with “American Idol,” what has helped you be successful that you may not have realized at the time?
I’ve learned so much on the show and unfortunately sometimes you can only learn by experience. I’m 30 now and I was 20 and 21 when I was on the show, so I’ve matured a lot and learned what the limits are, so it’s just a lot of things you just had to learn through the ordeal of fire. I am grateful for these experiences.
Who or what currently inspires you, whether musically or spiritually?
In fact, I grew up listening to Christian music, and it’s something that I still love. But maybe I started more on the rock side, and I mellowed out a bit, so I think I’m leaning more on the pop side now. A well-crafted pop song brings me to life. Spiritually, time with God is so important. We cannot lead people where we have not been. So I think time with God each day is so important. The world is constantly changing, so we must be ready to receive this new nugget that God is trying to tell us. If we don’t pass the time, we can’t convey this to the audience listening to us – from the stage or through their phones. It’s a big responsibility, and something I don’t take lightly. I want to offer something more than what the world has to offer.
What are you most looking forward to for the rest of 2021?
My whole world revolves around my wife and kids right now. And it’s been a very busy season on the road. So I’m more excited to have the rest of the year to be around and at home with my kids. FaceTime is an amazing invention, and I’m grateful to whoever invented it, but it’s still not the same as hugging my girls. I can’t wait to be home with them, especially before a busy Winter Jam schedule.