‘American Idol’ alum and Dove award winner Colton Dixon is looking forward to an exciting new year as he was recently announced as one of the featured performers on Winter Jam 2022. Featuring headliner Skillet along with Tauren Wells, KB, I AM THEY, hosts Newsong and more, Winter Jam 2022 kicks off on January 7th. In this TCB Exclusive, Dixon talks about what the return to live shows has been like and his anticipation for the upcoming Winter Jam lineup. He also reflects on his upcoming appearance on ‘Grace Notes,’ an unscripted series hosted by Elaine Bradley from Neon Trees, as well as what he has taken away from the ‘American Idol’ experience.
Congratulations on being announced as part of Winter Jam 2022 artist list! How did you react to the news when you first were invited out?
Winter Jam is such a big tour, and I’m always honored and excited to play that tour! I’ve become family with so many of those people – artists, crew, and NewSong, who puts it on. It’s going to be great to catch up with them. They even keep the other artists in the dark on who else is on the tour, so I find out when everyone else does. I know a few of the other artists on the tour, and I’m looking forward to making new friends. The line-up is stacked, so it’s going to be a lot of fun!
You’ve had a busy few months of tour dates with Danny Gokey’s Stand In Your Faith tour and your own Miracles tour. Can you share some of what impacted you most during those nights?
It’s been so great getting human interaction again. We did a drive-in tour with Skillet earlier this year, and while the backstage human interaction was nice and needed, we didn’t have the fan interaction. Getting to see people again in a room, and getting to meet people again has been so refreshing. Even the nights where we haven’t had a huge crowd, it’s still been really special, almost like they make up for it with spirit. It’s been busy, but amazing!
How have your goals and vision shifted for live shows since having limited opportunity in 2020 to be in-person?
It was a chance for all of us to refocus and make sure we are making the main thing, the main thing. Especially now, I have a wife and twin girls at home. No offense to those at the shows, but I would much rather be at home if I didn’t feel called to this. We are here to love on people, and everything we do is for them. With the Miracles tour, we’ve actually stripped everything back, so the fans are getting to see something new from me. It’s a chance to be intimate and vulnerable with everyone!
You will be appearing on season three of ‘Grace Notes’. When did you first hear about the opportunity and what was your initial reaction?
[Colton’s episode of “Grace Notes,” which also features Ellie Holcomb, is available to stream for free on the BYUtv app.]
To be honest, it’s not something I was super familiar with before, but you better believe I’m familiar with it now. It’s amazing what they are doing! They gave me a history lesson when I showed up, and I’m also a big Neon Trees fan, and after I left for the day and did the interview, I realized the drummer from Neon Trees is the person who interviewed me. I just think it’s so cool that even in a mainstream space they are able to talk faith and what God has brought us all through in a non-preachy and non-stiff way.
Thinking back on your experience with ‘American Idol’, what has helped set you up for success that you maybe didn’t realize in the moment?
I learned so much on the show and unfortunately, sometimes you can only learn through experience. I’m 30-years-old now and I was 20 & 21 when I was on the show, so I’ve matured a lot and learned what boundaries are, so it’s just a lot that in the moment you just had to learn through trial by fire. I’m thankful for those experiences.
Who, or what, is currently providing inspiration for you, either musically or spiritually?
I actually grew up listening to Christian music, and it’s something I still love. But I started maybe more on the rock side, and have mellowed out a bit, so I think I lean more on the pop side now. A well-crafted pop song gives me life. Spiritually, time with God is so important. We can’t lead people where we haven’t gone. So I think time with God every day is just so important. The world is always changing, so we have to be prepared to get that new nugget that God is trying to tell us. If we aren’t spending the time, we can’t convey that to the audience that is 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 the world has to offer.
What are you most expectant for in the remainder of 2021?
My entire world revolves around my wife and kids right now. And it’s been a really busy season on the road. So I’m more so excited to have the rest of the year to get to be present and home with my kids. FaceTime is an amazing invention, and I’m thankful for whoever invented it, but it’s still not the same as getting to hold my girls. I just cannot wait to be home with them, especially before a busy Winter Jam schedule.