What do you do when the whole world stops? If you’re Colton Dixon, you use the silence as an opportunity to press into the presence of God— an opportunity that created his latest song, “Made to Fly.”
On this episode of Trevor Talks, Colton Dixon shares about the ways he redeemed the unexpected pause of the pandemic, using the time to focus on his family while he and his wife Annie welcomed twin girls. He also digs deep into the spiritual growth he’s experienced during this season, offers some real talk about the challenges of touring, and revisits his personal process through the American Idol journey.
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Trevor Tyson 0:01
Thank you for tuning in to Trevor talks podcast where we talk to real people about real topics and real stories. Today we've got a guest that you've probably seen or heard a good bit in your lifetime. He started as a front runner on American Idol and has gone on the pavement amazing career in Christian music. He's won multiple Dove Awards, really several chart topping hits and recently had two beautiful twin girls during the pandemic. His new single may defy is currently making waves around the globe. And he's here to share with us today, y'all please help me welcome Mr. Colton Dixon, Colton. Thanks for being here, man. What's up, man? Thanks for having me. Really appreciate it. Yeah, man, you've been releasing music, releasing children into the world all during the pandemic, dude. It was yes.
Colton Dixon 0:49
I didn't release children. My wife would correct both of us on that. But I was there for moral support and still am and they're alive. So we're doing it. We're surviving, thriving. And it's been fun. Yeah, man.
Trevor Tyson 1:04
How has becoming a father especially during a pandemic? How has it changed your perspective? Like whether it's writing music or just doing life with compassion, like for I've heard from a ton of people, like I haven't had kids myself. So I don't know. But like, you just see the love in that child's eyes and just, it changes your whole worldview. How's that been for you?
Colton Dixon 1:23
Oh, man, you melt. Yeah, man. They look at you a certain way. And she's like, all right, whatever you want his checkbook, his credit card, don't care. You can't even talk yet doesn't matter. Yeah. Honestly, the whole pandemic thing has been a blessing in disguise. For that reason. I kind of have to be careful how it word that I'm not necessarily glad it happened. I am thankful that I was able to be home, with my wife through a lot of parts of pregnancy, getting to welcome the girls and be home with everyone for several months, continuously. Whereas if, you know, COVID wouldn't have showed up, I would be out on the road. And I wouldn't have gotten to see all of those moments and had all the memories that I do. So I'm I'm really thankful I was able to be home. But now that touring is picking back up. I'm like, oh, shoot, I got used to be at home. No, but it's good. I'm thankful to have work. But But yeah, I mean, they're amazing. I'm so glad to be a dad. It is. It is so odd. I grew up in church, and you know, you hear your pastor talk about being a parent and what that looks like. And, you know, I used to always have the thought like, oh, like, I'm not in this group of people. Like that doesn't apply to me yet. We kind of tuck it away. But now here we are. So I'm like, Okay, well, what's the next? What's the next face? grandparent? Oh, my gosh, I've got one more face left. What is happening to me 30. This year, what's happening to me? Life's crazy, man. But you take it any season. And this is a beautiful season. We're enjoying it.
Trevor Tyson 3:06
And what was it like when your wife went into labor, like going into the hospital during a pandemic that make you mask up and do everything a little bit more carefully than you would outside of the pandemic?
Colton Dixon 3:18
Yeah, there were, there are pros and cons of that situation. The whole mask up, all that stuff was very annoying. That, you know, it's like whether whether you guys are masked people or not, you know, when you're getting ready to meet your kids for the first time, you don't want to be wearing a mask, you know what I'm saying? Like, you just don't want to be wearing one. So the the Pro, however, is that it got to be very intimate, not by our choosing, but by the hospitals choosing. So we didn't have a ton of people at the hospital, which honestly is probably the way we would prefer to do anyway. It was just nice. There was a chance for Annie and I to meet our kids and to have that moment and those couple of days with them and it was awesome. Yeah, really thankful we had that time but yeah, a lot of hoops we had to jump through all the things with the pandemic but wasn't all bad.
Trevor Tyson 4:16
There wheel when they were wheeling at back to give birth, were they making her mascot while she was pushing in everything?
Colton Dixon 4:23
No. Like once it came time for actual delivery. I don't. I hadn't I think I had a mask. I'm trying to remember. There's so much of all of that. It's a blur, right? Oh,
Trevor Tyson 4:35
wow. Would you get in there and they're like, No, you have to wear a mask. She's like not ain't happening brother.
Colton Dixon 4:41
Forever. No, she didn't have to wear a mask. I know that. I don't think I was wearing a mask. Like when it came time. But like outside of our room and stuff like that. You of course had to wear a mask and I think they wanted us to wear a mask up until delivery. though, did we do that? 100%? Definitely not.
Trevor Tyson 5:06
Really think about that, though. That's just extra. You don't want to talk about it. It's like, I'm here to be happy. And don't take this
Trevor Tyson 5:14
as for not making me happy. Yes. Yeah, like 3%
Trevor Tyson 5:19
That's phenomenal man. And that story is even encouraging to hear. Like, even as you said, like, you don't want to say the pandemic was a blessing, because obviously, it was a global thing that kind of shut the world down. But even for us, like, I had, like the whole Trevor talks brand, but it never really became like, as important to me as it did during the pandemic, because I realized like, people need hope now more than ever. Yes. And instead of like doing radio or anything like that, like we can do stuff in our house now you've got the internet and getting have meaningful conversations with people and for you, like made defy came out you Did you write that during the pandemic, and then release it. I know, You've been working a good bit with John and Cory Cooper, on these projects, which is phenomenal. We love those, that whole band, they're phenomenal. And they defy came out of this pandemic. Hmm. It did. Yeah, that was kind of
Colton Dixon 6:13
like the, that was like the one one song that I really took a hold of, that I wrote during pandemic coming out of it. And it's, it was simply a reminder for me, when it came to music career and all that stuff, I was so used to being putting on my my dad hat and all that stuff. Like, I'd forgotten how to do a lot of it, you know, just wasn't used to it. I was trying to remember how to put one foot in front of the other again, just like, Lord, you have to help me help me here. Because I'm, I feel like I'm out of my element. And, and not just even in music, career and some things in life as well. And I just read the verse. In Isaiah, it says, You'll soar on wings, like eagles, you'll run and not grow weary, he will walk and not faint. And here I was trying to remember how to walk. And I'm like, Ah, there's a better way to do this. It's like, let's figure out what that is. You know, I think God wants to wants to steal, steal us away sometimes. So we can rise above the noise and see the bigger picture. I think that that's what that verse is talking about. And whenever I started to intentionally take time away with God, he started to show me things and give me glimpses and, and it just brought security and, and just sparked my faith, as well. So that during those hard seasons, or during those seasons, where I didn't know how it's going to work out, I just, I knew that he was going to take care of it, you know. So it started just as a reminder for me, you know, here in my studio with a couple of friends and turned into something that the feedback we've gotten anyway, it's something that people are enjoying listening to, which is so awesome and encouraging. So yeah,
Trevor Tyson 7:57
you got to perform it on Good Morning America, too, which is phenomenal. And when you hear the song is like this guy, write a letter to himself and release it for everybody to hear. It's just vulnerable, and it's encouraging. But did the whole becoming a parent, like change your perspective on songwriting itself? Like, I want my kids to hear this one day and know that this is what Daddy was talking to himself about? And what everyone else said on as well? Yeah, 100%
Colton Dixon 8:26
it's just a different perspective on life in general. Again, I know you said you haven't had kids grown up in church in here, and pastors talk about kids and stuff. It's like, man, you never thought you could love something or someone so much. And that was true. You know, there's nothing I wouldn't do for my kids. You know, whether it's getting home from a show and flying out to wherever they are, they've been staying with my, my wife's parents for some extra set of hands while I'm doing the tour thing right now. So whether it's getting back and flying out for a day or two, and then flying back or whatever it looks like, like, it's a sacrifice, but it's so worth it. Because it's extra time with my kids, you know? And, yeah, they're awesome. I don't know where I was going with that or answered your question.
Trevor Tyson 9:19
Did I want to really dive into your story though, like, you know, like, you were on American Idol. You didn't even want to audition the second time with your sister like, but I want to dive even further than that. Some things that people may not know about you like how you grew up, the passions you carried. When you started writing music or even playing music, realize you could sing, we'll start with your childhood if you're open to it, like growing up with your sister and getting into like just going with her to audition for idol and you're getting pulled into it like yeah, dive into it all.
Colton Dixon 9:54
Yeah, man. So I was born and raised in church X She loves sports. I was more of a sports kid.
Colton Dixon 10:03
loved baseball, was a pitcher. I gave that up right after Middle School. But I thought that was what I was going to do. And then,
Colton Dixon 10:17
man, I just started falling in love with music. You know, it started with doing a couple of musicals at the school I was in, but I really just loved music. I didn't necessarily care for the acting or the lines, so much. I hate memorizing lines. It's the worst ever. But I really just had a passion for music. At the youth group, I was going to I was playing piano and singing some and, and I just love that. I loved getting together with friends and peers and and worshiping God together and playing a small part. And what that sounded like, you know, just thought that was the coolest thing. So I joined the band with my sister actually, we were called messenger and big skillet influence. Every Oh, yeah. And we did that throughout high school. And then we landed a deposition at a different church leading worship for the youth group and loved that we got to do that. And was in it for mostly the right reasons. I'm sure I had a few things skewed along the way, made it about me too much, I'm sure. But then the American Idol thing came about. That's a show that we grew up watching as a family loved it again, I just loved anything music and the thought of, you know, a nobody becoming a somebody overnight was so intriguing to me. And the process of what that looks like. So we actually try it out two years. I didn't really want to do it either a year. You know, it was kind of just like, I like to. It's a quick research, but I like to see how things are done before I dive in. Whether it's a sport, or we were just on tour with Jordan Felice and him and his crew like to play spike ball. And I would go and just watch. You know, I'm fairly athletic. But I like to go and watch. Because whenever I do something, I like to be good at it. I don't know. That's a man thing. I don't know what that is. Pretty much. I like to I like to know my way around before I dive into something. And idle was the same thing. I was kind of there just to observe. My sister really wanted to do it. And while we were waiting outside of the Serena, she looked at me she just goes, Why would you not audition? This is so stupid. You're here. Just do it. Like what's the worst that can happen? Like, they say no, or you make it you go to Hollywood? Like, how cool you know, I'm like, Yeah, okay, that's true, silly not to audition. So we did, we both made it. We made it to she made it to Hollywood week and got cut and group Brown. And I made it to
Colton Dixon 13:00
they call it The Green Mile. It's where you walk down. It's like the final judgement, you know, I got cut there. And then I was really done. I'm like, Okay, I
Colton Dixon 13:09
did the idle thing. I'm going to run with it. Well, the next year comes about my sister wants to go back and give it another shot. And I was very clear. I'm like, That's great. I'm here to support you. I'll be you know, I'll be in the family shot when you run out with a golden ticket and we'll make it fun. Well, she, she's in her audition, and she pokes her head out midway through her audition and goes, Hey, the judges want to see you. And I'm like, okay, that's I mean, that's cool. You know, they they want to, they remember me, how cool is that? So I walk in and it's just immediate guilt trip on why I'm not seeing it. And I'm like, Oh my gosh, you know, so many thoughts running through my head one being, this is my sister's time to shine, I don't want to, I don't want to take away from that at all, too. If I'm going to sing, it needs to be a song that is approved, you know, so that if they were going to aired on TV, I don't jeopardize it by saying singing a song that they can't play. You know, all these thoughts are going through my head in a matter of seconds and I wind up singing. And as soon as I'm done, we both make it through as soon as I'm done. I look at Skylar, I'm like hey, my sister I'm like, are you okay with this? I realized I didn't really get a chance. Neither one of us did get a chance to talk this through and she's like, Are you kidding? I would much rather have you there at Hollywood with me that sit at home. I'm like, Okay, awesome. So we did that. And then that whole idol journey happened but yeah, just a little bit about my childhood. It was a like I said, I grew up in church, really thankful for great parents really close with family. And that is directly affected. How I I do my own family. Now you know, and how I look at that and how I treat that Yeah, it's been great.
Trevor Tyson 15:02
Yeah, that's fun. Sorry.
Colton Dixon 15:04
I tend to rant.
Trevor Tyson 15:06
No, no, we love it. And after you got in and did the whole American Idol thing, obviously, you paved a career for yourself. But I know that it's not always easy. Like you've mentioned before leaving your family going on tour. There's a lot of sacrifices that are made to be a musician. People think that oh, all they do is sit in green rooms go perform like no, you're sleeping on a bus or a van. Whatever you have at that point, and you're not really getting Sleep, sleep, you're resting because your body needs it. But your brain fog, like some people have bad encounters that meet and greets. And people are like, Oh, they're terrible people. It's like, Rod, do you not realize that they are leaving their family to travel, which sounds glamorous, but y'all go do it for a week, I promise you, you'll be reevaluating, you're leaving your family. When you clock out of work or working a nine to five, you clock out and you go home to your family. You're gone for weeks on in, like you see your kids through FaceTime and etc. There's a whole sacrifice that goes behind it that not a lot of people understand. So even after idol and after the radio singles and the accolades and everything. Have you been like, Man, this ain't for me anymore? Have you hit that point where you're just like, I'm gonna go do something else. Like this isn't for me.
Colton Dixon 16:23
There have been seasons. That's so funny. You say that last weekend. Buses, and like Mercedes makes like a van called a sprinter. I'm sure you're very familiar.
Colton Dixon 16:40
It's what a lot of artists use for transportation, buses, sprinters, things like that. There have been there's been a shortage because so many people are out on the road trying to make up for lost time. So last weekend, we had like your entry level, sprinter with not even the captain's chairs. They were just like regular bench seats in the back. And we had to drive. It was three shows in a row. It was Wisconsin, Wisconsin to Michigan, Michigan, to Ohio, Ohio back home. I flew out later that afternoon to North Dakota. What happened was in Ohio, and we also took shifts driving so I you know, I was driving with everyone else, you know, it is not glamorous. We got food poisoning on Saturday. So without going full TMI, there were a couple emergency stops on the way home on Sunday. But I almost had to cancel the show on Monday because I'm like, I can't get on a plane right now. Again, not gonna go into the details. Use your imagination. Like, I cannot. I can't. I'm not leaving my house right now, you know, saying and thankfully I was able to go. But that was one of those times where I'm like, Man, I don't love this right now. I am not a fan of this right now. But then there are other times where I'm like, Oh my gosh, I could do this for the rest of my life. I'm glad it doesn't boil down to how I feel about this. And That'll preach on anything in life. When God calls you to something he'll make away and you kind of have to put your feelings aside on the matter. And do it because sometimes you'll feel great and other times you'll feel awful feelings are fickle. It's why we don't go based on our emotions. We go based on what we know to be true. So yeah, I'm so thankful I get to do what I do. And I'll continue doing it for as long as God calls me to it. But the moment that that's done, I'm gonna be home with my family. Yeah, we'll see. And
Trevor Tyson 18:53
as you've matured as an artist, obviously you released identity which did amazing things and even albums prior but with switching labels switching like almost it feels like you have a new direction for music. Your sound is changing. Your hair is changing up like I was trying to come up with something that intro we had a Crowder was the bearded wonder but I just couldn't nail it down. It's like this dude's just got the hair like that's it like it's its own will recognize you. I'm sure you wear hats and airports. Like you just can't hide it like yep, people see the hair there. Last Colton Dixon right there. So as everything has, like transitioned into this new season, how do you see yourself like not expecting career growth but growth as a person like maturing as a man, even going through mental health struggles and such losing friends to suicide like it's been a wild few years for all of us? Yeah, I was like when it comes to mental health and writing music and realizing that a lot of people struggle are with us whether they're on a platform or not. How have you learned to cope with those seasons where you just don't want to get out of bed? You seem stressed out, you're easy, irritable, even while on the road, how do you manage that? Yeah.
Colton Dixon 20:15
Man, it's this, this is such a delicate thing to speak into. And just being fully transparent. Like I will get, I'll get stressed out about things. I tend to work too hard. Like, I'll, I'll have a project or something. And I just, it's so funny, whether it's building something new for live show, or putting together Legos. Like, I was like this when I was a kid, I would get like, do you remember those roller coasters and it was connects, yeah, these roller coasters do those things were the best. But my parents one year got me a connects roller coaster that was like six feet tall. It was crazy, bro. I had that thing put together and working in an hour and a half. I just I didn't stop. That's all I did. Like, I just get in the zone. And I do that stuff. And not can stress me out because I won't eat. I just I don't think about it. You know, my wife will come down and be like, have you like, are you going to eat lunch today? Like, are you? Are you going to say hello to me today? And I'm like, Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry. I'm, I'm, I'm in the cave. You know, I'm I'm, I'm just talking man on a mission. So I'll do that. And that was stressing me out. But as far as you know, like, the whole suicide and depression, things like that. That's not something that personally I struggle with. But we both have had friends you know, who have and it's a very real thing. The answer is Jesus, you know, not saying that our friends or if you're listening or watching this, you're like, man, like I'm a believer, and I still struggle with this. You know, that's, I'm not saying you're less than we all have our each individual struggles. I just know that Jesus said, I am the way and I am the truth and I am the life. He also said, I have not given you a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind.
Colton Dixon 22:22
I think that some things can be hard. You know, it's, it's hard. It's so delicate. I know, because it's such a real thing for so many people.
Colton Dixon 22:35
But the only thing I know to say is to seek God, you know, whether it's today, or whether it's five years from now, I think he can take it away. I really do. I think he can take it away. And there have been things in life. For example, when I lost when I got dropped on my label. I was not in a good place for a couple of weeks, you know, so much of my identity and who I am is wrapped up in a music career. It's funny when you do a record called identity and then you have to practice what you preach, you know? Yeah. But there was and my wife helped me really see God on what the future look like and and I just found a piece and that got God said, Actually, it was David talking said you lead me beside the still waters and you restore my soul. Still waters is like you picture like laying out on the grass. Like this peaceful like stream of water, you know, and it's like that that's the place God wants us to be. He's like, hey, just come rest with me. I was doing something with an artist named Austin French. And he said something that was so good. He's like, peace and rest is not something that I can attain by doing it myself. Rest is a person. And his name is Jesus. And I'm like, Oh my gosh, it rocked my world. Because so many times like, I'll, I'll set aside a vacation, we'll go out on vacation, I get back. I'm like, Man, I feel like I need another vacation after this vacation or you know, whatever. But then there are also times where I'm the busiest I've ever been in my life. And I take five minutes to sit down and pray about it. And I'm fully restored and feel like I can take it on 10 times again. That's who Jesus is. You know, he'll never give you too much that you can't handle. But I feel like it's always at that breaking point. Because we need Jesus, we need God. We need that, that counterpart to help us live life. So whatever it is that you're struggling with, whether it's mental health or whether it's anger issues or whether it's a workaholic, or whether it's you know, whatever. RUN TO JESUS because he's got the answer. That's what I would say. Sorry, I babbled.
Trevor Tyson 25:05
No, you're not seeing currently. And I believe a lot of people are gonna hear this and feel not convicted, but just refreshed and feel like oh, like there is somebody else like me out there. Like for myself personally, I find it really hard to rest. I have to be doing something all the time saying, bro, yeah, if we move in, like nothing's happening. And yes, like, forcing myself to rest as it becomes a struggle, like even to this day, like I've got to be doing something all times. But what the Lord has really spoken to me this year is like, you don't have to prove anything to anybody. Like, just having that weight lifted off, my shoulders instantly made me feel refreshed. And I'm that one step closer to finding that rest and healing. And it's just really amazing to see that God can move in so many different ways, including things that we would never even think to discuss, like, rest is the last thing on my mind. Most of the time. It's like, oh, project done, we got to watch this album. We've got this book coming out. Like there's just so much going on in like day to day life. And it just gets that much busier. But we just have to rely on Jesus that much more and be like, Okay, God, like we have this project. But is it really the right time to do this? Is it really the right time to do this? And it all starts with a conversation. That's simply what I got from what you're saying is like, don't forget the secret sauce before you even start working. I gave you this voice God gave you this message God's given us and instilled this hope for us to share it to other people. And that's that's just that's what I got from that. So you weren't babbling you preach it and got fired up? You got fired up to I love it. Yeah, like everyone that's listening, I would encourage you to go stream made to fly. There's an amazing music, video and even alternate versions on YouTube. We're gonna have the link in the description below, with Holton socials. But Colton thank you so much for taking time to speak with us today and being vulnerable. Talking about the kiddos and Sir zyk everything else behind it dude, like this has been fun.
Colton Dixon 27:10
It has been thank you so much for carving some time as well appreciate you.
Trevor Tyson 27:14
Definitely you're busy and I am so thank you. Everybody listening, if you're struggling with mental health or anything along the lines of that, just know that you're not alone. There is hope there's an anchor for you. His name is Jesus, because He is the foundation for your life. And I know that can sound preachy, but at the end of the day, like even when I'm feeling low, I can't find a better escape than just praying and being one with Jesus. And maybe you're saying like, you know, I've tried that and it's not working for me. Try again. See, seek therapy seek help. There's nothing wrong with asking for help. So I love you guys. God loves you. Thank you to new release today for making this episode possible. We'll talk to you guys next week.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai