COLTON DIXON’s 2013 debut, A Messenger, set the record for biggest first-week sales by a new solo Christian act, becoming the No. 1 selling album of 2013 by a new Christian artist and the No. 9 best selling album of 2013 in the Christian genre overall. A Messenger also became the No. 22 best-selling album across all genres that same year, while Dixon was still reeling from his highly publicized seventh place finish on Season 11 of American Idol.
Awards and accolades followed. Colton received three Dove Award nominations, winning for Best Contemporary/Rock Album, and he was nominated for Male Artist of the Year at the 2014 KLOVE Fan Awards. Colton also racked up two No. 1 radio singles in 2013 and toured with Third Day, TobyMac and Josh Wilson. And he was recently named an Official Steinway Artist by the legendary piano maker.
It was a dream debut, but Idol fame can be fleeting without a strong foundation and a solid sense of who you are as an artist and a person. Fortunately, as Colton Dixon readies his sophomore project, Anchor (August 19, 19 Recordings/Capitol CMG), he’s as grounded as ever, with his feet planted firmly in faith and family and a clear idea of where he’s headed artistically.
Despite all the life-changing opportunities of the past few years, Colton is still pretty much the same guy that left Tennessee for Hollywood. Home base is still in Murfreesboro, which speaks as much to his grounded foundation as it does to his hectic schedule.
As an artist, Colton’s style is dramatic, and he’s not afraid to take risks. The result is a diverse record that relies on a variety of unique elements. You’ll hear metal breakdowns, full-on classic rock, piano-driven vocals and everything in between. He describes “Loud & Clear” as sounding like “Chris Daughtry on steroids,” while lead single “More Of You” has an almost worship vibe that took everyone involved by surprise.
The end product is an edgy rock record with appeal that crosses generational lines to have mass appeal. Audiences that were granted an early preview of the new album have responded even more enthusiastically than Colton had hoped. But in the end, its not just about making music that is fun to listen to – the goal is to create songs that have the ability to inspire listeners.
Or as Colton explains it, “My hope is that at the end of it all, you feel closer to God than you did when you first pressed ‘play.’”