American Idol alum Colton Dixon has signed with Atlantic. His debut single, “Miracles,” drops Jan. 24, Billboard has exclusively learned.
“When my manager Zach [Kelm] said that Atlantic might be interested, I couldn’t really believe it,” says Dixon, who first signed with Capitol Christian Music Group’s Sparrow Records after placing seventh on the 11th season of American Idol in 2012. “God is opening up doors and I’m excited to see what that would look like. At first, I thought they [Atlantic] would want to make me into something that I’m not, but the more we talked, the more I realized that they wanted to come alongside what we were already doing and provide some new territory to do that in. It’s been a great journey so far and I’m excited to have new product coming out.”
Atlantic vp A&R David Silberstein has been working with Dixon and has high hopes for the 28-year-old Tennessee native. “Colton is a true talent with an amazing vocal tone and delivery,” he says. “Building on the strong foundation of Colton’s Christian music background, we’ve continued developing his songwriting with new lyrical concepts and productions that are very personal to him. The music he’s coming up with feels bold, but remains true to who Colton is and what he stands for.”
“Miracles” is Dixon’s first new music in three years. It follows the release of three No. 1 albums on Billboard’s Christian Albums Sales chart including 2013’s A Messenger, 2014’s Anchor and 2017’s Identity. Dixon co-wrote his new single “Miracles” with Michael Jade and songwriter and producer busbee, who passed away from cancer last September at 43. “We wrote three songs for my first project, including ‘You Are,’” Dixon says of busbee, who was well known for his work with P!nk, Kelly Clarkson and Maren Morris. “He was such a great guy. I know he’s in heaven right now. He’s a believer. We talked about faith pretty much every time I was with him.”
Dixon says busbee was an exceptional writer and producer. “He was really, really great about coming alongside someone else’s vision and bringing his expertise to the table as well about making your idea be best as it could possibly be,” he says. “During the session, he had a Polaroid there at the studio. I guess he’d been doing that with several artists, which is such a great idea. That Polaroid I will hold onto until the day I continue on. It’s such a cool thing.”
Dixon says the song began when Jade came in with his acoustic guitar and started singing the line, “How do miracles happen just like that?” His co-writers were intrigued, and they were off and running. “We explored the idea of maybe there’s more than meets the eye,” Dixon says. “I think if we slowed down life a little bit, we’d be able to see and appreciate miracles for what they are and that’s what the song is about.”
Dixon has been recording in Los Angeles working with producers Robopop (Maroon 5, Lana Del Rey) and Grant Averill (The Holdup). Additionally, the singer has established a relationship with Skillet, thanks to his manager Kelm, who also represents Skillet and is partners with the band’s label imprint Hear It Loud. Skillet frontman John Cooper and his wife and bandmate Korey have also been providing input on the new record while Kelm is involved in the creative collaboration as well.
“John and Korey have been involved with the project, helping with creative, some song decisions and things like that and I’ve loved having them be a part of the team. I’ve always looked up to them. I grew up listening to them and I’m still a huge Panhead,” Dixon says, referencing the name given Skillet’s legion of fans. “I’ll send music to them and John will always lean towards the more edgy stuff, which is probably to be expected, but honestly I respect their spiritual maturity as well. They bring that to the table as far whether it’s lyrical content or the meaning behind the song. They are always challenging me to dive deeper and I really appreciate that.”
After releasing four albums on Sparrow, Dixon is excited about the new chapter he’s embarking on. “It’s a whole new day,” he says. “I’ve turned the page with Capitol and ended on a great note, but, man, I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to do music!”