Colton Dixon Explores Identity on 3rd Studio Album

Two weeks after releasing his third studio album, Identity, Colton Dixon wrapped up the 46 city Winter Jam tour. We've been fans of Colton Dixon since his American Idol days and were excited to catch up with him to hear all about the new album, life on the road, oh... and his love of ping pong, of course.

With Identity, Colton was able to share a more vulnerable, personal side of himself with his fans. “It was actually a little scary. This record sounds a lot different than the other two so it’s a step in a new direction," he said. At first fans were uncertain but when the album dropped, the Colton Dixon team received an overwhelmingly positive response. "That was so encouraging. It’s hard as an artist," Colton continued, "You pour your heart and soul into these songs and you get them exactly where you want them and it’s like, here’s a piece of me for everyone else to either like or not like... But yea people seemed to be enjoying it!"

"The Other Side" was one song in particular, where Colton was able to address the topic of losing a loved one - a topic that he and his wife, Annie, hold near and dear to their hearts. Annie had lost her brother shortly before meeting Colton. "It was hard to comprehend," said Colton. "Annie was so happy and full of joy." Colton told ESPN Music, "When this song came, I sang that chorus to her and we just cried together. It was a beautiful moment for her and I as now a married couple to experience that together. I knew this was going to be a heavy song but hopefully one that brings healing to a lot of people."

Naming the album, Identity, was a personal choice for Colton. The album is split into three sections: Mind, Body, and Soul. Throughout the album, Colton challenges people to find out who they are and why they do what they do. He said, "by sharing a little bit about my journey personally through all of this, I just hope it makes people think and encourages them to become that person.”

On a lighter note... Colton described the last few months of touring as "summer camp for all the artists". And although hanging out backstage and playing ping pong and corn hole was a blast, Colton loved going out and exploring all the different cities they stopped in. "I really love Chicago, it’s one of my favorites. My buddy took us to this ping pong club bar place called SPiN in Chicago and they have 20-25 tables set up and you rent a table, get drinks and food. I'm just okay at ping pong.. I'm not amazing. But it's something fun to do outside the venue!"

Colton is no stranger to the sports world. He played baseball until high school before deciding to go the music route instead. But not everyone can say their job throughout their teenage years was face painting at professional hockey and football games! Colton's parents started their face painting & air brush company, Skycolt Graphix, and are now the exclusive Airbrush Tattoo Artist for Tennessee's pro franchise Tennessee Titans and Nashville Predators. With that said, the whole Colton Dixon crew are huge Preds fans. Colton himself is a season ticket holder! “We tour with a wardrobe case that has a little TV in it, so I’ll hook my phone up to the TV and watch the Preds games when we can," said Colton.

And lastly, our interview wouldn't have been complete if we didn't ask him what his favorite thing to watch on ESPN was to which he told us "the Not Top 10 is a favorite. We love it." Don't we all??

For more on Colton Dixon, follow him on Twitter & Facebook.