Colton Dixon Explores Identity on 3rd Studio Album

April, 10, 2017
Apr 10
11:08
AM ET

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.

April Music of The Month

April, 6, 2017
Apr 6
12:47
PM ET

April showers bring Ma...Masters, Baseball, the NFL Draft and NBA Playoffs! Hear new music from Deorro, Ocean Park Standoff, and Joey Bada$$ all month long on ESPN!

April First Take Tunes

April, 3, 2017
Apr 3
10:14
AM ET

Check out our First Take Spotify playlist to hear music from this month's featured artists Bill Withers, Fedel, and Spoon.

Follow @ESPNMusic on Twitter for the latest!

2017 March Music of the Month

March, 5, 2017
Mar 5
10:00
AM ET

Hear new music from Big Sean, Axwell›Ingrosso, Skip Marley, and Jacob Forever all month long on ESPN!

First Take Flow

March, 1, 2017
Mar 1
11:45
AM ET

Check out our First Take Spotify playlist to hear music from this month's featured artists Ben L'Oncle Soul, Lil Durk, and Mike Flowz feat. ANoyd, along with some of our other fav First Take tunes by Mark Ferg & The Culture, The Weeknd, T La Rock, Ariana Grande feat. Nicki Minaj, Curtis Mayfield, Marc Mysterio feat. J Rice and Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band.

Follow @ESPNMusic on Twitter for the latest!

February 2017 Music of The Month

February, 9, 2017
Feb 9
12:22
PM ET

Hear new music from Kid Cudi feat. Pharrell Williams, Lupe Fiasco, The Chainsmokers, and Nicky Jam all month long on ESPN!

January 2017 Music of The Month

January, 12, 2017
Jan 12
1:28
PM ET

We've kicked off the New Year with a Clemson CFP Championship and with the Super Bowl right around the corner, we've got just the playlist to keep the NYE celebrations going!

Hear music from Run The Jewels, Nuela Charles, Systema Solar, and music by Pharrell Williams from the soundtrack to Hidden Figures.

December Music of The Month

December, 2, 2016
12/02/16
9:44
AM ET

We're feeling cheery and bright this holiday season! With the College Football Playoff right around the corner, we're celebrating this festive season with new music throughout December! Hear music from DNCE, John Legend, Childish Gambino, Sofia Reyes, Metallica,and music from Disney's Moana featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jordan Fisher.


Danish Rock band, Volbeat, tapped into Brooklyn Boxer, Frank Galarza, to be the focus of their new "Seal The Deal" music video (above). Galarza's inspiring story of staying motivated to overcome hardships throughout his life made him a perfect fit for Volbeat's video.

As someone who grew up around boxing and is an avid fan of the sport, I’m thrilled with the video Martin and Magnus at Gaucho Film created for “Seal The Deal.” We’re also very proud to feature fighter Frank Galarza in the clip, he and his young co-star Elvin really brought the feel of the song to life. Expect big things coming from both of them in the future! - Volbeat

Volbeat's latest album, Seal The Deal & Let's Boogie, debuted at #1 in over 15 countries and the band has just finished up their North American tour with fellow-rockers, Metallica and Avenged Sevenfold.

For more on VOLBEAT, check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

November Music of The Month

November, 1, 2016
11/01/16
5:45
PM ET

November, a time to be thankful. And boy are we more thankful than ever for all the great music we have this month! A feast full of tunes in all flavors. Hear music from Ceci Bastida, Fyahbwoy, Kenny Chesney, The Weeknd, Metallica, and music from Disney's Moana featuring Alessia Cara, Dwayne Johnson, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jordan Fisher all month long.

First Take Tunes

November, 1, 2016
11/01/16
8:34
AM ET

Young GWOP: "Talk About It" (iTunes | Twitter)

Bastille: "Send Them Off!" off their latest album Wild World (iTunes | Amazon)

BROS: "Tell Me" off their latest album Vol. 1 (iTunes | Spotify)

Lawrence Taylor: His single "Tag Team" (iTunes | Amazon)

Follow @ESPNMusic on Twitter for the latest!

Epoch Failure Gives Runners Music Motivation for the NYC Marathon

October, 31, 2016
10/31/16
12:55
PM ET

We are less than one week away from the 2016 TCS NYC Marathon and ESPN Music has teamed up with urban pop-duo, Epoch Failure, to bring you their Turnt Up NYC Marathon Spotify playlist! "This playlist is a mix of some favorite "fire up!" tracks, both new and old. We included some "4th & inches, gotta plow through" adrenaline shots, along with some anthemic, motivational tracks" said singer Billy The Kidd. Rapper, Nickey Knoxx, added "We went with what we feel are some tried and true hype jams. We leaned on the familiarity of old school classics, while also mixing in some fresh picks. Hopefully it's the perfect balance to keep runners entertained, inspired and most importantly… on the move."

As the incredible athletes prepare for their 26.2mi race through New York City, Epoch Failure will be preparing to rock the streets and help motivate the runners. For the fourth year in a row, Epoch Failure will be performing on the stage located on 1st Ave between 95th & 96th Street in the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

We had the chance to catch up with Billy The Kidd and Nickey Knoxx to talk all things music + marathon:

The two are no strangers to the NYC Marathon scene telling us, "We love playing this event. The energy from the runners is insane," said Knoxx. "They're running past with fire in their eyes, and then they're giving us thumbs up and fist pumps for the musical inspiration, while the crowd is cheering them on for their running. It's a dynamic gathering that's truly something beautiful and organic."

And although neither have ever run a marathon, they are indeed runners at heart. "No marathon for me; I am purely a sprinter." Billy continued, "The closest I've been to this type of grueling workout was probably two-a-days back in my high school football career. It takes massive dedication and preparation to complete this event. My hat goes off to all the runners who are out there! As a member of the military, Nickey Knoxx went on to say "running and fitness are a huge part of my lifestyle. I've done plenty of 12-mile ruck marches, with 35 pound packs strapped on me. Like a marathon, endurance and will power are definitely put to the test during these marches. Bottom line, everyone with the courage to take on those 26 miles in NYC is amazing. It's an honor to be part of their special day.

With their anthemic, driven beats, Epoch Failure has been featured multiple times on ESPN throughout NCAA and NFL programming. When the New Jersey natives dropped their latest single, "Let The Fire Glow", they knew it would be the perfect soundtrack to the marathon runner's journeys. Billy The Kidd telling ESPN Music, "It's a fight song for all those souls who are brave enough to blaze their own paths. It's a musical celebration in response to overcoming the challenges and obstacles that any pioneer must face. We hope it'll fire up the runners on race day!" Knoxx adding, "Whatever your "finish line," we hope it provides inspiration to cross it in a roaring blaze of glory."

For more info on Epoch Failure and their performance at the TCS NYC Marathon, follow @EpochFailure on Twitter.

It's not too late to grab your limited-edition T-shirt from Teespring featuring your favorite NFL teams and top musical artists like Eminem, Fall Out Boy, and Fergie. This collection was created last month when Teespring and the NFL launched their #MyTeamMyCity campaign. The apparel line was designed by more than 30 artists including Dierks Bentley, Lecrae, All Time Low, Florida Georgia Line, Wale, Jason Mraz, KISS, Linkin Park, Mac Miller, One Republic, and many more celebrating their favorite NFL teams.

“Musicians and NFL teams have some of the most passionate fans in the world, so we thought that this collaboration could be a win for fans,” said Stu Smith, Head of Music & Entertainment at Teespring. “We worked to bring together a wide range of artists spanning many genres – all of whom have a natural pairing with an NFL team. Whether the band hails from that city or it became their adopted home, this gives each music artist the opportunity to celebrate their favorite team in a new way.”

We had the chance to catch up with a few of the artists involved:

Teespring

“As Chicago natives we rep our city and teams to the fullest. We’re grateful the NFL chose us to collaborate with them while also giving Chicago Bears fans the opportunity to help out one of our favorite local charities, Bear Necessities.” - Fall Out Boy

"Being an Atlanta resident means taking care of your city, wanting the best for your city, and the Falcons are a part of this city. I salute and support. " - Lecrae

"Having been Ravens fans for most of our lives, it's really exciting to collaborate on something like this. We've always had so much pride in our hometown city of Bmore, and the Ravens amplify and personify that pride for people here. As a band, we've always felt like we've had a strong bond with Baltimore because it's where our roots lie, so coming in and doing something with the home team means a lot to us as fans, but also as a part of the community at large. It’s also great to see a portion of the proceeds go to a Baltimore based charity that’s doing a lot of great work.” - Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low

Fans have ONE DAY LEFT before these T's are gone. To see the entire #MyTeamMyCity collection, visit: http://collabs.teespring.com/NFL/

October Music of the Month on ESPN

October, 7, 2016
10/07/16
10:50
AM ET

October, what a great month. A chill in the air, football in full effect, MLB playoffs, and Halloween. No tricks this month only treats! Hear music from Usher, Kings of Leon, Locos Por Juana, Green Day, Jimmy Eat World, and Daye Jack all month long.

It's Music To Our Ears! ESPN's College Football Spotify Playlist

September, 30, 2016
9/30/16
1:54
PM ET

Get up for Gameday with ESPN's College Football Spotify playlist!

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