Even at a young age, while he was singing in the church choir, some adults took notice of Jeremy Dixon’s attraction to the microphone.
That passion remains and last month the 1998 graduate of Port St. Joe High School, released a five-song recording, “Welcome to the Victory,” which is available on a host of online services, including Spotify, iTunes, GooglePlay, YouTube, etc., etc.
Span those sites and, where available, you find a passel of strong reviews.
The songs are something of a genre mashup, a foundation of praise and worship sprinkled with a distinctive pop vibe; a “blend,” Dixon called it.
“I’ve always sang in church, it has always just come naturally,” said Dixon, who also plays acoustic guitar.
“Once my voice matured and my admiration for the guys who had done it, and been inspirational, I wanted to share the Gospel …through music.”
The release is a natural part of a personal evolution.
Dixon knew as a high school junior that music and his faith would be intertwined in his life.
“That’s when I started realizing that God had called me to music,” Dixon said.
It should be no surprise, therefore, that among his favorite Bible verses is 1 Peter 4:10.
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms,” the passage reads.
Dixon studied music at Carson-Newman before transferring to Florida State and changing his major in order to graduate more quickly.
He has been a praise and worship leader at First Baptist Church of Port St. Joe for over a decade.
Dixon’s current release came about due to that most modern of methods: social media.
Dixon was a following, a “friend” in Facebook-speak, Don Koch, a giant of the contemporary Christian music market as a songwriter (nearly 40 No. 1 songs in that genre) and producer.
One day, Dixon sent a message wondering if Koch might have some for accompaniment tracks from 1990s-era Christian he had been a part of, seeking some musical ideas for Dixon’s work at First Baptist.
From that message came a conservation that ultimately led to Koch asking a simple question.
“Are you still preserving your artistry?” he wondered of Dixon.
Eventually, the two met and began to collaborate.
“Don came to the table with the songs, but they weren’t fully written,” said Dixon, noting each song arrived with a snippet, verse, or opening, say, but was far from fully-formed.
“We completed that process.”
In the end, Dixon earned co-writing credits on four of the release’s five songs while also seeing his songwriting take a significant stride forward.
“For me, it might be something at church, a good theme or an idea, and then you try to build the song around that,” Dixon said. “It was exciting for me.”
It would, however, be a bit of a slog getting those completed songs to tape to release; two years actually.
Recording took place primarily in Houston, TX, where Koch and Lifeway Music are headquartered, another provendential step for Dixon.
Lifeway Music is a major, if not the major, publishing and recording company in faith-based music.
Already that connection has led to two of Dixon’s songs being published and it certainly helped with distribution of “Welcome to the Victory,”
“It was a long process, but God’s timing is God’s timing,” said Dixon. “And the songs remained current, even two years later.
“I feel really good about it.”
In the coming months, Dixon will make a few appearances to support the release, starting at an upcoming worship leaders conference.
There will certainly be more music to follow.
“I got a pipeline open directly through Don and I’d be stupid not to follow that avenue that God has opened,” Dixon said. “I am just trying to be faithful and use the gifts God gave me.”