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Christian music singer and former “American Idol” finalist Colton Dixon and his wife Annie Coggeshall were getting ready for bed one night when the lyrics to his new single “The Other Side” popped into his head. He grabbed a pen and quickly scribbled out the chorus to the faith-filled piano ballad about mourning a loved one with the hope of reuniting in Heaven.
Dixon said typically he has to spend time crafting a chorus, but this time he couldn’t write it fast enough.
“I sang what came natural and my wife started crying and I started crying and it was just a really beautiful moment, just reflecting on all God has brought her family through,” Dixon said.
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Coggeshall’s younger brother Dillon died suddenly a few months before Dixon met Coggeshall. At the time, the singer recognized his future wife had “a peace that surpassed understanding” around her brother’s death.
Years later, her peace inspired “The Other Side” that is featured on his current album “Identity.” The song’s emotional new video features Annie and her parents along with the family of Alexis Henning, a young super fan who recently passed away. The Dixons attended her funeral.
The video for “The Other Side” shows Dixon playing piano in a warehouse. He’s surrounded by old television sets playing home videos of Dillon and Alexis. Their respective families crowd around for glimpses of their loved one. At the sight of her daughter on screen, Henning’s mother wiped away a tear.
“God just kind of orchestrated it all,” Dixon said of the song and video, the latter of which was born from the lack of a large budget.
Dixon and his record label first talked about doing a simple acoustic video, but the singer felt strongly that the song needed a story with a visual aspect. He knew immediately he wanted to use real stories in the video, and his wife, her parents and Henning’s family agreed to be featured.
“When they finally got the televisions up and running, which was quite a process in itself, the whole atmosphere in that warehouse changed,” Dixon recalled. “At first it was kind of heavy, but realizing the truth behind the words of the song, the atmosphere lifted.”
The lyrics include: It isn’t easy to say goodbye|But I know it’s only for a little while|Run up ahead|I will catch up|Because I’m going to see you when tomorrow comes|On the other side.
With the concept for the video set, Dixon struggled with how to end the clip on a hopeful note. He decided to flip the scenario – he hired actors to play Dillon and Alexis and depicted them watching their families on screen from Heaven.
“We don’t want it to be a cry fest for all the wrong reasons,” he said. “What we all hold on to is that our loved ones are watching out for us. I thought that would be a beautiful and artistic way of showing that that’s not too preachy.”
Dixon hopes listeners find hope and peace in both the song and the video.
“For us believers, we believe that Jesus came, died and rose again and that he defeated death once and for all,” Dixon said. “So we get to look forward to reuniting with him and with our loved ones in Heaven. That’s just the beautiful part about death. It should be a celebration. Heaven is going to be way more awesome than it is here.”
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