After Dillon James competed on American Idol in 2020, finishing in the Top 5, he snagged a record deal with UMG Nashville/Hollywood Records/19 Recordings. He’s kept a pretty low profile ever since, writing songs, and preparing to release new music.
But while the Nashville singer-songwriter isn’t ready to release new tracks, he has dropped an acoustic recording of a brand new song called “Born to Die.” The poignant lyrics are directed at folks who may be struggling with addiction. Dillon’s message is that there “is more to life than wondering why the hell you’re still alive/no you ain’t just born to die.”
The singer, originally from Bakersfield, California, struggled with drug and alcohol addiction for years, eventually becoming homeless. He eventually moved back in with his parents, where he spent a few years healing from his addictions. Finally, when he was ready, the singer-songwriter auditioned for American Idol. Dillon impressed the judges and fans with renditions of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are a Changin,” Amos Lee’s “Hang on, Hang on,” and more.
“I JUST GOT A RECORD DEAL WITH @umgnashville @hollywoodrecords !!!!!!” Dillon wrote on Instagram at the time of his signing. “I’ve been playing music my whole life, it’s been a tough road, let me tell you lol. But Because of @americanidol and all of your guys love and support for my craft I was able to make it far enough on @americanidol to get recognized.” Dillon continues, “Without your help and love I don’t know where I would be today. Probably still recording songs in my room. Singing to my laptop aha.”
“Can’t wait to show y’all what I’ve been up to,” Dillon wrote on Instagram days before releasing “Born to Die.”
Listen to Dillon James New Song “Born to Die”