‘American Idol’ Finalist Colin Stough Shares Intimate Studio Moments In New Video

Stough is giving fans a look at the creative process behind “I Still Talk To Jesus.”


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

June 21, 2023

Share on:

Colin Stough; Photo via YouTube

Colin Stough is taking fans inside the recording studio for a behind-the-scenes look at the making of his debut single, “I Still Talk To Jesus.” 

In the just-released video clip, the Mississippi native is seen in the vocal booth adding his signature vocal flair to the introspective lyrics. 

In between vocal takes, Stough shares memorable moments with the production team while putting the finishing touches on the song. 


YouTube video

The video was filmed at The Sound Factory in Los Angeles by Joel Manduke and edited by Sam Megna of Joshua One Nine Productions LLC.

“I Still Talk To Jesus,” which was released on May 19, finds Stough grappling with life after the downfall of a relationship.

Co-written by Francisco Martin and Hank Compton, “I Still Talk To Jesus” finds the American Idol finalist leaning on his faith in the midst of a breakup. As he faces the intense loneliness in the aftermath of a love gone wrong, Stough turns to his relationship with Jesus to help him navigate this difficult time in his life. 

“I still believe in the things that I make in my head / I still believe every word that you said / I know I’m better off without you / But I hate knowin’ it’s the same for you / I tell myself that I still need it / I just want something to believe in / I still talk to Jesus,” Stough sings on the tune’s chorus.


YouTube video

“I Still Talk To Jesus” was produced by DeStefano at The Sound Factory. 

“Being able to record my own song. Man, it makes me feel really grateful. It’s definitely a phase in life I never thought I’d be able to see or be able to get to and now we’re here,” Stough previously shared.

Stough, who was dubbed “the Brad Pitt of country music” by Katy Perry, opened up about the song in a video on social media. 

Colin Stough; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless
Colin Stough; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless

“Don’t Give Up”

“It really means to me about just finding that ear that’ll listen. Sometimes, whether it’s a ear you can see or is one you can not can always talk to Jesus, and it really hits me deep down in the heart,” he explained. 

Stough says the overarching message of the song is simply, “don’t give up.” 

“Especially in this generation, in this world, it’s really, really hard to keep going and still be able to find people that you can’t talk to. And it’s just a reminder that you always have that one source that’s always easy,” he acknowledged. “I want my listeners, whenever they listen to this song, I want ’em to feel that they’re not alone. That there are more people in the world out there that feel the same way you do, if not in the exact same way you do, or even worse than you do.” 

The single comes just days after Colin Stough finished in third place on American Idol, behind Iam Tongi and Megan Danielle.

Colin Stough, an aspiring musician and horseback rider from Mississippi, wasa standout contestant on American Idol since he auditioned on for the show with Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man.” 

At the time of his audition, Stough admitted, “this competition man, it could change my life.”

Re-Live His Audition

YouTube video

The Idol judges and America immediately fell in love with Stough’s impressive country vocals after hearing him sing “Simple Man.” 

“Colin, you’ve got the magic in you… 100% and you got the stardust,” Katy Perry gushed, while Luke Bryan admitted, “that’s what American Idol is about, right there! I love it!” 

Bryan later added, “[Colin is] exactly what we hope and dream for at American Idol.”

Colin Stough; Photo by ABC, American Idol
Colin Stough; Photo by ABC, American Idol

A Memorable Journey

For the next round, he performed “Stone” by Whiskey Myers. He also joined forces with Megan Danielle to cover Ed Sheeran’s “Dive.” His solo performance featured a cover of “Cold” by Chris Stapleton.  

When in Hawaii, Stough once again impressed with a performance of “Midnight Train to Memphis” by The SteelDrivers. He advanced to the next round and for his Top 20 performance, he sang “Pretty Heart” by Parker McCollum. 

YouTube video

In celebration of advancing to the next round, he performed “Dancing On My Own” by Robyn. 

After performances his Top 12 performance of “Midnight Rider” by The Allman Brothers Band, Stough earned a spot in the Top 10 where he took the stage to perform “It’s Been Awhile.” 

Next up, he had the opportunity to work with guest judge Alanis Morissette. 

“Making it this far in the competition is still really hard to believe,” he admitted to her. “There’s nowhere else I really want to be in life than the Top 8 of American Idol. I was really nervous to sing her song in front of her, I’m either going to fail or fly, you know? I didn’t know how it was going to go.”    

Colin Stough; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless
Colin Stough; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless

He took the stage to perform Morissette’s iconic “Hand In My Pocket” and earned praise from the judges. 

“I love how you really rocked it at the end, but also how you gave it a different spin at the beginning because obviously it’s a song that everyone knows and you’re doing it in a way that makes it your own and then rocking out. So, yeah, it was brilliant,” guest judge Ed Sheeran told him. 

He teamed up with Megan Danielle to perform an Ed Sheeran song as well. 

During Disney Night, he turned heads by taking a risk with his performance of  Sheryl Crow’s “Real Gone” from Disney’s Cars. 

YouTube video

“We’ve been wanting you to get real comfortable all year and I didn’t realize that a Cars’ song was going to get you that pumped. That’s the most you really let loose, had fun… great song choice,” Luke Bryan told him. “I’m proud of everybody, y’all are growing… all of the contestants are getting better and better every week and man that was maybe my favorite performance that you’ve done. It was great!”

Additionally, he sang “Nobody Knows” from Pete’s Dragon. This was a smart song choice for the 18-year-old. 

Luke Bryan complimented his ability to hold the attention of the room, while Katy Perry said “you could hear a pin drop” during his performance. 

LUKE BRYAN, COLIN STOUGH; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless
LUKE BRYAN, COLIN STOUGH; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless

During the American Idol finale, Stough shared the stage with Luke Bryan. After the show, he reunited with his fellow Season 21 contestants in Nashville and teamed up with Noah Thompson for a surprise duet.

Share on:

Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.