Colin Stough, ‘I Still Talk to Jesus’: Story Behind the Song [EXCLUSIVE]

Fresh off his time on American Idol, where he came in an impressive third place, Colin Stough released “I Still Talk to Jesus.” It’s a song that Stough didn’t write, but sang with such passion and conviction as if he had penned it himself.

“I just honestly hadn’t had time while I was out there to sit down and actually write anything that was quality, or it wasn’t made for the show or anything like that,” Stough tells Everything Nash, adding that he kept getting pitched pop country songs, which didn’t feel authentic to Stough

“I was like, ‘Look, I’m not a pop country singer. I’m barely a country singer. I’m Southern Rock,'” Stough remembers saying.

Stough’s manager played him “I Still Talk to Jesus,” written by Francisco Martin VI and Hank Compton, which he now admits he almost didn’t finish listening to because it sounded too pop for him. But she, fortunately, convinced him to keep listening, and he was soon hooked on the song.

“I kept listening to it, and by the second verse, I just cried my eyes out, and I said, ‘That’s a good song right there,'” Stough remembers. “I told her, ‘I just don’t know if I can cut that. I don’t know if I can share it, ’cause Hank and Francisco did a good job on their songwriting abilities on that song. As a songwriter, I feel like you need to write songs that relate to everybody. And that one right there punched me right in my stomach.”

Stough now admits that he was unsure if he wanted to show his deepest emotions, especially so early in his promising career.

“I told her, ‘I don’t know if I can cut it. I don’t know if I can cut it,'” Stough recalls. “We went back and forth. I said, ‘I’ll cut it.’ I was just so scared to share my soft side with everybody.”

Even after Stough agreed to record “I Still Talk to Jesus,” he had trouble the day he was supposed to record the song, when he lost his voice.

“I was like, ‘Look, I really don’t have a voice. I just can’t help it. I don’t have a voice,” Stough shares. “And they’re like, ‘Oh, drink water. Drink water.’ So the whole time while we were recording that song, I didn’t drink water, I drank Coke, and we made it through. And man, I remember there’s one big note in the last like, pre-chorus chorus … I just hit the ground. I hit my knees, and I felt like I was kind of saved that night.”

Stough’s debut EP, Promiseland, is out now. Find “I Still Talk to Jesus” and all of Stough’s music and upcoming shows at

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