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What do you call an acoustic pop group who started performing at a high school assembly, then started their own label, and recorded four CDs before finishing college? The answer is simply "Colors." Russ Dixon, Ryan Merrill, and Brian Tibbets first sang their song "Rain" at an assembly at Davis High School in Kaysville, UT, in 1994. Over the next several years, the group has stayed together, with only a two-year break when each of the group's members served as full-time missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The inspiration for Colors' music is their love of the music itself. "We are making music because it's what we are passionate about," says Dixon. While they love to delve into a variety of styles, ranging from slow ballads to strong reggae beats, their music has a distinct sound all its own. One unique facet of their music is that it is wholesome without being too "bubblegum." When asked about the clean quality of their music, Tibbets replied, "I just write about life. I guess because there isn't anything unwholesome about my life it reflects through the music." After their performance debut in 1994, the guys timidly recorded only 500 copies of their first CD, No Time in Particular, at the request of friends and family. When their backpacks were sold out of the first 500, they made 500 more, which sold out just as quickly. As Colors has expanded its performance venue from colleges and high schools local to Utah and Idaho to audiences in Norfolk, VA, and even Thailand, they look for the audiences to be energetic, enthusiastic, and appreciative of their sentiments. They like to have a relationship with the audience when they perform. Merrill says that they are really concerned about the audiences' experience with the group. "We view everyone who listens to our music as friends and we would love to get to know them more. We are concerned about them, as any real friend would be. Those who've seen Colors perform are impressed by the down-to-earth quality of the band's members. Popularity hasn't put any stars in these guys' eyes. They still value people over power and glamour and they hold dear the friendship they have with one another." "Our friendship is probably the best thing that we have developed over these past seven years of performing together. We know each other like brothers," says Dixon. When not spending time with family, making music, or studying, the group's members enjoy hobbies such as studying for a pilot's license, mountain biking, and building. However, they'll be making music together for a while longer. Merrill states, "as with anything in life, the duration of this ride is for the moment just kickback and enjoy the ride." ~ Teresa Murray