The voice of Dave Matthews, the looks of Justin Timberlake combined with a southern accent, Phillip Phillips was destined to win the 11th season of American Idol. He was the only contestant of the season to never land in the bottom three, so it is shocking to know he went through eight surgeries while performing on the show for possible kidney stones. Phillip revealed, “Some friends and family were saying if you hurt too bad, get out. It was ultimately my decision, I went to the doctor and talked to my family a lot, they helped me through it. Glad I didn’t.”
As a southern gentleman, his idea of a good time is, “Going on the boat, getting away, going out in nature, clearing my head. I’m a chill guy, I’m not going out partying, if I do, I’m low key.” A Georgia native with a degree in Industrial Systems Technology from Albany Technical School, he first auditioned for season two of America’s Got Talent. He never made it to the final round, but that did not stop him from pursuing his dream and auditioning for American Idol. For American Idol, he first sang ‘Superstition’ by Stevie Wonder but was then asked to perform a song with his guitar, singing ‘Thriller’ by Michael Jackson. That advanced him to the Vegas Round and it was clear to everyone at home he was going to make it much farther than that.
“Home”, which was written by Drew Pearson and Greg Holden and sung as his coronation song peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, has been played on the radio across the world and was used for the women’s gymnastics team at the Olympics. “The first time I heard myself on the radio, I was in the car on my way to a radio station. It was uncomfortable for me because I hate listening to myself, even when in the studio. It was pretty cool though.” On being a part of the Olympics, “I got on Twitter and people were saying they heard my song on the Olympics. I heard talk about it but didn’t know it was going to happen. It was pretty amazing. They didn’t let me know for sure.”
On discussing his first album, we asked if his style will be different than what we have already seen, “What I did on the show was me, I arranged everything myself. My songs had an alt rock kind of feel, little bit of jazz with the horns, a lot of the songs will be similar to what was on the show.”
About how much creative control he will have, “A pretty good bit, it is kind of hard not being in the studio. I want to be getting the musicians in there that I want on tour. Hopefully when this is over, I’m going to be hitting the studio hard, getting the musicians I want.”
On any of his original band mates and family being a part of the album, “Hopefully my brother in law. I have a friend who plays the sax, he played with me on almost every gig I have played.”
For those who didn’t watch the finale of American Idol, when they announced Phillips as the winner, he just looked into the crowd and froze, we had to ask what was running through his mind. “I was watching myself, I didn’t believe it for awhile and seeing the crowd and then looking at the top 12, it’s a long journey, a year journey, to get to that place, I started thinking about that, it got to me, I was in shock.”