Fresh from his victory on “American Idol,” Philip Phillips isn’t wasting any time. His single “Home” was the highest debut on the Billboard Digital songs chart. Now he’s hitting the studio to record his first album, no doubt showcasing his soulful, raspy vocals and masterful guitar skills.
Phillips has spent his whole life in Georgia – born in Leesburg, grew up in Sassar, college in Albany – but before he could graduate college with a degree in Industrial Systems Technology, he got swept up in an “American Idol” success story. A record-breaking 132 million votes were cast before Phillips beat out Jessica Sanchez for the title.
Starting at age 14, Phillips learned a few chords on the guitar from his sister’s boyfriend and was immediately in love. He kept at it on his own and eventually, in 2009, formed an acoustic band with his sister and his former mentor (now brother-in-law), playing local shows and festivals sometimes just for free food.
Though it may be hard to believe based on his success on “Idol,” Phillips wasn’t always comfortable with singing onstage. “I used to always keep my singing to myself and never let anyone hear me, but then my sister and brother-in-law caught me one night and told me I had to start singing in the band,” he says. “We played at a church that Sunday and the room was packed and I thought I was going to pass out, but I did it.”
With his family’s encouragement, Phillips auditioned for “Idol” in the summer of 2011. He soon found himself singing for millions every week, performing selections from the greats like Creedence Clearwater Revival and Otis Redding. The time for stage-fright was surely past.
Now on the verge of recording and releasing his debut album, Phillips is full-steam ahead. “I’m still so amazed at how this has worked out,” he says. “I never imagined that it would get to this level. I’m so excited to just get going and have a great time doing it.” Naturally, he’s already got a clear vision of what this first record will bring to listeners – expect acoustic-driven rock with an earthy, authentic sound.