When music is bliss.
Possessor of a shy and quiet demeanor off stage, Phillip Phillips’ on stage presence is an explosive combination of soulful singing, dazzling musicianship and plain raw energy. With skills built over years of performing as a musician in his home town of Leesburg, GA, Phillips’ live shows are intoxicating celebrations of the art of making music, showcasing not only Phillips’ strong song writing gift, but his ability to joyously lead his band – a group of jazz, soul, classical and rock musicians that beautifully represent the richness and diversity of his sound.
Inspired by his brother-in-law Ben Neil, Phillips first picked up the guitar at age 14, playing and singing in church and later becoming a regular fixture in the local music scene. In 2012, Phillips broke into the national scene by becoming the winner of the 11th edition of American Idol, after which he carved a musical path uniquely of his own. With his earthy voice, and strong focus on unusual, guitar-driven arrangements, Phillips was an unlikely Idol contestant, a direct move away from the typical pop, big voice styling favored by the show. But viewers intrigued and compelled by Philips’ performances, propelled him to become an early favorite, and in the end, the winner. His coronation song “Home,” which debuted in the Top 10 of the Top 100 charts, was the first Idol winner coronation song to debut that high in four years. “Home” later became the hit of the summer when it was used as the theme song for the U.S. women’s gymnastics team at the 2012 London Olympics.
Boosted by the support of his many Idol fans, Phillips’ first album, The World from the Side of the Moon, debuted at No. 4 in the Billboard 200 when it was released in November 2012. The World from the Side of the Moon garnered wide acclaim for its eclectic combination of funky rock numbers, folksy anthems and darker, moodier songs that showed Phillips’ talent as a story teller. This critical and commercial success, along with the release of its second single, “Gone, Gone, Gone” helped The World from The Side of the Moon to be certified platinum in August 2013. More importantly, with all the songs written or co-written by Phillips, The World from the Side of the Moon showed Phillips’ talent as a song writer and further demonstrated his love of intricate, musically ambitious guitar playing and deep and introspective lyrics.
In support of his album, Phillips performed as opening act for Matchbox Twenty during their 2013 winter tour and then, in the summer, joined guitar giant John Mayer on his Born and Raised tour. In between the two, Phillips embarked on his own solo college tour, playing for sold-out crowds almost every night. The culmination of this non-stop touring schedule was a performance at Rock in Rio 2013 as part John Mayer’s tour, where he had the chance to play in front of a crowd of over 80,000 people who sang along to every one of his songs.
Released in the spring of 2014, Phillips’ second album, Behind the Light, allowed him to go even deeper in his writing, giving freer rein to his many influences. An album rich in contrasts, Behind the Light also showed a deep emotional and musical range, with songs like “Fly” – a delirious rocker – sitting next to “FACE,” a spare, almost un-produced gipsy jazz chanson. Throughout, the lyrics touched on the opposition of light and dark, healing and heartbreak, hope and despair, and the quest for the true self; a constant in both Phillips’ music and career. Phillips toured the album extensively and continued to develop the songs on the stage, extending and expanding them every night with dazzling, ever changing instrumental breaks. The album gave Phillips the opportunity to record with his outstanding band, the musicians he was performing live every night, and to work again with the same team that made his first album a success (producer Gregg Wattenberg, and writers Derek Fuhrmann, Todd Clark, and David Ryan Harris among others). The album also allowed Phillips to record again with cellist, composer and arranger Dave Eggar, one of Phillips’ closest and most constant collaborators.
After a most deserved break for most of 2015, Phillips went back to full songwriting and touring mode in 2016, co-headlining a summer tour with singer-songwriter Matt Nathanson, and recording his third album, due to come out at the end of the year. Written for the most part in Nashville, TN, and recorded at Bear Creek Studio in Seattle, WA, the album promises to reveal yet another flavor to Phillips’ music, and delve deeper into a number of genres, including blues, funk, country and rock. Closer than ever to his roots, Phillips continues to bring his all to the studio, but also, without fault, to the stage, where his unparalleled energy and passion shines through whether you are on the first row or the last.