Phillip Phillips makes Rose home

By Miranda Brooks

Photo: Phillip Phillips debuts new tracks at Rose Music Center June 28; photo courtesy of Phillip Phillips

America’s seemingly favorite Idol to date, Phillip Phillips, not only embodies our culture’s fascination with overnight success, but also stands to prove his relevance within the music industry—alongside the help of his adoring fans—by forging his own path separate from the phenomena of the show that made him famous. Phillips has a new, currently untitled album in the works, which he hopes to release (on Interscope) by the end of the year. The album touches on genres ranging from blues to rock to funk and pop, mixed with a hint of jazz–in line with Phillips’ stylized sound likened to that of Dave Matthews.

“I don’t really know what category I fall into, and I don’t know if that is a good thing or bad thing,” Phillips laughs. “I love incorporating these certain genres because that’s what I grew up listening to, especially when I was learning to play guitar. And in some way, it just feels right to pay respect to my influences by playing to the best of my ability within those genres.” Phillips is working with industry dynamos Dave Cobb from Nashville (Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, etc.) and Ryan Hadlock of Bear Creek Studios in Seattle (The Lumineers) to produce this third record. The accompanying studio band is the same that will join Phillips on tour this summer. The players provide a full-bodied sound with lead guitar, horns, bass, drums/percussion and keys. “Most of the times I like to keep my shows high energy, if possible,” Phillips says. “I am really excited about this tour. It’s been a little while since I have been on the road like this. I am excited to get back on the bus and to be in different cities and meet some awesome people.” Phillips will debut his new tunes across America one show at a time, making a stop at Rose Music Center.

Phillips has this genuine appeal of being the nicest guy you could ever hope to have as a friend. When asked about the overtly public stage of American Idol and how it has changed his life, Phillips says, “I am a pretty relaxed, chill guy, to tell the truth. The show has a way of providing your story to millions of people. So yeah, I meet lots of people who tell me how they voted for me and how much they like me. I really appreciate the support of my fans.” And it seems to be his huge fan base that continues to propel his popularity. In fact, while writing this article at a local coffee pub, the barista exclaimed to me how her cat’s name is Phillip L. Phillips—that’s about as idolizing (and humanizing) as it gets, folks.

Wrapping ones brain around the massiveness of his music’s reach, Phillips again cited his laidback personality and commented on his lifestyle. “I try to live the life I want to live. I am a normal person, or at least I try to be—I mean, I might be a little weird sometimes, or so my wife thinks! I don’t want anything to stop me from enjoying what I love. For example, I am a big foodie. I like to eat at local spots and try different foods—if people want to say hi and take pictures… well, then, great!”

Phillips also takes a back-to-roots approach regarding his family. “Basically, I worked this whole album through writing in Nashville. I fell in love with Nashville, and it has become to feel like a second home. My wife and I came very close to moving there, but it just made sense to keep it all back home in Georgia.”

On the topic of writing and arranging, Phillips was able to shed some light on his creative process. And despite assumptions that any current legal challenges involving words like “oppression” and “freedom” regarding his fight to nullify his contract with Idol, Phillips assures that his creative freedom has almost always been present regardless of recent headlines. “It’s always been my music. But now, somehow, it’s even more [so] than ever. Usually I start first with something on the guitar—a chord, a riff or even just an idea. And then I sing this weird language over top—I can’t really even explain what that language is,” Phillips laughs. “But it allows me to create a melody, and then I am able to add lyrics appropriately.” Engrained lyrics like “The trouble it might drag you down/ If you get lost, you can always be found / Just know you’re not alone, ‘cause I’m gonna make this place your home.” And when it comes to Phillips, it’s apparent that home is where his heart is; both of which seem to widely reflect America.

Phillip Phillips performs Tuesday, June 28, at Rose Music Center 6800 Executive Blvd. in Huber Heights. Matt Nathanson and Eric Hutchinson are also on the bill. Show starts at 7 p.m., doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets range from $31.50-43.50. For more information, please visit

Reach DCP freelance writer Miranda Brooks at

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Reach DCP freelance writer Miranda Brooks at

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