When American Idol winner Phillip Phillips hits the stage at the Curb Event Center on Sunday, he wants to see the crowd up and out of their seats.
“I’m in a good mood this week, a good dancing mood. I hope Belmont is not scared to dance,” he said.
Phillips, an acoustically-based singer-songwriter, is performing at Belmont as part of his college tour he’s enjoyed so far.
“(The) tour has been a lot of fun, the crowd has been good,” he said. “It’s been nice to connect with people around my age and build that fan base, that’s been a lot of fun.”
The Georgia native decided to audition for American Idol last season after watching a performance from another contestant.
“I was flipping the channels one night and Casey Abrams was on TV. I found out his name and he made it pretty far,” Phillips said. “It kind of inspired me to try out because he was doing his own thing and he wasn’t scared to do it. I really respect that.”
The same day Phillips won the eleventh season of American Idol last spring, his debut single “Home” broke online sales records. It set the highest debut on the Billboard Digital songs chart with 278,000 downloads sold. His single, consistently used in NBC’s Summer Olympics coverage, is also the highest selling single released by an Idol contestant ever with 4.2 million copies sold.
Phillips released his debut album “The World From the Side Of The Moon” in November, which reached No. 4 on Billboard 200 and became only the second Idol alum after Carrie Underwood to to reach the Top 10.
Even after Billboard chart-topping success and award nominations, the thought of fame still strikes Phillips sometimes.
“[It happens] every now and then when I get some quiet time. I played a show the other night for 3500 people and I had a moment after the show to just sit down and kind of think about it all. It’s pretty overwhelming but it makes me feel really good,” he said.
The 22-year-old singer – who started making music at the age of 14 – gets his inspiration from the many feelings that come with life.
“There are a lot of different reasons that inspire you to write. If it’s sadness, happiness, anger. It just depends on what you’re doing,” Phillips said.
His favorite artists range from Irish singer-songwriter Damien Rice to rockers AC/DC and Jimi Hendrix. Phillips also said he would love to work with Nashville’s own Hayley Williams from Paramore.
From his new album, Phillips’ favorite songs to perform live include “Hold On”, “Tell Me a Story”, “Get Up and Dance” and “Man on the Moon,” but that favorites list changes depending on his mood.
As for his plans for the future, “touring and writing always” are high on Phillips’ priorities.
Tickets for Phillips’s show this Sunday at 7 p.m.are currently on sale to the public and students ranging from $15 to $25. His next tour starts July 6 with John Mayer. The tour will include more than 40 North American venues along with performances in Argentina and at the Rock in Rio festival in Brazil.