accessAtlanta

City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Talking with Phillip Phillips, performing at Mall of Georgia Nov. 21 at 6:30 p.m.

Phillip Phillips performed at Centennial Olympic Park in August for an SEC event sponsored by 680/The Fan. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Phillip Phillips performed at Centennial Olympic Park in August for an SEC event sponsored by 680/The Fan. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Expect big crowds at the Village stage at the Mall of Georgia in Buford tonight (Nov. 21) at 6:30 p.m. when “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips performs a free 30-minute promotional concert, followed by a CD signing.

It’s the day before Thanksgiving so they’ll be shoppers galore. Phillips will certainly sing “Home,” a few covers and cuts from his new album “The World From the Side of the Moon.”

He’ll then sign CDs (remember those?) for two hours. He’s not a gabby sort, but I’m sure he’ll be warm and friendly to everyone there. And if you’re familiar with Mall of Georgia, the stage is by P.F. Chang’s.

I spoke with Phillips last week by phone as he was preparing for a big push for his new album. His first single “Home,” his coronation song, has been an unqualified success, selling more than 2 million copies via download and climbing several charts, including No. 1 on the adult alternative chart last week. When he was first handed the song, he said it wasn’t really up his alley but he’s gotten to like it more as he performs it virtually every day somewhere.

“I’m having fun with it,” he said, “trying to keep it fresh. People really connect with it. And with Hurricane Sandy, it has even more meaning.”

He said he’s been healthy with no more kidney stones to bedevil him for now. “Trying to take it easy when I can but I’m staying busy,” he said.

Phillips did a few charity events to help out victims of Hurricane Sandy, including the PS22 Chorus at that elementary school on Staten Island. “When we did it, I was tired. I had been up since 4 a.m. But when I got to hang out with the kids, it lifted me back up, gave me some energy. They were so mature for their ages.”

He also joined the Restore the Shore benefit, paired with Gym Class Heroes. He got to meet the cast of “Jersey Shore” and members of “Real Housewives of New Jersey.” His girlfriend Hannah watches the latter so he actually recognized the women, including Jill Zarin. Snooki came up to him and said she liked his song “Home.” “That was cool,” he said.

And for the first time, he sang the National Anthem live at the World Series last month and actually did a good job, despite the fact he doesn’t have the range of a Christina Aguilera or early Whitney Houston. “That was nerve-racking, man! I was scared to death. I was sweating and praying I wouldn’t forget the words. Fortunately, it was an awesome experience. I made it through!”

Phillips originally anticipated his debut album would be done for January release. But the label wanted it finished for a pre-Christmas Nov. 19 release. “I said, ‘Wow!’ That was right before we went to the Philippines. I had three weeks to get the album done. After the tour, we went straight to New York and worked on the album, cut the guitars and mastered it in three weeks.”

“Luckily,” he added, “I had songs written. Some I wrote a couple years back, some during ‘Idol’ and after ‘Idol,’ too. It was good. It was long hours in the studio, very little sleep.”

Considering the limited time, “I think it turned out awesome. We just constantly worked. There were guys who worked harder than I did! I’m really proud of it.”

Phillips’ favorites include “Man on the Moon,” “Hold On” and “Drive Me.” He also cut some extra songs for the Target and Wal-Mart releases. And he did one cover, “Wicked Game,” originally recorded by Chris Isaak. “It was easy and quick to do,” he noted.

The album overall, he said, “comes from the heart. It really represents me and hopefully the fans will enjoy that. I hope they pay attention to the lyrics and it makes them think.”

He pushed for the unusual album title (”The Man From the Side of the Moon”) because he didn’t just want his name. “The title represents my whole past year,” he said. “I’ve watched how I’ve grown as a person and an artist, watching myself in this whole other world.”

Phillips isn’t sure of what the next single will be.

And what about all the TMZ gossip that he and his family are in conflict? “It’s all a bunch of nonsense,” he said. “My family is all good. I just spend four or five days with them earlier this month.”

***

In other “Idol” news, Haley Reinhart from season 10 has lost her record deal with Interscope Records, according to Billboard.com.Her first album sold about 59,000 copies.

***
Mariah Carey’s earnest “Idol” promo:

Nicki Minaj’s more rambunctious “Idol” promo:

And Keith Urban’s “Idol” promo:

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter. Oh, and Google +, too!

18 comments Add your comment

JTesla

November 21st, 2012
1:04 pm

Thanks Rodney, good stuff. It’s nice to read that Phillip is writing some of his own stuff.

Jenny

November 21st, 2012
4:23 pm

Rodney… I just caught up on blogs, and I absolutely LOVED your Colton interview! Sounds like you guys had a great afternoon! It’s rare to get quite such an in-depth look. And I love that you took him to L5P! :-)

Looks like JT and I are the only ones around today, but…. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I am thankful I jumped in to chat on this blog last Idol season, and thankful for the new “blog friends” I met because of it! It’s been a fun past year chatting with y’all, and I hate that I’ve been rather MIA the past few months. Never did get into X-Factor, but I’ll be back in force for next Idol season, I promise! ;-)

Everyone have fun tomorrow, and be safe if you travel! Eat way too much, and then watch the tree lighting. (No Idols in it this year, are there, Rodney?) My favorite year was getting to see my second favorite ever, Katharine McPhee, sing “O Holy Night” in person from about 10 feet away. :-)

Dum-Bass

November 21st, 2012
6:57 pm

Why nothing about “The Voice” last night? Is it getting shut out or what? As one of the judges said last night, that was the best hour of quality entertainment by the 10 finalists I have ever seen on one of the type shows. It was like watching an hour of current or professional entertainers. Too bad a couple of people had to leave, but at least it was the right ones. The remaining ones, unlike X Factor and American Idol, are OUTSTANDING. I am almost to the point of being obsessed with Melanie Martinez. She is so dang cute and talented it’s pathetic! (yes, even with the crack between her front teeth. It’s like Jewel now and has become a “trademark”)

Pitchy

November 21st, 2012
8:27 pm

Good evening and Happy Thanksgiving!

Watching XFactor and Diamond White poured her heart in that song. It was beautifully sung. I had to stand up and clap.

I’m so happy that I have finished my Thanksgiving dinner. All I have to do is make my mac n cheese in the morning . I want that to be fresh and cheesy and not reheated from being in the fridge over night. WOO HOO to ME (lol).

DanJ

November 21st, 2012
8:28 pm

Hi Pitchy, Diamond was amazing!

DanJ

November 21st, 2012
8:31 pm

Dum, The Voice was excellent last night although I’m not as big a fan of Melanie as you are.

Pitchy

November 21st, 2012
8:54 pm

Hi DanJ. I knew if you were on, you would agree on Diamond’s performance. Emblem 3 were weak, Arin Ray was ok. I appreciate he thought to honor his brother, but I look at that song as being sung to some you love of the opposite sex (lol). Demi was brutal with her remark.

Pitchy

November 21st, 2012
8:54 pm

She sounds drunk. Horrible. Cee Cee is falling apart.

Pitchy

November 21st, 2012
8:55 pm

Something is seriously off. She’s out of her element and so is her voice.

Pitchy

November 21st, 2012
8:56 pm

She should have been voted off and Jennel should have stayed.

Pitchy

November 21st, 2012
8:58 pm

How to critique someone who has poured their heart out??? Really? Arin poured his heart out. Guess one of many reasons I’m not a judge. Obviously, I’m toned deaf!

No, she didn’t sing phenomenally.

DanJ

November 21st, 2012
9:39 pm

I didn’t think Beatrice was very good either. I don’t think it matters at this point how they sing. So Arin, Paige, Beatrice and CeCe should be the next 4 to leave. Maybe 5th Harmony. The Orders doesn’t matter much except I hope CeCe goes soon. She is HORRIBLE!!!!!!

Pitchy

November 21st, 2012
9:48 pm

I agree, Cee should be going home. Her song choice and tribute to her sister helped her, but it won’t keep her!

Pitchy

November 21st, 2012
10:05 pm

Good night. Again, Happy Thanksgiving TO ALL!!!!

Paula

November 21st, 2012
10:14 pm

I went to Phillips’ concert tonight, and there was a huge crowd during the concert and after for autographs. He gave a great performance, and the crowd really enjoyed it.

Rodney Ho

November 21st, 2012
11:49 pm

@Dum-Bass. I’m pretty much peaked out in terms of covering shows right now and “The Voice” fell on the way side. I’m just one person.

Dum-Bass

November 22nd, 2012
12:42 am

RoHo, the X Factor is the one that should have fallen off your list. That show is really bad, in all aspects, and the contestants are more like “AI Rejects”!

Mercedes S.

November 23rd, 2012
10:05 pm

RoHo, glad you picked X factor over “The Voice”.