Phillip Phillips looks at life beyond "American Idol"

Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:44pm EST
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By Eric Kelsey

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Like the 10 winners before him, Phillip Phillips faces the uneven road from "American Idol" victor to pop-chart mainstay.

After the success of his Top 10 hit, "Home," the Georgia native is facing a new challenge - to replicate the mainstream successes of past "Idol" winners Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson on his debut album, "The World from the Side of the Moon," released on Monday by Interscope Records.

Phillips, 22, spoke to Reuters about making his first proper studio album, what he might do differently on a second one, and whether he could have won "Idol" with this season's panel of judges.

Q: How do you plan to transition from "American Idol" winner to a mainstream music career?

A: "It's pretty funny that you mention that because the majority of the people I meet don't even know that I was on 'Idol.' It's really cool to hear that. When I go home, people ask, 'What've you been doing? I've heard your song,' but they don't even know that I've been on 'Idol.'"

Q: Your first single "Home" has gone twice platinum. You've said that it isn't a song you would have written yourself. What's your relationship now with your first hit?

A: "It's amazing how well it has done, and I look at all the stories that I hear like how it has helped families out with their situation, or something's happened with their kid, mom or dad, or if their child's overseas in the war. Something like that's pretty amazing how many different stories come out of it."

Q: Did you have any ideas on how you wanted to develop your sound finally getting into a big-time studio?   Continued...

Singer Phillip Phillips performs during the Glamour Magazine Women of the Year Awards event in New York November 12, 2012. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri