Phillip Phillips next up on the free concert roster; concert set for Thursday | VailDaily.com

Phillip Phillips next up on the free concert roster; concert set for Thursday

Rosanna Turner
Daily Correspondent
Musician Phillip Phillips didn't have to wait for Valentine's Day this year for Cupid's arrow to hit him and his long-time girlfriend. Phillips popped the question at the end of December, and said he and his fiancé plan dates where he cooks and she bakes.
Special to the Daily |

If you go ...

What: Phillip Phillips.

When: Thursday, show starts at 7 p.m.

Where: Solaris in Vail Village (held in conjunction with the nightly Medals Presentation for the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships).

Cost: Free.

More information: www.vailbeavercreek2015.com.

Winning a reality singing competition usually results in two outcomes: You spend the rest of your career playing covers at casinos or you instantly have millions of fans, but the music industry doesn’t take you seriously. Phillip Phillips has managed to avoid both of these traps, having gracefully moved from taking the top spot on “American Idol” to selling millions of copies of his debut album, “The World from the Side of the Moon.” Phillips will play a free concert tonight at Solaris in Vail Village as part of the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.

AN UNEXPECTED ‘POP’ STAR

When it was released in 2012, Phillips’ hit song “Home” seemed to fit right in on the radio along with Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers, combining traditional Americana with a modern acoustic rock sensibility. Perhaps the person most surprised at the song’s success is Phillips himself.

“(“American Idol”) was a lot of pop stars,” Phillips said. “I had my own definition of pop. Pop is just kind of popular. … Whenever I went on the show, I didn’t think I would do (well) because I’m not what was on the radio then. … I guess people enjoyed what I was doing. It was definitely an interesting experience for sure.”

Unlike other reality wannabes, Phillips said he had a strong sense of himself as a musician before auditioning for “Idol,” which helped him focus on his music and not get wrapped up in the fame game.

“(The show) is a great stepping stone for a career if you know what kind of artist you are and what you want to be,” Phillips said. “A lot of people get caught up in the show; they don’t really know who they are and can just sing amazingly, and they can get confused.”

(On Jan. 26th Phillips filed a lawsuit against management company 19 Entertainment, which produces “American Idol.”

We interviewed Phillips before this announcement, so we didn’t get a chance to ask him about the lawsuit, but in an official statement the musician expressed that “I have not felt that I have been free to conduct my career in a way that I’m comfortable with,” he said.)

‘A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT VIBE’

It’s clear that Phillips values his music and isn’t afraid to stick to his guns, err, guitar, especially when writing his second album, “Behind the Light,” released this summer.

“You want to make sure that your label is happy with everything, and you want them to be supportive,” Phillips said. “But you also have to keep your integrity there. It was also a lot of fun making the second album. (There’s) a lot more artistry, and it has a lot of creativity. I’m a guitar player first, I feel like the album represents that as well. Lyrically, there’s a lot of personal connection.”

Phillips said he considers himself more of a guitar-player than a singer and wanted his new album to be “more of a band record instead of just me.”

“I went back to my roots, how I would play in clubs and bars and with other bands,” Phillips said. “It was a completely different vibe and also challenging.”

Even though he’s only 24, Phillips’ deep voice harkens back to his upbringing in Georgia, which he credits as a major influence on his music.

“Down in south Georgia, there’s so many amazing musicians and artists that haven’t gotten recognized like they should,” Phillips said. “I would go and jam with some of these musicians and learn so much from them.”

Fans should expect another excellent jam session tonight, as Phillips said he loves the enthusiasm Colorado audiences bring to a show.

“I’ve played at Red Rocks a few times and the crowds there are just next-level,” Phillips said. “They definitely get into the music and jam. They enjoy the music rather than just listening to a song being played, which I appreciate.”

As for whether or not you’ll see Phillips on the slopes trying to become the next American alpine champion, it’s best to look for him on the bunny hill.

“I’ve never skied in my life, (but) I am going to try it,” Phillips said.

If the podium was based on who the fans love most, the musician might have a chance at winning a skiing competition. Unlike Lindsey Vonn or Mikaela Shiffrin, having only one number one title is probably enough for Phillips.