Phillip Phillips Opens Up About His Latest Album, His Emotional Wedding Vows And Winning American Idol

Phillip Phillips has certainly come a long way since his American Idol days. The Georgia native first became hailed for his coronation song “Home,” which he debuted during his win on the 2012 finale of American Idol. Since then, the song has gone on to set a jaw-dropping record for an all-time best-selling song from an American Idol winner.

This summer, Phillips has been on tour (with Gavin DeGraw) headlining his solo tour to promote his new album. The tour wraps up next month, coming full circle in his home state of Georgia.

We caught up recently with Phillips to talk about his latest album, his emotional wedding vows and how it felt to win Season 11 of American Idol.

Phillip PhillipsPhoto Credit: Phillip Phillips/U Music

Tell us a little about the inspiration behind your latest album, “Collateral.”

It’s a lot of inspiration towards my wife. We went through a lot over the last three years. The album talks about that without being too specific. It talks about the tough times and beautiful times coupled with things in between. It has some rock, blues, R&B and funk. I’m super proud of this album.

How did it feel when you won American Idol?

It was pretty weird. I didn’t know what I was thinking. I was in a weird moment of ‘what the heck is going on?’ I started crying like a baby when I won and started hugging my girlfriend, who is my wife now. It was just unreal.

Who has inspired you musically along your career?

My first inspiration was my brother-in-law. He was dating my sister at the time and he would bring his guitar down to the house where we were living at the time and taught me the main chords. Then I got into AC/DC, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, late 60s rock, The Beatles and Neil Young.

Did you ever think “Home” would become as huge as it has taking the title of the biggest selling single in American Idol history?

I don’t think anyone knows if a song is going to be a hit or not unless you’re Adele and everything you sing is beautiful (laughs).

Tell us a little about “Dance With Me,” which you wrote for your wife and was played at your wedding.

I wanted to write her a first dance song for our wedding and wanted it to be specific. I had a buddy who wrote it with me, who sang it at our wedding. I was crying like a baby during our vows, but my wife didn’t cry. When our first dance came and she heard the song, she started crying like a baby, but I wasn’t (laughs). It’s a really honest and heartfelt song. I think people love it because it’s about honesty and being vulnerable with the person you love.

What would you say has been your biggest accomplishment to date?

For me, just being myself. My wife keeps me grounded. She’ll slap me if I get crazy. I treat people the way I want to be treated. It’s an honor to be able to do this for a living.

You are coming to New England on September 1 to play at 92.5 the River’s 17th Annual Newburyport Riverfront Music Festival with Barenaked Ladies. What are you most looking forward to when you return to Massachusetts?

I love Massachusetts. There are a lot of good people there. The shows I play there are always awesome. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I don’t think I have ever played with the Barenaked Ladies before, so we will bring a good time with us.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Hopefully, I will still be playing music. I’ll probably be balding a little, have a kid or two, and another dog. Being on the road is tough when it comes to staying healthy. When we are at home, my wife and I eat healthy, but when I hit the road, I love chocolate so much and sweets in general. I don’t know how I got on this topic, but I do love chocolate.