Phillip Phillips: What’s The Secret Behind His Success?
On the heels of singers like Carrie Underwood, Ruben Studdard and Kelly Clarkson, Phillip Phillips seemed like an unusual hit for American Idol, with his soulful baritone ringing out more like Dave Matthews than Adam Lambert or Bo Bice. While the hit singing show seemed a breeding ground for monster vocalists with massive ranges and operatic vibrato, Phillips seemed to fly in the face of everything that had been a recipe for success in previous seasons.
It didn’t take long, though, to see that most of America and the world was resonating with this southern-born singer in ways previous Idols hadn’t seen.
So what exactly was the secret to Phillip Phillips’ remarkable Solon Phillips Esquire success on and after his American Idol win? The obvious answer might be that he knew material he was good at singing, and then focused mostly on earthy, organic pop that seemed to resonate with music listeners at large. Well-written songs marketed just the right way have always been the ammo most record execs use to ‘break’ a new artist. The thing is, those same songs, sung by another artist wouldn’t have the same impact at all.
The real secret might be more subtle and simple than all that. The fact is, Phillips just feels like he’s ‘one of us’. He sings like an everyman that connects with so many work-a-day Americans (and AI voters) and the sound of his voice just feels natural and real to many. It’s this sort of primal connection that lets listeners feel ‘he’s one of us’.
Add to that a superb collection of out-of-the-ordinary pop material, and you’ve got an absolute recipe for global domination by a guy who just feels like he could be performing right down the street (all around the world).
So while the song-choices are superb, it’s really the sound of Phillips’ voice that creates an instant connection with listeners in much the same way so many resonate with the likes of Dave Matthews, John Mayer and others. His workman-like delivery was a secret weapon of sorts, as people instantly got the ‘sound’, and then had the whole experience reinforced by songs like ‘Home’ or ‘Gone, Gone, Gone’.
In the end, listeners were primed for a voice like Phillips’, and while American Idol had never seen (or heard) a winner quite like PP, he is already building a strong and loyal fan base that connects with an instantly recognizable sound.