Phillip Phillips may have been crowned the winner of "American Idol" last year, but the 22-year-old crooner has definitely left his talent show roots behind -- in fact, he doesn't even watch the beleaguered show.
Since his stint on reality television, the Georgia native's debut album, "The World From This Side of the Moon," has gone multi-platinum and his single, "Home," shot to number one on the U.S. charts. His latest hit, "Gone, Gone, Gone," was recently used in a PSA for Zumba's "The Great Calorie Drive," which will raise money for Feeding America and the United Nation’s World Food Programme. The catchy tune has already cracked the top 10 on U.S. charts.
Despite his breakout success, Phillipps is still a country boy at heart. The guitar slinger dished to omg! about his upcoming tour with John Mayer, his girlfriend, Hannah Blackwell, and the hilarious ways he used to have fun in high school.
Have you been watching "American Idol"?
No. I have not. (Laughs.)
Well, you have performed on this season -- what do you think of Nicki Minaj?
Well, that's not my season anymore -- I'm done. I don't have anything to do with it.
Would you want Nicki Minaj to have been a judge on your season?
It wouldn't bother me. Either way, it's just three or four people's opinions. That's how I took it. I would always take their opinions and see if it was right or not in my eyes. I wouldn't let it bother me at all just because – how is she going to – ehhh, nevermind.
You're headed out on tour with John Mayer. Are you excited about that?
Yes. That's starting in July. I am really looking forward to it. I like some of his work. He's an amazing guitarist and a great songwriter. I'm looking forward to hopefully getting to know each other a little bit. Maybe he can teach me a couple things, not just musically, but business-wise. He seems like a really smart guy.
You know Mayer is a bit of a lothario, right?
I've heard that he's changed a little bit. So we'll see!
Does your girlfriend, Hannah Blackwell, go on tour with you?
Yeah. Most the time she does.
Have you two ever dated long distance?
It sucks! We did it for a little while, like one year, but you gotta talk on the phone every day. You can't text. She's here with me [now]. We used to Skype.
Your song "Home" is a hit. What do you miss about Leesburg, Virginia?
I miss my mom's home cookin': some chicken and dumplings, chicken potpie, cube steak. Oh, meatloaf.
You're a country boy. What's the craziest thing you did in high school?
Those are secrets! Ya know? I got away with quite a bit.
Give me one secret. Did you ever skinny-dip in high school?
Ah, yeah! Skinny-dipping is free. It's nice to go skinny-dipping, but it is not good when you're just by yourself. But I've gone skinny-dipping with other people before. There have been a lot of things, [I've done] I can't even think of!
Have you ever tipped a cow?
That's impossible! I used to go running in the mud. We used to get a lot of people and just go running in the mud and throw the mud. You just get dirty. It's a lot of fun.
Your song is used in Zumba's PSA to end world hunger. Do you Zumba?
We just got some Zumba equipment in, so now I am going to try it. I am not a good dancer, so I am going to try and hopefully I'll get better.
"Gone, Gone, Gone" was used in the PSA. What's the song about?
It's just a love song, but it is not necessarily about a husband or a wife or a boyfriend and a girlfriend. When I made the music video, I didn't want it to be cheesy. It could be about two brothers or a brother and a sister or just two friends. I wanted it to have a wide range.
Are you working on new music?
Yeah. I'm always writing new music. I've always got some songs hidden somewhere – my back pocket – that I can just pull out.
Do you have a favorite place where you do like to write?
Not really. Usually, it's hotel rooms or the bus or the dressing room. It doesn't matter. Wherever I am. I'm not really picky about it.
Is there anyone you'd like to collaborate with?
Oh yeah! Lots of people. I don't know if you've ever heard of the band, Fink? Fin Greenall: dude is a great writer, so maybe him. I've been digging a lot of his work.
What will your next album be like?
I don't know. I try to keep it diverse with some happy tunes, some sad ones, and some that are just about life. I just want to keep it diverse, like this last album.
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