"American Idol" winner Phillip Phillips has already started recording his debut album, and he has high hopes that it will be all or fully comprised of his own songs.
"We've recorded a pretty good bit so far," Phillips, who's now preparing for the American Idol Live! tour's July 6 start in Detroit as well as his appearance on the PBS/NPR "A Capitol Fourth" concert on July 4 in Washington, D.C., tells Billboard.com. "We recorded a bunch of songs I wrote and I'd say we got some rough tracks coming along. We're going through them just to see -- some parts may need to be fixed or we may need to switch a few things and I'll re-write. We're just trying to make the songs come out a little more."
Phillips says he's not necessarily counting on being able to write the whole album himself, but he wants to work with any outside writers who are brought into the project. "I'm hoping I'm going to be able to at least write on every song for the album, 'cause it's hard for me to connect with a song I had nothing to do with," he explains. "Hopefully I'll get to write half of a song with other writers." Phillips has already worked on one song with fellow Georgian David Ryan Harris, coming up with a song he says "is really beautiful and I really hope makes the album. I really love the song."
Phillips -- whose coronation single, "Home," hit No. 10 on the Hot 100 -- says the album will contain "some rock and jazz and probably a couple of acoustic things."
As for producers, Phillips says he's been working with "a certain person" he declines to name, and he's not sure if that will continue as the process continues. "We're just going to be moving around so much with the (tour), so we're going to see how it goes and figure out if I'll still be recording with that person or doing it with somebody else," Phillips says. He expects to continue working on the album during off-days of the Idols Live! tour for a November release. As he says, "It's going to be a very busy summer and a very busy year."
Meanwhile, Phillips reports that he's "doing pretty good" after his latest intestinal surgery in June. "I've still got a few stitches, and I have to take it easy, not push too hard. But I still try to get out there and do my best, like I did throughout the show." But he's looking forward to the tour and being able to perform without the pressure of judges and TV cameras. "It'll be a lot different than being on the show," he acknowledges. "I'm excited to get the feedback from the crowd and just jamming with the guys up on stage and being able to jam, not just have to sing the whole, entire song but just rock out. Being (the 'Idol' champ) has sunk in, but not all the way. I don't think it's going to hit me until after we start the tour and see all the people that come out and see us."
As for being on the road with the other "Idol" finalists, Phillips predicts that "It's going to be a lot of fun at the beginning, and then probably a few weeks into the tour -- I give it about six weeks -- people are probably are probably going to want to cut each other's throats and get mad at each other. I hope it doesn't get that way, but I have a feeling it might be, because we're gonna be tired from doing interviews and just wanting to sleep. Heejun (Han) is probably gonna be really messy; I might be a little messy, no lie, but I try not to be. It's gonna be a long summer."