“I’m sitting in the studio right now, just trying to get it done,” Phillip Phillips told Billboard last Friday (Feb. 28) about his as-yet-untitled sophomore album on Interscope Records. The former “American Idol” champ has been feverishly working on the follow-up to 2012’s “The World from the Side of the Moon” at Quad Studios in Manhattan, and on Monday (Mar. 3), the first single, “Raging Fire,” was officially released to iTunes.
Check out a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Phillips’ “Raging Fire,” launching exclusively at Billboard.com:
Phillips tells Billboard that he, Todd Clark, Derek Fuhrmann and Gregg Wattenberg finished writing “Raging Fire,” which was produced by Wattenberg, barely one week before its Monday release. “We sent it to the label — we already had a few other singles, but we sent them that one, and they were really excited and wanted to put it out [immediately],” Phillips explains. “It’s a love song, but it’s also a little heavier, too. It’s got a little bit of an edgier side to it, and I really like that.”
“The World from the Side of the Moon” was released six months after Phillips won season 11 of “American Idol” in 2012, and spawned the hits “Home” (which peaked at No. 6 on the Hot 100 chart) and “Gone, Gone, Gone” (which peaked at No. 24). Phillips says that he finished his debut album in roughly three weeks, and while he’s spending a little bit longer on the follow-up, he professes a desire to keep things brisk.
“We’ve been working on this one for a month and a half so far,” says Phillips. “It’s a completely different album that’s going to show a different side of me. We have singles that are completely different from ‘Raging Fire.'” When asked for a timeframe for his next album, the singer-songwriters says, “We’re aiming for somewhere around May. We kind of have a [release] date, but nothing is concrete yet.”
In the meantime, Phillips will bring “Raging Fire” with him when he returns to “American Idol” for a performance on Thursday night (Mar. 6). Although the 23-year-old strengthened his live show while opening for John Mayer on tour last year, he says that his “Idol” homecoming performances are a bit odd to experience.
“I like seeing all the people that I got to know… It’s cool to see all those faces,” he says. “But it’s also weird for me to get back up onstage and sing, because I hate live television, and I’m gonna be scared to death when I get up there. It’s always a little nerve-wracking.”