'American Idol' champ Phillip Phillips heats up with new album, Canadian tour

Phillip Phillips performs at the Rock in Rio Music Festival in Rio de Janeiro September 21, 2013....

Phillip Phillips performs at the Rock in Rio Music Festival in Rio de Janeiro September 21, 2013. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:30 AM ET

American Idol champion Phillip Phillips could be in the running for the title, Hardest Working Man in Showbiz.

The 23-year-old singer-songwriter may have become a household name in 2012 with his big win and coronation single and mega-hit Home, but home is not something he's seen too often since topping the talent show.

The Georgia native has been on the road for most of the last two years since being the Season 11 champ, and with a brand new single, Raging Fire, and a new studio album coming in the next few months, things won't be slowing down anytime soon.

Oh, and let's not forget his cross-Canada tour, which kicked off last week in Halifax and sees him play 15 shows in 21 nights. Hope he brought along a masseuse.

Speaking down the line from Los Angeles just before the tour kick-off, Phillips spoke with QMI Agency about all things Idol, including his favourite judge, how his life has changed since, and his upcoming, sophomore effort.

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Congratulations on the new single. How has the response been to it so far?

I’ve been so nervous, I haven’t really looked. I think it’s been really good, from what people have told me. Whenever one of my songs or one of my albums comes out, I’m always too scared to look online, so I just let people tell me what’s going on. If they don’t say anything, it’s usually not great, but if they do say something, it’s like ‘Aww, sweet, that’s good.’

You have a very ambitious touring schedule with a lot of Canadian dates and not too many breaks between stops. How have you prepared for that?

I know, right? I haven’t. I’m just gonna play it by ear and see what happens. It’ll be good, though -- it will be tremendously exciting.

You are the last winner of American Idol to have a huge hit. Do you think the TV show is still relevant at this stage?

It is a great platform, but after the show you have to... sometimes you have to do some things that won’t make you money or might seem weird, but in the long run it will help. To me it’s not about winning, it’s about wanting to be successful. Once the show’s over, the show’s over. You have to work hard — nothing is ever handed to you, and that’s how I treat things.

Have there been any negatives to being an American Idol champion?

The only one would be that people kind of categorize you as “the winner” and not give you a chance to see your show.

Who was your favourite judge on the show?

I liked Steven Tyler. He was always goofy, funny and had a lot of good advice for me. He was a great guy.

How is the new album coming along?

It’s done. It’s just being mastered and mixed at the moment. I’m working on the album title now and trying to get it all figured out. It’s really exciting. I might play a few of the new songs on the tour; I always like to play new tunes to keep it fresh for me and the band.

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Tour dates:

March 11 Montreal, QC Place des Arts

March 12 Ottawa, ON National Arts Centre

March 14 Toronto, ON Sony Centre for Perf Arts

March 15 Kingston, ON Rogers K-Rock Centre

March 16 Hamilton, ON Hamilton Place Theatre

March 20 Winnipeg, MB Burton Cummings Theatre

March 21 Regina, SK Brandt Centre

March 23 Saskatoon, SK TCU Place

March 24 Calgary, AB Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium

March 25 Edmonton, AB Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium

March 27 Kamloops, BC Interior Savings Centre

March 28 Vancouver, BC Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena

Twitter: @johnwillms

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