Tourist announces plans to release debut album ‘U’ this summer
Between three EPs and recent Years & Years-versed single “Illuminate,” William Phillips has forged one of Britain’s most soulful electronic exports as Tourist. With co-writing credits for Sam Smith and Jessie Ware behind him, the London-based talent has had little excuse not to lap up the best of the nation’s musical mints along the way. Speaking to Billboard in a recent pre-Grammy interview, the rising British talent revealed that his debut album U will see the light of day this summer, marking a significant first for the Polydor/Interscope-signed artist.
Opening up on his inauguration to music, working alongside some of the industry’s hottest properties and the usual pre-Grammy nerves, Phillips confirmed that his first attempt at a full-length debut was subsequently scrapped and taken back to the drawing board.
“I was just writing songs that could exist but didn’t really have any root in any meaningful place. I don’t think they were coming from Will Phillips. I don’t think I was really being honest with myself. I was not bold enough to write what I really should have written. It just didn’t feel right. I knew I was convincing myself that it was better than it was, and that’s a sinking feeling.”
Quoting a string of personal experiences that led to his refocus, Phillips is currently putting the finish touches on his full-length debut. Having watched peer and colleague Sam Smith clean up throughout 2014 and this year’s Grammy Awards, Phillips describes the record ahead as a meaningful narrative to his story so far. He explained: “I’m recording the final bits of the album now over here in L.A. Sam’s meteoric rise has been unbelievable to watch, and while that’s been going on I’ve been doing my own record — it’s been such a funny year for me. Then you break up with your girlfriend of four years which is like the shittiest thing in the world. Ups and downs.”