Phil Vassar knows how to write hits ... and sing them, too. For more than a decade the country singer-songwriter has hit the charts over and over again, with tunes such as “Carlene,” “American Child,” “The Sound of a Million Dreams” and the No. 1 smash “Just Another Day In Paradise.”
His songs are infectious and his lyrics are soulful and his concerts never fail to make an everlasting impression.
On Friday, March 7, Vassar will bring his arsenal of hits and country charisma to Talking Stick Resort. The affable star spoke to GetOut about his career and why he loves it so much.
Q: Every Nashville artist I’ve ever spoken to seems to have a colorful industry horror story when coming up through the ranks. Do you have a good one?
PV: There were a lot of them, but looking back I think it’s kind of funny that every label and publisher thought I was wasting my time as a songwriter. Thirty Top 40 songs later, here we are.
Q: In 1999 and 2001 you were named ASCAP’s Songwriter of the Year, writing several big hits for other artists. Did you come to a point when you said to yourself, ‘Maybe I should be saving some of this material for me?’
PV: I never had any intention of giving them away in the first place. I just couldn’t get a record deal on my own. But looking back, having other people record my songs was one of the best things that ever happened.
Q: In 2000 you made your breakthrough album, ‘Phil Vassar,’ which produced five hit singles including the No. 1 song ‘Just Another Day in Paradise.’ What surprised you the most about fame when you first became well known?
PV: How many family members I didn’t know I had! No, just kidding. I was actually friends with a couple people that made it before me, so I kind knew what to expect. Nothing was too surprising.
Q: You’ve been writing hits now for well over a decade. Does it get easier or do you have more pressure because there’s a certain expectation from you?
PV: I never put pressure on myself as a songwriter. I just try and write good songs and not follow trends. I think the best thing to do is write about things you know about or can relate to.
Q: What do you want fans to come away with when they see you perform live at Talking Stick?
PV: I want them to leave in a better mood than they came in with. I want them to see a bunch of guys on stage that love what they do and enjoy every minute of our performance.
Q: I truly get the feeling you’re an artist who legitimately loves what he does.
PV: Yes, I do love it. I was made to do this. Being on stage and performing is the greatest high for me.
If you go
What: Phil Vassar in concert
When: 8 p.m. Friday, March 7
Where: Talking Stick Resort, 9800 E. Indian School Road, Scottsdale
Information: (480) 850-7734 or TalkingStickResort.com
• Read more at PressPassBlog.com, the source for Phoenix metro concert news.