The streets have become cluttered with snow, traffic is jamming, winter weather advisories are broadcasting over the news every fifteen minutes, and several businesses have been shutting down due to the harsh winter conditions. However, that fact does not stop the fans of the Phil Jacobson band from attending his show at The Double Door concert hall and night club in Chicago on the fourth day of January 2014.
The concert hall had been fairly quiet before Phil hit the stage. Aside from the background music, you could almost hear a pin falling from one end of the room to another. However, as soon as he hit the stage, the crowd huddled over near him and began singing and dancing to the tune of Phil’s music.
Phil tours as an independent artist as of now, but his ultimate goal is to play music for everyone to enjoy. He says “I want to play music all over the world. I would like to have a song that just becomes something that people can get healing out of. There’s nothing better than getting to connect with people on a live show.”
His tunes have been inspired by performers such as John Mayer, and Jason Mraz. However, he has adopted his own style of music ever since he began writing his own lyrics at the early age of 15. He did not start singing until he was in High school, and started performing at a local restaurant called Pot Bellies. He practiced his talent in his bedroom before that.
His early beginnings with music did pave the way for a very busy adult life, however. “I don’t have normal days. You have to consider it like it’s a full-time job. For 8 hours a day, I have to work on booking shows, and doing some writing, and I practice non-stop with my guitar playing. We have rehearsals at least once a week. It’s a lot of planning,” said Phil.
Phil’s busy schedule does not deter him from the music life, though. He has created a cover band called The Sweater Vests, and they play to the tunes of their cover songs in just that, sweater vests. He is also scheduled to play at The Abbey in Chicago on January 30th.
Phil encourages young musicians to pursue their dreams. He gives them this advise, “To play as much as you can in front of as many people as you can. To network, networking is huge. Going out, even if your just going to jam sessions and listening to other people. Meeting other musicians. You never know where one of those friendships is going to take you. I’ve had that happen where a friend that I met has been able to do some pretty cool stuff within the music field.
One of his biggest obstacles was getting through college, but not for the reasons one would think. Phil was involved in a lot of classes that would fill his days, allowing him very little time to focus on anything other than music. “My days were filled from beginning to end with different rehearsals, and different ensembles that were only worth one credit, so I didn’t have a lot of time for some of the other normal, general education courses because I was doing a lot of music related stuff at the time. It was definitely a challenge, and I’m proud that I was able to complete it,” he says.
He credits his family’s support for some of the success he’s been encountering thus far. “They’re the best man, they’re the best. I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing with out the. They’ve been great, man. They’ve been pushing me and encouraging me to do something I want to do, and not settle for something just because it’s a job.”
Interview By Juan Diego Cervantes