Simon Phillips

A full-band solo musician

TEDxPerth 2016
October 2016

Talk length:


A full-band solo musician | Simon Phillips | TEDxPerth

Digital distribution of music has disrupted the music industry, putting financial strain on many professional musicians. Simon Phillips' response to these new challenges is delightfully low-tech.

With a background steeped in soul, roots, folk, gospel and blues, Simon pushes the limits of what a one-man band can do. He is described by Tommy Emmanuel as “a serious talent”. 

Originally from a small coastal town in Western Australia, Simon began playing the guitar at age 12. He is also a kiteboarder and now calls Melbourne home.

Simon Phillips

Described by Tommy Emmanuel as “a serious talent”, With four limbs, a bunch of instruments and 25 years of experience that's heavily steeped in Soul, Roots, Folk, Gospel and Blues, Simon Phillips redefines the meaning of a one-man-band with the artistry that The Fremantle Herald called “Quite literally amazing…should be listened to obsessively”.

His evocative lyrics express a voice deep within which talks of a raw human emotion that we all implicitly know. “It’s all about the fragility of the human condition, there are so many beautiful stories that need to be told… We need to document how people make change, and hopefully that will inspire change for the future”, Simon says. His fingers alone write their own story on his guitar strings, with a mastery and inventiveness that demands your attention.

“When you write something that brings you to tears, you’re going to play it no matter what, isn’t that what it’s all about?” A natural born storyteller, Simon expresses his philosophy and poetry through his music, a modern day tambourine man that chooses not to play by society’s rules, and for good reason.

Exhibiting the vocal acrobatics of Jeff Buckley and a song-writing style comparable to John Mayer”, SOULSHINE.COM.AU

Many music festivals, thousands of gigs and four albums later, his musical maturity and stirring songwriting continues to inspire.

“Phillips’ technical ability both as a singer and a guitarist, is perfectly matched by a remarkable breadth of intelligence as a songwriter and lyricist”, DRUM MEDIA Sydney.

Originating from a small coastal town in Western Australia, Simon began playing the guitar at age 12, with the sand between his toes and a yearning for the wind, this kite boarding singer /songwriter has come to call Melbourne home. Simon has supported Larry Carlton (session guitarist for Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson), Kate Miller-Heidke, Lee Ritnour (session guitarist for Pink Floyd for a time), Australia’s own Vince Jones, and Robben Ford (played with Miles Davis) who said Simon “Plays his ass off…sings his ass off”.

‘Phenomenal! I can’t recommend this enough. But I can tryFive Stars’, TWENTY600 MAGAZINE Canberra.