10 Things You Didn’t Know about Makayla Phillips

Makayla Phillips

Makayla Phillips is no stranger to talent competitions, having been in three of them so far. Since she was three, the singer knew she wanted to be on “America’s Got Talent” and fulfilled her wish. Since she did not win, Makayla has been working on her vocals in readiness for her return to “American Idol.” Now that she is back, she is confident that she will be crowned the winner this time. Since she already has her golden ticket, let’s wait and see if she realizes her dream as we learn more about her journey to becoming a musician.

1. Her song during the quarterfinals in AGT was dedicated to her father

They say not all heroes wear capes, and for Makayla, her father, Todd Phillips, may not be Batman or Superman, but he remains to be her hero. Todd is a firefighter, and although Makayla is proud that he gets to save lives, she still fears that one day he will not come back home. Therefore in 2018, during the quarterfinals of “America’s Got Talent,” she sang “Issues” by Julia Michaels. Her performance was so good that it earned her a golden buzzer from Heidi Klum, who praised it as being better than the original.

2. She does not give up

Since she was young, Makayla dreamed of being on “America Idol;” hence when she was 15, she auditioned for it. It was the first show she ever auditioned for, but her dreams came crashing down when she was told she was a couple of weeks younger than the required age limit. The teenager did not give up thus auditioned for “The Voice” but still got the same response; too young. She then remembered she had been watching AGT and decided to audition, but since she did not win, she has returned to her first love, “American Idol.”

3. She has no time for negativity

After being on three shows and returning to one again, everyone can see how desperate the teenager is to achieve her dreams. Makayla realizes that it may not look good to most people, but she does not care about the negativity; all she cares about is that she is hungry to fulfill her dream and is willing to go the extra mile.

4. What made her think she could win?

Growing up, Makayla was a big fan of “America’s Got Talent.” Therefore, in 2016 when Grace VanderWaal won the 12th season of the show, Makayla knew that she could also accomplish her dream in spite of being young; after all, Grace won the competition at only 12 years old. It is with good reason that Makayla looks up to Grace; she always sang original songs as she held on to her ukulele and so far is the youngest person to ever be included in “30 under 30 Music list by Forbes.

5. Her musical inspiration

Whitney Houston may no longer be with us, but her music continues to influence many artists, among whom is Makayla. Of course, Whitney’s songs are not for the vocally weak hence Makayla cites the late musician as her inspiration among those with bigger voices. Speaking to Talent Recap, Makayla added that Demi Lovato and Ariana Grande also inspire her. However, Kehlani seems to be her favorite since she praised the artist not just for her vocals, but her songwriting skills as well.

6. Why she picked “Who’s Loving You” for her audition

Going up against some of the best talents in the world and singing in front of judges who are accomplished musicians themselves, Makayla knew she needed the right song to showcase her vocal abilities. Therefore “Who’s loving You” was her first choice because, according to her, it enables one to prove their vocal range. That said, it has always been her go-to song for auditions even during open mics, which she started attending at the age of 10. Considering the many renditions that the classic song has, it is evident that other musicians seem to share her opinion.

7. She and Kodi Lee have the same vocal teacher

Makayla and Kodi have been best friends for years, and Makayla refers to Kodi’s family as her second family. The two have supported each other through their separate musical journeys and come together once in a while to perform. Despite their obvious musical talents Makayla and Kodi needed some training, and Miss Nonie came to the rescue. According to The Press-Enterprise, the teacher has coached many musicians for over 40 years, and Makayla and Kodi are among her success stories.

8. She uses songwriting as therapy

Like most people, Makayla writes down her thoughts and turns them into music. For her, songwriting is therapeutic, and such therapeutic moments are what gave birth to one of her songs, “Fool Like You.” She thought of a boy who was not good for her, but despite knowing that about him, she kept going back to him. The process of writing and seeing it turn into a song was exhilarating for the teenager who hopes to release its video soon.

9. Her father was recognized last year for his bravery

Makayla could not help but post on Instagram about how proud she was of her father for bagging the Firefighter of the Year Award 2019. Todd Phillips, who works for the Riverside County Fire Department, received the award, which usually is presented to any officer who ranks below the Chief Officer in recognition of their service and achievements. As the Fire Fighters Association of Missouri explains, the award is not to recognize acts of heroism but rather is presented to an individual based on their loyalty, dedication, professionalism, and productivity.

10. Fans of AGT were not happy that she got the golden buzzer

There is no denying that Makayla is talented, and even AGT fans agreed, given how they cheered her on as she sang. However, the minute that Heidi Klum hit the golden buzzer, their tune changed, saying that as much as she is talented, that golden buzzer could have gone to a non-singing act. The fans reasoned that four out of the five golden buzzer awards that had been issued that season had been to singers, yet there were so many other talents in the show.

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