Pip working on album, appreciative of local support

Since his run on NBC's "The Voice" ended last month, Phillip "Pip" Arnold, the 20-year-old singer from Marietta, Ga. and son of St. Marys native Jim Arnold, has been keeping busy working on his first album. "[Releasing an] album is my number-one priority right now," Arnold said. "I want to get music out to [all my fans]." He recently started a page on Kickstarter, a website that allows individuals to pledge money to help fund independent projects. According to Arnold, fans can find out more information about this endeavor on Twitter, Facebook, and his website, www.pipmusic.com. "Kickstarter is great because it lets me ask the fans questions and get feedback from y'all, so I am very excited to get that up and running," Arnold said. Even though he was not able to continue advancing through the competition on The Voice, Arnold is appreciative for the role his time on the show played in helping him be able to pursue a career he enjoys. "I think it's amazing to see how a show like this really can launch a career. The amount of fans that I have gotten just from being on not even one full hour of television in total is just such an inspiration to me that I have picked the right path and that I can make a success out of this," Arnold said. In terms of his entire experience on The Voice, Arnold described the experience of going from performing "in front of 16 people in a coffee shop" to "performing in front of 16 million people" as being "kind of mind-boggling." However, he remarked that the biggest thing he took away from the experience was the friendships he made with the other contestants. "I was influenced so much by the people I became close with on the show and will keep in touch with them forever and use the things they taught me, both musically and personally, to grow as an artist and really solidify my style and sound," Arnold said. Arnold also spoke highly of his coach on the show, Adam Levine, calling the Maroon 5 singer "a great guy" who was "very honest and cared about us all a lot.""He (Levine) is a busy man, so we didn't get a ton of time to work together, but when we did he was super-focused and was great to be able to bounce ideas off of and such. He definitely had his humorous side, which was good too whenever we were stressed," Arnold said. Arnold added that, out of all the advice he received on the show, one comment from Levine really stuck with him. "Adam told me to always be true to myself and not let anyone else dictate my actions in my personal life or in my musical style and career, and I think that is something that rings true not just for someone like me, but is sound advice for anyone who is looking for what their next move in life is," Arnold said. Aside from the stress of having to be on top of his game each week to avoid being eliminated from the competition, Arnold noted that there were other challenges he and the other contestants had to face as well. "I would say the most challenging aspect of being on The Voice was saying goodbye to other artists as they were eliminated from the contest," Arnold said. "It was almost more stressful having to watch other people leave then it was when you were the one leaving!"Additionally, while only one- or two-hour episodes of the competition were shown on television, the contestants often put in a lot more work and effort than viewers saw on the program. "There were days when we would have 14- to 16-hour days, and we would get tired, very tired-- vocally strained, emotionally and physically drained. That is something people really don't think about because it's a side of the process no one sees on television," Arnold said. "It's such an amazing opportunity, and there are days that you just have to keep reminding yourself why you are there. It can be long, but so rewarding and fun in the end."Pick up a copy of the Monday, May 21, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.