You may know him from Human Nature, but as of 2023, Phil Burton says he’s in a new era of both his life and career.
“I’ve been back in Australia for three years now. A lot of people did say to my family and I, ‘It’s going to take you about three years before you really feel settled back into Australia’, so on a personal level and on a business level, I guess that’s completely true,” he said.
“The first couple of years was pretty quiet there where basically I was trying to get things going but I didn’t get a lot going, other than when the Human Nature guys came back and I joined in with them, but this year, it seems like things are really kicking off, which is great.
“I love the Human Nature stuff as well, but it feels fantastic to have things for me really starting to kick off this year.”
He’s been on the road solo for a little while now, but back in February, Burton admits he was nervous to go out there alone, with this new challenge leading him out of his comfort zone in a way he never had as part of Human Nature.
“I think the biggest change is definitely the fact that when I’m up there with the other guys from Human Nature, there’s three other guys there, so unless I’m specifically singing a lead, the audience’s attention can waiver between the four of us, and you have those moments where you don’t feel that pressure of being right out there in front the whole time, and you know that if something goes wrong then there’s three other people that have your back,” he said.
“However, when it’s me by myself, it’s just me by myself, and I am out there all alone, taking all the hits, and every eye is on me. I think that’s pretty much what I was scared about in February, but now I actually really kind of enjoy that challenge.”
Burton credits much of his newfound confidence to his stint on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ earlier this year, which ended with him taking home the Mirror Ball Trophy alongside partner Ash-Leigh Hunter.
“I have to say, doing ‘Dancing with the Stars’ helped that a lot, because obviously I had Ash-Leigh as my partner, but it was very much about me and my performance, and going through that whole experience and doing so well in it has really given me a level of self confidence that I’ve never had before,” he said.
Burton began touring his new show ‘Sweet Soul Music’ just a few months ago, and he’s been loving every second spent sharing classic soul and personal favourites with audiences across the country.
This year, he’ll be spending New Year’s Eve performing it right here in the west, at the Evan Theatre.
“The music is just so much fun to perform, I just know that everybody is going to come along to the show and they’re going to have a good time, because these songs are so infectious and so much fun not just to listen to, but get up on your feet and dance to, and sing along with,” he said.
“It’s going to be a real party on stage, and I’m really, really looking forward to it!”
Given the occasion, Burton said he’ll do his best to make the show extra special.
“I’ll definitely be throwing in a couple of special moments for New Year’s – you’ve got to do something special on New Year’s!” he said.
“Is there a soul song about New Year’s resolutions? I’ll delve into the soul catalogue and see what I can come up with.”
Phil Burton’s ‘Sweet Soul Music’ will be on at Panthers on Sunday, December 31 at 7.30pm. Visit penrith.panthers.com.au.
Cassidy Pearce is a news and entertainment journalist with The Western Weekender. A graduate of the University of Technology Sydney, she has previously worked with Good Morning Macarthur and joined the Weekender in 2022.