Philip Cornish has spent the better part of a decade touring with top artists across the musical divide. These days you can catch him lending his keyboard talents to Kanye West's "Sunday Service," along with a plethora of other composing and performing gigs. Get to know our TALENT SCOUT Artist of the Week!
NAME: Philip Cornish
HOMETOWN: Houston, TX
MUSICAL TRAINING: I took private piano lessons throughout my childhood up until my teenage years, and I developed my ear by playing in church. I also spent a couple years at the University of North Texas studying jazz.
FIRST GIGS: I did a gospel tour in Europe during the winter after graduating high school. My first major tour was with Akon in 2011.
MUSICAL INFLUENCES: Robert Glasper, McCoy Tyner, Ahmad Jamal, D’Angelo, Musiq Soulchild, Gospel music,
WHAT I’M LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW: Ghost Note's Swagism album
MY BIG BREAK: It's tough to narrow it down to just one, as it was a culmination of opportunities that really launched my career. I got a call from keyboardist PJ Morton asking me if I wanted to move to Atlanta in 2008 to play at his Dad’s church. That was the beginning of “my big break." I then traveled with Bishop Paul S. Morton as his personal musician as he preached around the country and that brought me a lot of attention. During that same time, I was being mentored by Ronnie Jackson (Lil Ronnie), the producer and writer of songs like “I’m A Flirt” (R Kelly), “Same Girl” (Usher/R Kelly) “Sorry 2004” (Ruben Studdard). I also started touring with Akon, Musiq Soulchild and The-Dream. All those events happened simultaneously and contributed equally to my success.
LATEST PROJECTS: Empire (Fox TV show), Kanye West's "Sunday Service."
FAVORITE KEYBOARDS AND WHY? The Yamaha Montage. It has everything you need. Great feel, pads, sound design, etc.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? Pursuing TV/Film music opportunities and continuing to tour and arrange shows as a keyboard player and/or Music Director.
ADVICE TO THE NEXT GENERATION: Be yourself, unapologetically. I’ve encountered numerous individuals in the music business who feel like they have to be what they think someone is looking for in order to land a gig. That’s a setup for failure, because you lose yourself in the process of chasing something that isn’t truly "you" to begin with. Eventually you’ll implode creatively and personally.