Makayla Phillips' Got Talent!
Born and raised in Canyon Lake, California, 15-year-old Makayla Phillips has been dreaming of making a name for herself in the music industry for her whole life. Growing up, she performed at local mic nights and won numerous vocal contests in her town such as the Temecula Boys and Girls Club Idol and the Temecula Valley Music Awards for Best Youth Cover, both events two years in a row. However, Phillips got her big break when she auditioned for America’s Got Talent, receiving the golden buzzer from judge Heidi Klum. Her powerful rendition of Demi Lovato’s “Warrior,” sent her straight to the live shows, where she continued to impress the judges with vocals beyond her years. Although she was eliminated in the semi-finals, Phillips left a lasting impact on the show’s viewers, many of whom were shocked and outraged by her elimination. But AGT was only the beginning--this teen singing sensation’s music career is just getting started.
When did you first discover you had a passion for singing?
I first discovered I had a passion for singing when I was around three-years-old. I saw the movie “The Phantom of the Opera” and sang it all the time!
Which singers inspired you growing up and why?
My mom inspired me to sing, as well as Whitney Houston because they are so inspiring and their voices are touching.
Why did you decide to audition for America’s Got Talent?
It has been a dream of mine since I was very young!
What was your initial reaction when you received the golden buzzer from Heidi Klum?
I was shocked! I didn't expect that to happen! I spent a couple of weeks after it happened thinking it wasn't real.
How did Heidi mentor you throughout your AGT experience?
Heidi was very supportive and uplifting. She would bring me down to her dressing room to take a picture with me and to ask me how I was doing before the show. She also would ask me how I felt about my song.
During the first live show, you were one of the three Dunkin Save acts, meaning that you were ranked either sixth, seventh, or eighth in the voting. What was going through your mind as you awaited the results?
I was genuinely terrified when I was one of the Dunkin Save acts. I didn't want my journey to end just yet.
How did you feel when America saved you?
When I found out America saved me, my legs literally gave out. I felt like I had been given another chance to prove that I was not just a Dunkin Save.
What was the best piece of constructive criticism you received from the panel of judges during your AGT experience?
The best constructive criticism I had was from Simon when he told me how important song choice is. Also, Heidi told me to find a song I connect to, which helped me choose my song for the semi-finals.
The song “Who You Are” that you sang in the in the semi-finals was extremely well-received by both the audience and Mel and Heidi. Why did you choose to sing it?
I chose to sing Jessie J's "Who You Are" because it is very empowering and talks about how you should be you. During the competition, there were times when I was told to do certain things a certain way and I wasn't happy. I chose this song and made it my own, and I am incredibly happy I did. I feel like I did my best, gave it my all, and left my heart out on the stage!
You were eliminated in the semi-finals but accomplished so much throughout the competition. Do you have any regrets?
Absolutely not! AGT was an incredible journey and I made so many wonderful friends who I love. I wouldn't trade it for the world. Also, I learned so much!
Can fans expect original music from you in the future?
For sure! I was already writing my own music and now I am really going to put more time into writing!
Any other future plans?
I dream of singing at the Grammys and Super Bowl one day. Those are two of my biggest goals, but who knows? There may be bigger and better things in my future!