Phil Wang: Crooning – not comedy - is my true passion | Comic even hopes to release an album of swing numbers

Phil Wang: Crooning – not comedy - is my true passion

Comic even hopes to release an album of swing numbers

comedyPhil Wang has revealed he plans to release an album of swing music.

Not only does the comedian love swing, jazz and the Great American Songbook, but it was crooning – rather than comedy – that was Wang’s true passion.

Now he hopes to revisit his love of music in the form of an album, saying: ‘I’d actually love to do that.

‘This year I'm trying to do different things. Maybe I'll record Phil Sings The Blues, or something. I'd love to do that. Yeah, for sure.

‘Maybe I'll do an Alexander Armstrong and do a Christmas album every year.’

Speaking on the Always Be Comedy podcast, Wang continues: "Sometimes I still think I really need to stop this stand-up experiment and get back to my real life, because this hobby has sort of gone on long enough.

‘It still doesn't feel like a decision I made. People always say, how did you fall into stand-up? And I think that's quite an accurate description of how you do it; you do kind of fall into it.

‘But the real passion  is the swinging and the crooning. I find it too painful to do now because comedy takes every last bit of your earnestness from you. It makes you cynical about everything. And music is very earnest. It's very hard to sing cynically, you know.

‘When I sing alone in the shower or something, I love it.’

Wang continues: ‘When I was a teenager, I was really into the golden age of the crooners and swing jazz and the Great American Songbook. And I wanted to be a crooner like Michael Bublé, or something. And I was obsessed. And that's all I wanted to do – until I found stand-up. And I thought, actually, I don't have to do scales for stand-up.’

So impressive is Wang’s voice that the sound department didn’t have to alter any of his singing on  the recent movie Wonka, in which the comic has a memorable song-and-dance scene with star Timothee Chalamet.

‘That's really me singing in Wonka,’ Wang explains. ‘Here's a little bit of behind-the-scenes bragging: I was told by someone on Wonka that, you know, sometimes in movies they have to correct a singer – if they're not a professional singer – in post [production], and they didn't have to correct me at all.

‘I hit all the notes. All five notes I was given – I hit them spot on!’

And here’s Wang singing to David Mitchell on Dave show Outsiders:

• Listen to the Always Be Comedy podcast here. Wang is performing at the Eventim Apollo tomorrow

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Published: 22 Feb 2024

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