"I'm still able to keep living my dream," the American Idol season 11 winner tells PEOPLE

By Brianne Tracy
August 12, 2017 02:45 PM

For the first time in three years, Phillip Phillips is back with new music.

The American Idol season 11 winner released his new single “Miles” on Friday, his first since settling a lawsuit against the show’s producer 19 Entertainment.

“It has been a tough three years, but it feels so good to have this song out,” Phillips, 26, tells PEOPLE exclusively. “We have so much more to come.”

In January 2015, Phillips filed a petition with the California Labor Commissioner to get out of his contract, claiming that 19 Entertainment and its affiliated companies “manipulated” him.

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To Phillips, “Miles” is representative of his journey to now being able to put his legal drama behind him and share new music.

“My wife has definitely been a big support and the song is really about [us] because she was with me through all of this these past few years,” Phillips says of his longtime love Hannah Blackwell, whom he married in October 2015. “It’s about sticking together, powering through and getting to this point that we’re at right now.”

As for what fans can expect from the rest of the “Home” singer’s upcoming third studio album, Phillips says it’s a mix of several different genres — including rock, country, R&B and blues.

“Every artist says, ‘This is my best material to date,’ but I think it is. Musically, it goes so many different places,” he says. “But, it’s still all me.”

When he’s not busy writing or recording, Phillips is on the road touring with the Goo Goo Dolls and has concert dates through September.

“I’m seeing fans are still sticking with me even though it has been three years, and I’m just thrilled,” he says. “I’m still able to keep living my dream.”