Tan was born in Malaysia. He attended Full Sail University in Florida in the U.S., where he attained a degree in Recording Arts in 1990. Afterwards he moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he embarked on a career as a recording engineer.
As a mixing engineer, he worked on three Grammy Award winning albums: Mariah Carey's "The Emancipation of Mimi" (Best Contemporary R&B Album, 2005), Ludacris' "Release Therapy" (Best Rap Album, 2006) and Rihanna's "Only Girl (In the World)" (Best Dance Recording, 2010). Tan was inducted into the Full Sail University Hall of Fame in 2009.
As of 2009, sales of albums and singles sold in the US with Tan listed in the credits as a mixer, engineer, remixer or producer totaled over 220 million.
He may look almost unbecomingly young, but 37-year old Phil Tan is one of the most experienced and successful mixers in the American music scene.
Although - almost inexplicably - his name rings no bells with Malaysians in the music industry, the La Salle Klang-schooled Tan has two little gold-plated gramophones (the Grammy Awards, duh!) for his mixing duties on Mariah Carey's The Emancipation of Mimi (Best Contemporary R&B Album, 2006) and Ludacris' Release Therapy (Best Rap Album, 2007).
As one of the most successful mixing engineers of all time, Phil Tan has mixed and/or recorded 26 singles that have reached number one on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. The amount of sales for albums and singles, Phil is credited on, have totaled in excess 250 million.