Philippa Hanna is performing on Saturday 30th April in St Agnes as part of the LIVE in a Field event. Our friends at One Man In The Middle met up with Philippa to chat about life and more. Here are some of the highlights of that conversation.
Philippa Hanna has toured with Lionel Ritchie, Wet, Wet, Wet, Rebecca Ferguson, Collabro and this year with Leona Lewis. What’s it like for a young lady from Sheffield walking out on stage at the O2 Arena with thousands of people there, what’s that feeling like?
“It was really scary at the time, but it got easier, I think it’s a bit like going on the biggest rollercoaster first in the theme park, after that everything just feels like a walk in the park. It’s got to the point where I really enjoy it, it’s a real blessing to have a full room and a big audience and you think ‘Wow! what an opportunity, all these people are ready to hear me and hear what I’ve got to say.’ So it’s actually just brilliant really.”
As a Christian performing in a secular environment on tour how has the reaction been and how have you seen that reaction?
“It’s not a massively well-trodden path what we’ve been doing which is stepping in and out of the mainstream. It’s incredible because you collect people as you go. You do it in a friendship way, you sort of do it casual…just trying to just be a person in a place where they can see you, so that they sort of get to see your life. Then when they have the opportunity they can come and see you in a church and then they can see the whole story. It’s been amazing, people have been so open minded and some of Collabro’s family were at the gig on Hayling Island the other night, so it was fab. I think they were really touched because people are not used to seeing something with such emotional content a lot of the time, and spiritual content, and they don’t realise that that’s what we have as Christians because they think about the religion side of it, but they don’t necessarily know how blessed it is. So it’s been amazing really.”
How does your writing process happen, do the songs come to you or do they germinate for a long time?
“Germinate! I like that word! They come in different ways, sometimes it’s in a melody, sometimes it’s a lyric idea but mainly the best thing is to wait for a good picture, I find, a good image in my mind. I think what makes a good song really is good imagery and a good idea. You can write songs until the cows come home with a nice tune and a few nice words in, but I think you need a good premise for a song. So I just take ideas down in my phone from whatever I’m experiencing that day. Like, for instance, with the Raggedy-Doll song it was a melody to begin with but then I started to picture the story. Then I found it really easy to write the story once I had that picture. So yeah I tend to work with ideas and visuals.”