"We simply don’t have a clue what people are dealing with in their personal lives" We chat with Philippa Hannah

Hey Philippa, how are you doing?

I'm good thanks! You?

Very well thank you. What have you been up to today?

We're home for a few days so I've been editing like crazy for my 365 YouTube series! But also doing boring things like sorting out all my coats and putting away my winter clothes. Just in time for the snow.

Tell us about yourself.

I'm a girl. Married. No kids, one scrappy little Jack Russell/chihuahua dog. Starting writing music when I was a kid and it was always my passion. My father was an Irish cabaret, country and folk entertainer and I LOVED to watch him. I didn't do too well at school and consoled myself by playing the piano and programming songs. Picked up guitar aged 20 and a bunch of new thoughts came out. I used music to work through lots of things like the issues I'd had with anxiety and low self-esteem. After playing lots and lots of shows I put out my first album in 2007 and now I'm on my sixth studio release! I also made a couple of books. Finding faith in 2004 shaped and changed everything, especially me.

What can you tell us about your new single ‘Getting On With Life’?

The song is about an unpleasant exchange with a stranger that left me with a revelation... We simply don't have a clue what people are dealing with in their personal lives. We see the error, the rudeness, the wrongs. But we don't see the battle they're fighting. My dad was going through chemo at the time and because I wasn't at my best I was able to realise this truth for the first time. We're all just doing our best.

I hate getting cut up in traffic, do you have any tips for staying calm?

Try to remember it's not personal. You're just a car to them. And you never know why they are in such a rush...

Your album came out last November, what can you tell us about Come Back Fighting in two sentences?

It's an album about resilience. I reached a point in my life where I could either throw in the towel or go harder, so I chose to raise my game!

How do you go about writing and choosing songs for the album?

I get into writing mode and start to imagine what I want to say next. I write lots and look for messages, patterns emerging in the songs. I love to co-write so I set as many sessions up as possible.

You’ve covered ‘Always On My Mind’, what made you choose that Elvis song?

My dad used to sing the song for my mum when I was little. I loved his interpretation and used it as inspiration for my own recording of it.

Does how people listen to music these days matter? Or are you happy for people to just hear you?

I think there are different ways to enjoy music. You can enjoy it like a gourmet sit down meal (vinyl on a great sound system) or you can play it through your phone straight from YouTube, (packet sandwich). I do and enjoy both! As long as it soothes your soul that's all that counts.

When was the last time you were starstruck?

DOLLY PARTON! I managed to get in a meet and greet when she came to Leeds. She was tiny. And super kind!

Can you tell us the best and the worst thing about your hometown?

I love where we live. It's pretty beautiful! But the toughest thing is the hills. Hills hills hills! Murder on the calves.

You’ve got a UK tour coming up, where in particular are you looking forward to visiting?

We're going to five of my fave cities and I'm excited for all of them! Sheffield has to be the fave as it's the hometown crowd.

What’s the best and worst thing about being out on the road?

Best thing? Playing and meeting music fans! Worst thing? Not being able to find anything other than junk food after midnight. It's always after midnight for us.

What’s the question we should have asked you today but haven’t?

You can hear daily pick me up content on my YouTube channel! The playlist is called #inspiration365 I created the context to be a little boost for folks in their daily life.

Finally, how do you take your coffee?

Coconut milk latte please!

For more information on Philippa follow her on Twitter, like her on Facebook or watch her year-long series on YouTube.

She's touring the UK in April, visiting the following towns on the following days:

Tuesday 3th April - O2 Academy 3, Birmingham
Wednesday 4th April - Night & Day, Manchester
Thursday 5th April - Bush Hall, London

Friday 6th April - Plug, Sheffield 

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