Philippa Hanna is one of the UK’s finest talents, recognised by both the Christian music scene and mainstream music seen as a bright spark and great talent… The last year has seen Philippa branch out and do lot’s of exciting things from setting up her own foundation to working with some of the most popular contestants from X-Factor UK 2011’s finals… We caught up with Philippa to talk about all that and her plans for new music….
We know you for being an artist who writes songs that encourage listeners to see themselves as God see’s us through songs like ‘I Am Amazing’ but now you’ve gone the extra mile and established The Raggedy Doll Foundation… What made you start it and what do you hope to achieve through it?
“There’s always been a remarkable response to this little song about a rag doll and it’s maker. The maker is reassuring the doll that although it is unique, it was hand made and every stitch was lovely planned. When I began getting emails about the effect that message was having, myself and a few friends wanted to do more. My mum suggested we sell rag dolls at concerts. Then we began to think a little bigger and realised, we’d love to be able to give a rag doll to children especially children in hospital or in care. So we began to establish the organisation! Our vision is that when we sell a doll we’ll be able to give one away too. By buying a doll you’ll be able to make sure a child gets one as a gift.”
You started the ‘I Am Amazing’ campaign not too long ago… What made you decide to go with The Raggedy Doll Foundation (as a name) over the I Am Amazing campaign?
“The Raggedy Doll song has a real resonance with kids! We began to think, ‘maybe this rag-doll metaphor is something God wants to use to reach children.’ We believe that the earlier a child learns their worth the deeper the message will take root.”
What practical things can we do to help children and young people around us to have a positive sense of self-worth?
“I think it’s important to teach little ones how to cope with bullying and the importance of being kind to one another. We all know that one insult is enough to cancel out a dozen compliments so we have to use our words very carefully! Ultimately though the message that God designed each one of us is the key. If we can cling to that, then unkind words are easier to deal with.”
How can people get involved with the foundation and support what you’re doing?
“Our website is under construction at the moment but in the meantime you can stay in the loop via our Facebook page HERE!!!”
“We’re doing a charity ebay auction 1-8th Sept to raise money for the first run of dolls! We want to make our first delivery to the children’s hospital for Christmas. If there is anything you’d like to donate for the auction please make contact via Facebook! You can also take a look at some of the exciting things we already have!”
What are you doing now musically… We’ve seen that you’ve been writing with a few X-Factor stars… How has that experience been? (Tell us one interesting story/experience you’ve had with one of the artists)
“Working with Janet Devlin is a trip because she sincerely has the most avid fan base I’ve ever seen! You only have to mention she’s in the building and there’s throngs of them at the studio door. She’s also a very special girl and I’m enjoying working on material for her debut release!”
Are there any songs that you’ve written with these artists that we should be on the look out for?
“‘Crown of thorns’ has been well received in previews. Also ‘Give us your heart’ written with Craig Colton is a favourite his fans. I’m told Robbie Williams liked it too!”
When will we be hearing some more Philippa Hanna songs or a new album?
“I’m excited to announce, there’s a new album in the pipeline! We have an exciting vision that’s coming clearly into focus and we’re beginning work on it next week! I’ll be making the album with the incredible Eliot Kennedy and team. Expect a lot more stories…”
Do you have an album title yet?
“Can’t say just yet…but just…expect more stories Maybe some ruby slippers…”