With his signature bow tie and his ‘super colourful’ pop music, Phil Hancock is rapidly taking his hometown of Brisbane by storm and becoming one of the city’s hottest new musical acts. Behind the black-framed glasses is an optimistic and compassionate young talent who’s looking to bring pop music back onto the scene and spreading his love one song at a time.
Like most artists, he’s been performing since he was little and while his family have always been supportive of his decision to enter into the music industry, that doesn’t mean that they can’t have a little fun. “They always joke, ‘you’ll be waiting tables for the rest of your life’ at my brother’s restaurant, waiting the tables till I’m 26.” Musical talent runs in the Hancock family with both his parents and his two older brothers having done music in high school. “My mum was in Star Wars or Star Trek or something like that. You can’t see her but she’s singing.” Phil’s mum, Jenny is a finance officer for Glenleighden School and his dad, Ian is a Human Resources Manager for Toll. While Phil is busy working on new songs at home or in the recording studio, his oldest brother Chris is in Paris learning about French delicacies while Steve, the middle brother is currently at university studying Science.
His inspirations of Katy Perry and Jessie J are evident in his catchy, upbeat tunes. “A big influence at the moment is Jessie J, just vocally; she’s such an amazing vocalist…whenever I hear her singing I’m like ‘I want to be as good as that’. She’s at that level where I’ve got to get to, something I’m aiming towards.” One day he’d love to open for them. However, if he can’t open for Katy Perry or Jessie J, then an all time favourite of his, Australian singer Delta Goodrem would suffice.
Despite being classically trained at Kenmore State High School, his passion has always been pop music. “Pop has always been it for me. I’ve always written ballads or dance songs.” His music has an underlying theme of love and happiness, reflecting his own personal experiences. “I love the idea of love…everyone writes about love and I love writing about it.” However, not all of his music comes from personal experiences. “There’s one song that I wrote, it’s called All That Counts. A lot of people when they hear that song really love it and it really hits them emotionally, but when I wrote it, it was nothing. To me, it was just, ‘I should write a song for guitar’. I don’t play guitar but I wanted a guitarist to play my song. So I sat down and wrote it in like an hour and it turned into this awesome song that people love.”
In the last year, he has released three songs, “Extraordinary Love”, “X (times) Infinity” and “Bitch”. However, when asked which one was his favourite to write, he couldn’t choose just one. “I like all three. They each have their own special reason why I love them. Bitch was awesome because I just went for it; it just came out. I don’t remember writing it because I wrote it in high school originally…I rewrote it when I had to do a gig. I love Extraordinary Love because I wrote it in a day and I’m so proud of myself. I wrote the song, wrote the backing, did the recording and put it online all in one day and I love it, I love the song. It just means so much to me – falling for someone who you don’t think has the same love for you back.” When forced to choose though, his favourite would be “X Infinity”. “It’s my favourite because I wrote it on piano first. It was a piano ballad and then it was really slow and really heartfelt and then I was like, ‘I really want to turn this into a dance track’ because I thought it would work well and so I did.”
When it comes to performing, he is no stranger to the Fortitude Valley’s X & Y bar having opened for a number of local talents over the past year. While on the topic of favourite songs, he discussed his up and coming charity single, “Who We Fall For”. “I love performing that because it’s my most personal song and it’s my favourite one that I’ve ever written. I love singing it because people really connect to it; they really love it.”
Although he hasn’t quite reached the same level of success as other local talents such as Kate Miller-Heidke, that hasn’t stopped him from using his talent for good. His next single, “Who We Fall For” will be for charity will all proceeds raised from the single, music video and launch concert going to “Reach Out”, an organisation that provides information and support to teenagers suffering from depression.
“Why I’m supporting Reach Out is because one of the things that teenagers get is depression because they’re going through all these crazy things – they’re falling in love with people who don’t like them back, you know, that kind of thing – we’ve all been there, it sucks. Love’s such a powerful feeling and that’s why I think a lot of people are getting depression because they’re not getting the love they want and that’s why I’m donating all the money to “Reach Out”. It’s an awesome organisation, fighting depression, not just in teenagers.”
From March to May of this year, he is taking on a “three months, three singles, three music videos” project. “I’m working hard every day, I’m not going to stop. Every day I’m doing something that keeps me going forward. I’m going to keep going out there, getting my name out, being me, wearing my bowties.”
Safe to say, it doesn’t look like he’ll be slowing down any time soon.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from depression or you want to know more, contact Reach Out on 1800 55 1800 (info line) or 13 11 14 (lifeline)
Phil’s next gig will be the release of his single ‘Overdose’ at X & Y Bar, Fortitude Valley on May 4.