Monday, July 04, 2016

Introducing / Interview :: Pip Hall

Words: LB

From Preston comes yet another emerging teen talent: 16-year-old electronic singer/songwriter Pippa - or Pip as she is known as - Hall.

Releasing her debut three-track EP 'Sisters' in May, Pip has since attracted the attention of BBC Introducing in Lancashire - along with coming to our ears as well, of course. We particularly like 'Every Cloud', where her soulful vocals laid over alt-indie chords belie her young age.

We caught up with the Lancashire lass to find out a little more about her.

Pip, how and when did you start out producing music?

I started writing when I was around 13 or 14. I got into it when I was introduced to Garage Band at high school and started playing around with different beats and sounds on there and then started layering up and adding guitar and vocals. From there it just evolved into me writing actual full-length songs on my MacBook using Logic.

You're still just 16 - are you still at school or college?

I've just finished high school and I'm going to college in September.

Has there been any one artist or artists who have had an influence on your musical style?

I've been hugely influenced by the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Then Thickens, U2, Beverly and David Bowie. Then Thickens especially, as I was taught guitar by Jon-Lee Martin, their frontman. I look up to him in a huge way as he has guided me through the music world and was the reason for me wanting to start writing my own music in the first place! Plus, they're a pretty awesome band and I recommend that anyone who hasn't heard of them should check them out because they are truly flawless and have the perfect balance of crunchy guitar chords and catchy vocal melodies.

The three tracks that you have on Bandcamp, which form the 'Sisters' EP, are these your first writing efforts?

The tracks there, yes,  are my first. I didn't really expect anyone to take any interest and I only released them there so I wouldn't keep going back to them and tweaking them and adding tiny details. In my eyes nothing is ever finished and if I had it my way and carried on working with them for months on end - nothing would ever get released, so I have to drag myself away from the laptop and put them out.

Tell us something about the three.

The first track 'Calling' was written at around 4am and took about an hour to finish. I wanted to create quite a dreamy vibe with it and I'm obsessed with playing around with different synth sounds so I added a few in there, followed by two lead guitars panned to the left and right.

'Every Cloud' actually started off as a more electronic synth and drums song, but it didn't feel right to me so I added some electric guitar chords and switched the electric drums for live drums and from there everything fell into place. This was the first song I ever fully finished.

Finally, 'Turn Over'. Again, I wanted a dreamy effect and that's where the synth and guitar comes into it with a lot of reverb and distortion. I also like the fact that I went to town on the vocals: I love layering vocal melodies and harmonies, and that shows here.

Do you play all your own instruments?

I play guitar, ukulele, and mandolin. I was taught guitar as I mentioned, by Jon-Lee, and the rest I am self-taught on.

Have you embarked on playing live yet?

I have played live before, but never in a band, and the songs have always been covers so I've never played one of my original songs live. I would love to have a band at some point so I can start doing gigs here and there and let more people see what my music is abou; and hopefully, having other people's ideas and input into the music, will give it a new dynamic.

You have already been picked up by BBC Introducing, how did they come to hear of you?

Yes, BBC introducing interviewed me and have played my stuff a couple of times. I sent my song in on the uploader just over a month ago, and they emailed me saying they'd love me to come on the show.

What are your plans for the immediate future?

I don't really have any plans other than go to college, get my grades and create my band. I just want to take everything as it comes and not take anything too seriously because I'm only 16 and I've got plenty of time for worrying - but not right now!


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