Ladyhawke is the stage of New Zealand singer-songwriter and multi- instrumentalist Phillipa Margaret Brown born on 13th July 1979 in Masterton, New Zealand. She got her stage name from Richard Donner’s 1985 film Ladyhawke.
She comes from a musican family as her mother is a singer–guitarist and her stepfather, a jazz drummer.
At the age of ten she contracted erysipeloid, a disease that is common in seagulls and sharks but had not been seen in humans in New Zealand for twenty years. Her allergies to antibiotics and antihistamines
greatly complicated treatment efforts and almost put her into a coma, and she came close to dying.
She has been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, a developmental disorder characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, she attributes the syndrome to the large
amount of her childhood she spent absorbed in music.
She attended Chanel College where she played in several grunge bands. After high school, Brown moved from Masterton to Wellington.
In 2001 she formed a band, Two Lane Blacktop, with her friends playing lead guitar. In 2003 Two Lane Blacktop disbanded when their lead singer, Matt Harrop, and drummer, Phil Smiley, both quit the band two days prior to a scheduled tour of Australia with Modey Lemon, after which they were due to play at SXSW in Austin, Texas.
Ladyhawke moved to Australia and relocated to Melbourne. Sydney-based musician Nick Littlemore of Pnau heard of her relocation and asked her if she was interested in joining an art rock band he had started called Teenager.
She joined the rock band ‘Teenager’ in 2004. Brown and Littlemore played together for two years, with Brown relocating to Sydney to be closer to the band, as well as other people she enjoyed playing and
writing music with. Teenager’s song “Pony” is featured in the 2008 video game Grand Theft Auto IV.
Ladyhawke Music/ Ladyhawke Singer
In 2006 Brown left Teenager to focus on a personal project she had been developing for some time, a persona she had dubbed Ladyhawke. Brown says she started Ladyhawke out of a desire to do her own project where she could completely express herself in any way she wanted. She says:
“I wanted to make music that could put a smile on people’s faces and give them a feeling of nostalgia even though they may be hearing my songs for the first time. I love how music evokes memories of a certain time, I wanted to see if I could find a method of songwriting that would evoke those feelings from me on writing the song and then on the individual when listening to it for the first time.”
On 22nd September 2008 Ladyhawke’s released her debut album ‘Ladyhawke’. In October 2009 it topped the charts in New Zealand and was certified platinum in New Zealand. It reached number sixteen in both Australia and UK and was certified gold.
In the late May 2012 she released her second album ‘Anxiety’. The lead single ‘Black, White and Blue’ was featured in the soundtracks of the video games Forza Horizon, FIFA 13, and Sleeping Dogs.
On 3rd June 2016 her third solo album ‘Wild Things’. Her song “Let It Roll” was used in an advertisement for Australian telecommunications company Optus. “The River” and “A Love Song” are featured in the soundtrack of the 2016 racing video game Forza Horizon 3.
On 9th January 2015 Brown married Madeleine Sami, a New Zealand actress. On 20 June 2017, she announced her pregnancy through an Instagram post. Her first child, a daughter, was born on 20 October 2017.
- 2009: Album of the Year, Ladyhawke, New Zealand Music Awards.
- 2009: Best Dance/Electronica Album, Ladyhawke, New Zealand Music Awards.
- 2009: Single of the Year, My Delirium, New Zealand Music Awards.
- 2009: Best Female Solo Artist, New Zealand Music Awards.
- 2009: Breakthrough Artist of the Year, New Zealand Music Awards.
- 2009: International Achievement Award, New Zealand Music Awards.
- 2009: Breakthrough Artist – Album, Ladyhawke, ARIA Music Awards.
- 2009: Breakthrough Artist – Single, My Delirium, ARIA Music Awards.
- A Love Song
- The River
- Wild Things
- Let It Roll
- Sweet Fascination
- Golden Girl
- Hillside Avenue
- Money to Burn
- Girl Like Me
- Sunday Drive
- Black White & Blue
- Manipulating Woman
- Blue Eyes
- The Quick & The Dead
- Gone Gone Gone
- My Delirium
- Better Than Sunday
- Another Runaway
- Love Don’t Live Here
- Back of the Van
- Paris Is Burning
- Professional Suicide
- Dusk Till Dawn
- Crazy World
- Morning Dreams
Ladyhawke Anxiety, Depression and Drinking Problem
Brown opened up about her anxiety and depression, she revealed that after the release of her critically acclaimed 2009 debut she wasn’t prepared for success and the public profile that came with it.
“I think it took quite a toll on me. People would come up to me and talk to me. I wasn’t used to it and it really had an effect on me. It made me retract into myself even more and I became a little bit of a
When it came time to making her second record, aptly titled Anxiety and released in 2012, Brown was over it.
“I was exhausted because I’d toured the first record for two years and I just felt like getting away. I didn’t want to be in it anymore. I have heard a lot of people say, ‘Well, you put yourself out there’, and I hate that because I can’t help — and this probably makes me sound like I’m a douchebag, and I don’t want to sound like that — but I can’t help that I happen to be good at music”, she says.
“I’m a creative person and that’s one thing in my life I’m good at. It’s something I know I can do. It’s great performing for people and knowing they’ve spent their hard earned money on buying an album or a ticket to your show. I love that. I really do. And I love meeting fans.The thing I struggle with is people having an opinion on your personality and thinking that you’re asking for criticism because you are putting yourself out there.”
When asked about how she deals with critics on social media and whether she reads the comments she says
“Oh, God no! That would send me into a downward spiral. The only place I read the comments is on Instagram because my fans there are really nice. I really love the fact that it’s me on my phone just posting photos.”
Brown also struggled with a drinking problem and she would never perform sober because she was just too nervous to get on stage without a drink.
“It had reached the point where I was drinking way too much and I wasn’t even drinking for a reason. I was sort of messing up a little bit. I was cancelling appointments and writing sessions — yucky flaky
behavior, because I was too hung-over basically, I’d get in a circle of despair and it would be a chicken and egg scenario of depression and drinking.”
Brown decided to quit drinking after she had an ‘Out of body experience’ while lying on the couch one morning with a hangover.
“It’s almost like I had an out-of-body experience and I saw myself and thought ‘You’re horrendous’. What was fuelling everything was the depression. I just wanted to do anything that I could possibly do to make myself feel better and if that meant cutting out alcohol, I was 100 percent willing to do that.”
“The first couple of shows were hard, and I was so nervous. But it was also because I haven’t played in three years. And then, I played the Auckland City Limits show and I was really excited and had a really good time. I felt confident onstage and the crowd was amazing.”
Ladyhawke Love Song
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