We are rolling out a new section here in Hanson Philippines where we feature notable Hanson fans from all over the world who do/did a great contribution in the Hanson community. Here in HansonPH.net, we believe we all have a voice and should be heard. To kick this off, meet fellow Hanson fan Barbara from Canada.
Tell us a bit about yourself
Hello! My name is Barbara Allin and I am the creator of THE HANSON PROJECT. Born November 22, 1980, I am the wife of a professional actor and mother of three wonderful boys. Currently, I reside in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
In 2001, I went through college and became a counselor within social services, which is what I do when I’m not with family or creating music. Although, I do have a pretty serious side, I think I can easily be described as one who is always coming up with ideas to create something! I am told I’m pretty quirky, and I absolutely love travel and adventure. As often as I can I am travelling to far away lands. My favourite travel was to India in 2015 with my husband. Such authentic, beautiful people and a humbling experience to say the least!
I became a Hanson-fan in 1997 when I heard their hit song, “MmmBop”. My younger sister was a huge fan of Hanson and I was exposed to them mostly through her and at that time, I worked at a music store and was around their music a lot. As time went on and Hanson went off the radar, my attention turned to other music; mainly pop and rock. That being said, songs like MmmBop, Weird and Where’s The Love had always stayed a staple in the back of my mind.
Fast forward to November 2016, I was looking through my Facebook feed and randomly saw this ad for Hanson’s 25th Anniversary performance of MmmBop. I’d always loved that song and so I decided to check it out. I was stunned! I couldn’t believe how great Hanson sounded! How they’d grown up! I quickly followed the links to find tons of their music I’d never known even existed. I was hooked! From there I bought many of their albums and became a fan-club member to get a hold of their EPs and more intimate musical projects.
I’d have to say, out of so many amazing songs Hanson has created, some of my favourites are “Been There Before”, “Siren Call”, “Freak Out” and “Give A Little” to name ONLY a few. As for my favourite Hanson; my heart has been split three ways. Each of the guys seems super cool and they each bring such distinct, awesome vocals and such unique instrumental talents that I seriously cannot pick just one!
How and why did you get into music?
Music has always played a huge role in my life. That being said, I considered myself a “closet performer”. The girl who dreamed about being a performing artist, but was totally terrified of standing in front of a crowd. I did, however, love to write! You could find me writing songs that I would make my own music to vocally, no instruments. Strictly because I couldn’t play anything! It got to a point where I wanted to make actual music with all the things I had written and so I went to friends who could play instruments. It didn’t take long for me to realize I needed to learn how to play an instrument on my own; to create what I so badly longed to create! So I chose an acoustic guitar! Every guitar lesson I had ended up going from learning the chords to making music from something I’d written; inspired by myself and others. I even ended up making songs about my favourite TV shows! Anything that inspired me, it became mine to create music.
When you watch my videos in The Hanson Project, you will see me on piano a few times. I have not mastered the piano as of yet (on my To-Do list!) but I did purchase a keyboard, figured out chords to create a basis for all of my piano songs in this project, then had my friend and piano teacher, arrange the chords I had structured to become beautiful songs. The songs I play he had arranged and taught me how to play those specifically for The Hanson Project.
I would consider my music primarily is Indie-Pop, but I strive to develop different styles of music when I feel compelled.
“Grace Unknown – #3 of 25” (Editor’s note: This song might make you tear up!)
What inspired you to do The Hanson Project?
When I had first seen the 25th anniversary performance of MMMBop, from there I started following Hanson and I realized they were coming to Toronto for a concert this October. I thought it would be fun to go and so I went to buy tickets and they were all sold out — Either sold to fans or to scalpers who were selling Hanson tickets at a price I just couldn’t afford.
Then my mind started to wander about creative prospects with Hanson. Being that I love their music and I feel such a connection to their creative process within their music, I considered that I just might want to write a song with them!
Why not, right?!
So at that moment I just decided to do it! But how? Well, as I pondered ideas on how exactly I was going to get myself to write a song with Hanson, I took a step back and looked at them as both a band and as individual people.
I started researching Hanson, watching, and listening to every single detail I could find of them. I quickly realized the many faucets of Hanson in their careers, family and outside interests. I happily found myself swimming in a sea of Hanson-inspiration for my project! I started to take areas of the band that I found inspiring and would focus on that specific thing, write out lyrics, figure it out on my guitar and create the song. I made the choice to create 25 videos for The Hanson Project, coinciding with their 25 year anniversary.
I feel extremely connected to all of the songs I have created for The Hanson Project, but there are a few that stand out, which are “Grace Unknown”, “Back To The Island” and “The Beer Song”.
I consider myself a spiritual individual and for me “Grace Unknown” not only was inspired by the words of Isaac Hanson in his Grace Unknown podcast, but each word in my song runs deep within me. So much of my life I have been shown Grace Unknown and I feel so blessed each day to live the life I do.
The song “Back To The Island” I adore because I have always been an island-girl at heart. From working on a cruise ship in my younger years where islands were at my beckoning call and some of the best times in my life, to travelling to sun and beaches whenever I can. The Island Song not only encapsulates all that I see Hanson’s Back To The Island week to be, but it also holds a soft spot in my heart for all that it is as well, on a very personal level.
“The Beer Song” was filmed with the help of my younger brother and we had so much fun! I love this song because of the light-hearted, fun energy that it carries. When I wrote it, I envisioned sitting with Hanson, drinking MmmHops, laughing our ass off and just creating music! Such a lovely feeling to resonate in when creating a song. I also love how I was able to put so many references to what transpired with Hanson in their creation of MmmHops and the references to so many different Hanson things (like Hop Jam, Mustang Brewing and MmmBops and MmmHops, to name a few).
Although my initial thought in building this project was of purely fun and creation, I soon found that The Hanson Project was a lot bigger than I had originally anticipated! It challenged my patience, my creative mind, the commitment I had made to myself and to others, and mostly, it challenged who I was as a person. I recognized who I am through this project and who it is that I want to be. The Hanson Project has given me an opportunity to challenge my deepest fears of self-doubt and become stronger in the woman and artist that I choose to be. (I think breaking into “I Was Born” here would be appropriate! LOL)
As for my family, they are extremely supportive of my music and of The Hanson Project. My wonderful husband, Jason, has worked along side me doing all the editing for all my videos and filming footage for most.
The final video release day for The Hanson Project will be on September 25, 2017. If all goes according to plan, I am hopeful this project will be loud enough to get the attention of Isaac, Taylor, and Zac and that they will appreciate all that The Hanson Project and myself as an artist, has to offer. My goal is to write a song with them, so we will see what happens! I am open to whatever opportunities come my way.
What’s your message to Hanson?
First and foremost, I want to THANK Hanson for the enormous amount of inspiration that they have given me as an artist. At every turn through The Hanson Project and in my moments of doubt, somehow, somewhere, I would come across them talking about being who you are meant to be. That anything is possible with hard work, dedication, and living from the heart. The second thing I would suggest is that they seriously need to write a song with me and should make it happen. 🙂
A big thank you to everyone for your support with The Hanson Project! It means a lot, so thank you for your kind words and efforts to follow me on this musical ride.