British singer-songwriter Phildel Ng released her debut album to much acclaim in 2013 but, without her determination to pursue a career in music, her beautiful songs may never have reached her worldwide audience.
Aged nine, Phildel’s parents and her mother remarried a man with fundamentalist religious views. As well as moving the family to a different area, she was forced to change her name and was treated almost like a slave for the next decade, being told that this was “just a part of me being prepared for womanhood”, she says, “The kind of thing of thing that is going on for girls in this country every day.”
Music was forbidden – no radio or CDs and her piano was taken away – so she would use the school’s piano to write her own compositions with the help of sympathetic teachers. At the age of seventeen, Phildel ran away from home to follow her dreams of becoming a musician and put together her first recordings using borrowed or second-hand equipment and demo software.
Phildel’s involvement in Postcards For Peace comes from a desire to help others who may be going through a similar experience to her own, “I personally feel that my stepfather’s behaviour was 100% psychology and nothing to do with the religion he used to justify his treatment of us. It all comes down to the fact that he couldn’t communicate. He was isolated, and men in general are not encouraged to seek emotional support in the way women are – they cannot ask for help.”