If you notice that someone who plays the guitar and sings on YouTube happens to have nearly 131,000 subscribers and over 2.6 million channel views then you might think their music is worth checking out. And in the case of Plymouth-based Kate McGill you would be correct. Yes, I said OVER 2.6 MILLION channel views! In the brief time that Kate has been uploading videos of her playing her guitar and singing in her bathroom she has become an internet phenomenon in the truest sense. She started with simple guitar backed covers, then moved on to writing and performing her own songs, and can be heard making nice noises at the piano keyboard as well.
Kate has made just a few live appearances, but is a regular on blogtv where she also attracts large numbers of devoted followers. She always manages to bring something new and fresh to her covers, and songs such as Little Boat and Short Straw prove her to be a skilled and original songwriter. She recently picked up £25,000 in prize money when she was voted to victory by listeners in the 1click2fame online music competition. She has invested some of that money in a trip to L.A. where she met producers who have worked with the likes of Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus. Kate left University a while back to devote more of her time to music; a good decision in my opinion. It can’t be long before record companies start to become aware of her potential. August 2011.
Some time back Kate kindly agreed to an interview. Here's how it went:
Nick says: hi Kate
kate says: hi Nick!
Nick says: so what was the whole 1click2fame thing like?
kate says: aah. 1click erm it all happened really quickly to be honest. I signed up quite quickly and didn't think much of it! I saw the 25 grand available as sponsorship money and thought "fuck this, i'm doing it too". and then within a few months i'd been entered into the quarterfinal to win it... so i don't really have a massive experience of it.
Nick says: were you surprised to get so many votes?
kate says: not really! i plugged it absolutely everywhere, so it was expected but i was surprised to see other people not get as many...and was and still am baffled by this
Nick says: have you got plans now on how to use the prize money?
kate says: yeah, it's pretty much all planned out already! obviously, i've got my new guitar and am planning to get some quite basic recording equipment next month. and it's paid for my trips to L.A, London and soon to be Denmark! it's all going on writing different songs with different people, making sure I get the best out of it all
Nick says: the L.A. trip looked amazing...what were the highlights?
kate says: it sounds cliche, but it was working with the people i was with! they're such talented people, and we all got on really well
Nick says: what inspires you to write songs?
kate says: good question erm. it can be a mixture of a lot of things! including other musicians, such as the obvious Ellie Goulding and Bon Iver. or it can be the cliche ex-boyfriend who i still, at times, pine for. or it can be something as trivial as my brother pissing me off
Nick says: 'what you do to me' is one of my favourites, is there a story behind that song?
kate says: it's basically about the "x" not knowing the effect he had on me at the time. and the effect was a bad one, let's say. it's knowing this and trying to get past it
Nick says: it's a gr8 song. have strangers started to recognise you when you are out and about?
kate says: ha, yes i've had this joyous occasion a few times now! funnily enough, they've both been when I was working and looked a tragic state
Nick says: obv on blogtv ppl are watching you live, do you get nervous abt that, or abt a real live face-to face audience?
kate says: the first time i did blog tv, i was petrified! but i'm a lot better with it now, and it's helped a huge amount when performing in front of the real life human form and not just a screen ha! but i still get stupidly queasy about the thought of doing a gig. I'm going to have to get over that at some point!
Nick says: do you get to see much live music? has anyone impressed you?
kate says: at my last gigs, all 3 artists really impressed me! Natalie Evans in particular - what a talented girl she is. made me realise just how much 'competition' there is around not that that phases me much
Nick says: will you go to any of the festivals this year?
kate says: i'd love to! but i don't have the money for it all - including the travel up there!
Nick says: I understand you have appeared in at least one national magazine. maybe more now. How did that happen? What was it like?
kate says: i've heard from 2 people that apparently i'm in PR weekly this week! brilliant. me and my manager got an email from a lady from Company saying they were doing a feature on "the bedroom popstar" for the March Music Issue, and would I like to be a part of it. i was so excited when I got the email! and the photoshoot was a completely different kettle of fish. incredible nerve-racking and i felt like an absolute idiot - but it was worth it. even if the picture is nowhere near my favourite i've had a few people come across me via the magazine! mental
Nick says: i'll have to look out 4 PR weekly! whats getting all the plays on your ipod right now?
kate says: Ellie Goulding's 'Lights'. can't tear myself away from the bloody thing. i'll listen to that for about 80% of the day, and when i eventually think "come on Kate, move on", I'll just change to Bon Iver. and then i repeat the next day. it's amazing
Nick says: Ellie goulding is amazing! i agree. would you ever like to sing / play with a band?
kate says: definitely! hopefully when I get a good catalogue of songs written, i'll acquire lovely band members to play and record with! can't wait
Nick says: Will you move to London or stay in Plymouth? Or move to L.A.? Or somewhere else?
kate says: haha, definitely not L.A! i love England too much, for some reason. i do hope to move to London eventually, but only when i absolutely need to. i'm a home girl, and can't bear to be away from home for longer than a week. i'm also going to have to get over THIS at some point!
Nick says:haha! do you want to be signed to a label or are you happy doing things independently?
kate says: i think i'd like to try the label thing at first! if it went down well and was a good experience, then brilliant! but if not - i know i've got enough support to do it independantly!
Nick says: yes true. any regrets abt leaving Uni?
kate says: none whatsoever. best decision i've ever made
Nick says: how did u get on with vocal coach Stevie Van Lange, when you recorded for 1click?
kate says: she's amazing! so bloody fun to work with and she helps so much. she can see your strengths and weaknessess straight away, and knows exactly how to improve them! not to mention one of the lovliest people i've ever met
Nick says: are you glad u did 1click and not x factor?
kate says: i'd never have done x factor. just not me at all! so glad i did 1click though, they've been brilliant and the sponsorship is an absolute bonus.
Nick says: what is it abt Ellie Goulding that you like her so much?
kate says: honestly, i think it's because there's no reason why i can't follow in her footsteps. and that's so exciting to think of. not to mention her absolutely incredible voice and what she can do with it. i can relate to her songs more than any i've ever listened to. she's on a pedastul, and i can't see her ever stepping down.
Nick says: do you worry abt ppl downloading all your songs for free?
kate says: not the original youtube ones, because they're bad quality - and i'd rather more people find out about me and enjoy me at this stage than get money from it! however, when i eventually release my demos/singles or whatever - i'll be really defensive about the whole thing. i think if you really believe and love an artist, it's important to support them.
Nick says: true. Kate you are of course unsigned at present but do you worry about the way record companies often try to commercialise artists, push and them into a formula?
kate says: definitely i've already felt this pressure which is a shame. if you want to get on the radio and sell records, you have to fit into a certain category it's just up to you what path you want to take
Nick says:really? u have?
kate says: yeeeah like, when writing songs with people, i'll want to go a certain way that perhaps doesn't fit into the 'pop' way of thinking, and it just doesn't happen
Nick says: yeah
kate says: i can understand why. if people can't identify with it, then they won't like it
Nick says: Kate good luck for the future and thank you very much indeed for the interview
kate says: you’re welcome.
©2011 The Vibe Detective
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In late 2011, McGill performed songs from her debut album live in 34 Caffè Nero stores across the U.K. to promote her newly-released album Replaced. She has been played on BBC Radio 2 since December 2008. During her career McGill has uploaded over 100 videos with over 8 hours of footage, with strangers from around the world covering her original songs. In late 2010 McGill beat over 2000 competitors to win Tesco Entertainment's 1Click2Fame netting her a £100,000 prize. McGill has gathered a growing fan base over the years, Kate has nicknamed her fans 'McThrills', the official McThrills fan page can be found on Facebook.
On 3rd November, 2012, Kate announced that she would no longer be performing by herself. She stated that she no longer desires to be known as "Kate McGill, that girl that covers songs on YouTube" in a YouTube video published on her main account, Katem3, under the title "My Last Ever YouTube Video." She played a farewell gig on Wednesday, 19 Dec 2012 at Surya in London. Tickets for this event were very limited and were sold out within a very short space of time.
On the 22nd March 2013, Kate announced she had formed a new band with Daniel Broadley and Carl Jones called 'Meadowlark'. On the same day they released a live version of a track titled 'Family Tree' which focuses on Kate's home life. August 2013.
Forlorn by Meadowlark, the official audio upload to Youtube.
Melancholy Melody: A re-recording of a song Kate often sand during her Blogtv performances.
You're All I Wanted from Kate's debut album Replaced. The songs on the album feature swirling, multi-tracked vocal and keyboard production - a clear break from her familiar vocal-and-guitar style. This may not have instantly pleased all her listeners, but it was a bold decision that further demonstrated her musical versatility.
Kate performs Full To The Brim (from Replaced) with backing vocals from her adoring audience at her farewell gig as a solo artist at Surya in London - December 19 2012.