YouTube’s Undiscovered – Kate McGill
5 years on from her YouTube debut, Kate McGill has made a name for herself amongst the online network of musicians who use the website to upload covers and original songs, sharing their music with an increasingly large and varied audience. Kate is a personal favourite of mine, having been introduced to her by my brother and subsequently attending one of her gigs in London last year. She is inspirational in her determination and hard work, extremely witty and commands a brilliant stage presence.
But who is she and where did she come from?
Kate began uploading covers in 2007, including Bright Eyes’ ‘Landlocked Blues’ and Gabriella Cilmi’s ‘Sweet About Me’. Original songs were added to the mix very early on, displaying her strong vocals and personal expression through her lyrical song writing. A simple guitar accompaniment often supports this original material, but never detracting from the emotional authenticity of her voice. Her melodies are particularly beautiful, rising and falling gently with the changing chords beneath.
In 2010 Tesco Entertainment held their 1Click2Fame competition, a relatively new contest which searches for the best online talent and which Kate McGill entered, simply by doing what she had been doing so many years before – uploading a video. Votes were cast by an audience of thousands and Kate was revealed as the winner of the competition, transforming her aspiring dream of being a singer-songwriter into a reality.
Still, this literal ‘one click to fame’ singer has not lost sight of her roots and those who have supported her from the very beginning. In a recent video marking her 100th upload, Kate thanked her ‘McThrills’ (a label for her supporters, with a humorous twist on her own surname) for their constant support, subscriptions to her YouTube account (which now total 151,919) and their dedication to her music through comments and attendance at her gigs. She describes her numerous uploads as ‘a lot of time gone into the online world’ and emphasises the importance of gathering her YouTube fans to her future musical career, surely reinforcing the significant role which social media can play in the 21st century.
Kate released her debut EP ‘Replaced’ in 2011 and has already been on a tour of the country, performing at many venues as well as a special Caffe Nero tour to promote her original music. Personal favourites from this EP are ‘Full To The Brim’, possessing a melancholic beauty in which her voice seemingly floats over descending chordal patterns whilst continuously growing in intensity and passion, and ‘Diamonds and Waste’, beginning with a vocal and piano set-up before entering a more upbeat chorus with catchy and carefully crafted lyrics such as ‘We are a pack of cards, I may be Ace but you are the King’.
Whatever is waiting for her in the future, Kate McGill will continue gathering followers, increasing her YouTube channel views which currently stand at over 30 million, and will doubtlessly never stop pursuing her musical aspirations. In this case, both YouTube and 1Click2Fame have shown what exciting potential there is in using online social media to create a fan base and share your music and interests. Kate is one of those singers at the forefront of this new generation of artists and we wish her well for the future – she is definitely one to watch.