It’s fair to say that Kate McGill hasn’t done anything the ‘normal’ way in her rise to musical Stardom. Starting at 17 uploading a cover of Bright Eyes to YouTube, Kate 4 years on finds herself with over 24 million views, and over 100,000 subscribers.
Kate has now embarked on a tour of Café Nero’s across the country after agreeing a deal for the chain to sell her debut album “Replaced”. The Welsh born singer-songwriter describes the move as “unusual but refreshing,” stating that she has always been one to do things in a “quirky manor.” Platform managed to catch Kate on her visit to Nottingham at the Cafe Nero on Angel Row.
“It came about really because my manager knew the owner of the chain. They offered to sell my CD and the chance for me to go on tour around the country at their venues, it’s been absolutely brilliant so far.”
With the music industry harder to get into than ever, finding new ways to achieve success is hugely important. Kate is one of the new generations of musicians who have YouTube to thank for their success. Starting off by uploading covers and presenting a weekly show called the “Tuesday Afternoon Project” with her friend Ollie, Kate gained millions of views.
“When I look back on some of the early videos I, do cringe a bit, especially the Tuesday Afternoon Project, that was such a poor representation of me as a human being, I don’t actually swear that much! They won’t be coming back as me and Ollie are just too busy doing our own thing right now, but we still keep in touch.”
The music side of Kate’s YouTube channel however is now bigger than ever and is getting more and more subscribers by the day. Although it is certainly an unusual way to start off as an artist it has worked for the likes of Little Boots and Justin Bieber in previous years.
“It’s a great way to do it. This way you have more creative freedom and get to skip out the middle man, you can put up literally whatever you want.”
The young songwriter also sees this way of reaching out to fans as a way to “build stronger connections with fans and actually connect on a personal level with the audience.”
This is something that is clearly evident at her live shows. Her gig in Nottingham attracted a strong loyal crowd who all knew her material note by note and afterwards she milled around with the audience as if they were all long lost friends. The show itself is hugely intimate and ever so slightly spellbinding. Throughout the majority of Kate’s set you could hear a pin drop.
“I like my shows to be really intimate and quirky, I would much rather play to a small audience like this then play somewhere like Wembley.”
Despite attracting most of her fame through YouTube covers she treats the audience to her new album but did sneak in a gorgeous cover of “The A team” by EdSheeran. After attracting such a huge amount of views through her covers on YouTube one could not blame Kate if she was nervous writing and releasing her own music.
“It was extremely organic and surprisingly easy. The first song I wrote, I just woke up that day and decided today I am going to write a song and I did.”
Kate’s solo album is written in a similar vain to the majority of the songs she covers, finding a mix of acoustic guitar and airy synths.
“It’s just full of great pop songs; the biggest influences on it are the likes of Bon Iver and Ellie Goulding. I love that kind of alternative synthy folk.”
Kate’s tour hit 34 venues in just 24 days and is rapidly reaching the end. Now it’s time to decide where she goes next, whether to continue down the alternative route that has really worked for her or whether to follow down a more traditional path.
“First thing I will do is sleep for like a week. Then I want to carry on doing things like this, finding quirky ways to reach people and to sell my music because that’s much more me than playing big venues.”
Kate McGill’s album ‘Replaced’ is available to buy from Café Nero’s all around the country and is also available as a download on itunes.