Four years ago singer-songwriter Kate McGill did not know what a YouTube “subscriber” was.
But she certainly does now, after attracting more than 130,000 followers – more than rockers Radiohead and even Coldplay – who have signed up to watch her on the internet.
Kate, 21, from the Peverell area of Plymouth, is launching an album as part of a nationwide tour of branches of the high street coffee shop chain Caffè Nero, starting with gigs planned for Exeter and Plymouth on MondayAnd since the former pupil of Notre Dame school in Plymouth uploaded her first video online in November 2007, she has become the
definition of an internet sensation.
She has uploaded 100 videos – more than eight hours of footage – and even has random people from around the world covering her original songs.
The videos she has uploaded have been viewed more than
22 million times.
The video to her debut single, Replaced, was uploaded on Friday and it’s already been viewed more than 81,200 times.
“It’s been insane,” said Kate of her fledgling career. “I don’t think it will ever sink in how insane it’s all been.
“Back when I uploaded my first video I didn’t know what a subscriber was. Now I have a crazy following all over the world.
“Originally I had no intention of becoming a singer, I wanted to be a professional dancer.
“I always enjoyed singing but I never thought myself to be good enough.”
Kate, who plays guitar and piano and sings, struck gold after winning an online competition in London when she secured a recording contract in LA.
During the recording of the album, she co-wrote songs with Ted Bruner, who has worked with Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus.
Kate is well aware of the power of YouTube and the way in which it has shaped and elevated her career.
Social networking websites have also helped her along the way. She has more than 43,000 Facebook likes, and has over 15,000 Twitter followers.
Kate still feels very connected and loyal to the website as she realises that she would not be the artist she is without it.
This counts for a lot for the new generation of music lovers out there.
“Without the online thing I would be nowhere,” Kate added. “I think the online world is such a big part of this generation and it can only grow.”
YouTube has not only kick-started her musical career, but given Kate a devoted following who value her both for her music and her undeniable character. Not every artist is as fortunate and many strive their whole working career to achieve the sort of relationship Kate has with her fans.
“I’ll definitely always continue to upload on there,” Kate said.
“It is literally the only reason I’m doing it and I wouldn’t be anywhere without it.”
Kate’s debut single, Replaced – and her debut album of the same name – is being released on Monday.