Megan has single-handedly reached just over 10,000 subscribers and notched up over 750,000 total video views.
She has opened gigs for singer/songwriter Nina Nesbitt, and her YouTube channel has gotten recognition from the likes of Gavin James, Hozier, Kodaline, Orla Gartland, Mike Dignam and many more.
We asked her more about her step into the YouTube world and how this has kickstarted her singing career.
One influential singer, and what it is that makes them stand out to you?
Without a doubt, Hozier – he’s sonically emotional, has an incredible voice that lures the listener in and he’s also very poetic with his lyrics.
Biggest challenge to breaking out and sharing your music with new people?
The whole “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” motto. Sometimes you could put in every ounce of blood, sweat and tears into your music, but all it could take to “get there” is to be in the right place at the right time with some very right people.
Something that’s worked for you in reaching a larger audience?
I always make it a point to be consistent and interactive online with my music. Not soul-destroying addicted to social media, but just pushing some emails and tweets here and there to make myself a little bit more visible online!
Congratulations on getting over 10k subscribers! What inspired you to start a YouTube channel?
Thank you very much, I’m over the moon with it! I had two reasons.
The first was watching people cover different songs and putting their own spin on it. I thought “why not give it a go?” But I was very young at the time and my mother didn’t like the idea of complete strangers watching her 11-year-old daughter on the internet, which is pretty understandable!
The second was to get some honest feedback and reactions from people who weren’t afraid to speak their mind about my own original music. I’d show my family and they’d be like “Oh that was great! Well done!”. Not that I don’t value their opinion, it’s just that the majority of them were almost afraid to hurt my feelings, so I didn’t always feel like I was getting the rawest feedback I could possibly get. And thus, my channel was born!
How do you choose which songs to perform next for your channel?
Usually, I look at the charts, or I might fall in love with a song all over again and it won’t stop looping around in my head! My viewers are also very helpful with their suggestions and decision making. I like to know what they want to hear!
A performance FAIL?
Not checking if my mic stand was tightened, my guitar strap falling off and having to perform 3 songs on one leg, slightly crouched over until someone came and rescued me!
A performance SUCCESS – and why…?
Hands down when I performed an acoustic version of ‘Mr. Brightside’ by The Killers at Nina Nesbitt’s London show in 2013. It was like a little throwback for everyone there and it made me realise how much I love the sound of a crowd singing back lyrics to you.
Favorite Vocal Gear and Why?
I love love LOVE my Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 condenser mic. It’s got such a crisp and organic sound to it and doesn’t make my bank account cry.
Watch the video that made Megan a finalist
What are the biggest up-sides and down-sides of entering the music world through YouTube and how have you overcome the down-sides?
The only downside I have to say about entering the music industry via YouTube is that a lot of people like to compare you to someone else. They see you first, instead of hearing you. If you look like someone, they will point it out. Then that’s when the comparisons roll into not just how you look, but also how you sound. The way I overcome this is to remember that you’re going to be compared whether you entered the industry via YouTube or not. Just take it on the chin and carry on as you mean to go.
A musical lesson you’ve learned the hard way?
Don’t drink a glass of cold water after warming up your voice, before you perform…
A vocal-singing lesson you’ve learned the hard way?
You sound stupid NOW, but you’ll sound pretty great, later.
A few ingredients of a memorable vocal performance?
Minimal distraction, a dash of captivity and a whole lot of emotion.
Most important lesson you have learned about social media?
It’s a very powerful tool and you have control of it. Use it wisely.
Most important lesson you have learned about vocal health?
Stay calm and don’t stress. Psychological laryngitis is very much a thing.
A question you wished we asked you – and your answer?
“What was your ‘I want to play/write music for the rest of your life’ moment?” – This might come as a surprise, given my genre of writing, but it was actually ‘Who Let The Dogs Out?’ by BAHA Men!
What is an area of your singing work/career that is a little (or a lot) unique or different that you could elaborate on.
When I was very young, I was diagnosed with asthma, which affects your breathing quite a lot. When you’re a singer, breathing properly is kind of a necessity.
Things like dust, smoke, stress/anxiety and even a head cold could trigger an asthma attack. Leading up to performances, I do get slightly stressed out and my breathing becomes a bit limited, making it difficult for me to rehearse a set. It does sometimes get in the way of performances, but thankfully, after having it for so long, I’ve found a happy medium between managing it and being able to rehearse just enough to the point of bearability!
Megan Collins is a 19-year-old, self-taught singer/songwriter from Cork, Ireland. You can find her posting covers and originals on YouTube and SoundCloud.