She’s an artist you’ve most likely crossed paths with over the past year or so. Maybe you’ve had your ears perked by one of her dreamy vocal hooks? Or maybe you caught the epic Stay at Home Festival set where she surprised everyone with some impromptu MCing? Either way, A Little Sound is a name causing a lot of commotion right now.
But Abigail Kate’s career could have been very different. Originally following the path of musical theatre, gun fingers and basslines weren’t always in this vocalist’s script. But, just like many of us in the scene, once we experience D&B it’s near impossible to break free from its charm. Let’s be real though, who would want to?
A Little Sound certainty doesn’t. Originally discovered in 2019 after uploading acoustic covers to her YouTube channel, over the two years since she has already penned two singles to UKF in the form of Lakota with Technimatic and Overload with Annix, alongside further collaborations with the likes of Kanine, Gray, Levela and Shapes. Like that wasn’t enough, A Little Sound is even in the process of developing a stage show incorporating singing, MCing and DJing.
She may only be 5ft 2, but she has a towering ambition, especially considering she’s also currently studying for a degree at university. UKF caught up with A Little Sound to learn a bit more about an artist who is only going to get louder.
How has 2021 been treating you so far?
I’m in my last year of uni so that has kept me busy. Everything I do on the course I try to relate to drum and bass though. I’m also in the depths of my debut solo EP on Born on Road, which will hopefully be coming out later this year.
I feel like your solo EP has been on the cards for a while now…
It has been in the works since I started doing D&B vocals with Gray on Fallen. At the beginning of 2019 when Born on Road first discovered me they asked if I wanted to do a solo EP, but I wanted to hold off until I fully found my place in the scene. Because of uni, it has been a slow process. It feels strange to have started my career so early before finishing education.
It’s funny because usually you expect to finish uni then turn your attention to a career, but the last year in particular has been a crazy one for your progression.
I have only recently realised how substantial it has been. Pushing my socials has been my main priority. I’ve been trying to put myself out there and show my personality. That’s something I’ve always done through my YouTube channel. Most people probably don’t show themselves online as much as me.
You originally built your name by posting YouTube videos didn’t you?
Yeah. I was singing covers of songs and making them my own. I got knocked back in the early days because I didn’t get many views, but then I did a cover of a dance track – Reality by Lost Frequencies – and it got over 100k views. Funnily enough, Kanine approached me after coming across my covers. It was the same with Technimatic. They saw my cover of Parallel then messaged me. So posting videos on YouTube has helped me. That’s how Justin Bieber got famous!
It’s crazy to think it was only in 2019 when you got your first D&B feature with Kanine. You’ve shown many different sides to your songwriting since then.
It was a big leap for my career. I hadn’t released anything until Face Away, so Kanine took his own leap working with me. We then did Back In Time a couple of weeks later. That led to Lakota with Technimatic, which shows more of my songwriting skills. The main thing I’m trying to do is write personal songs that can also be viewed in different ways. Like going back in time could mean reminiscing about someone who passed away, or it could be about going back to raves. It doesn’t get more personal than Lakota though. I wrote it in a way where it could be about a person or a relationship. I’m constantly trying to better my songwriting.
Where does your love for songwriting originate from?
I’ve been writing songs from as far back as I can remember. The moment I realised I was good at it was when I wrote a song called Buzz Lightyear in year seven. It was about a relationship, and the person in it was Buzz Lightyear. I sang it at a talent show and everyone loved it. Then I went on to study musical theatre at a uni in Chichester for a year. Everyone was constantly talking about musicals, and I was there like – have you heard this new D&B song?
That must have been difficult…
It’s probably the most depressed I’ve been because I had nothing in common with the people there. One day I sang one of my songs to a tutor, and she recommended I check out BIMM as they have a songwriting degree. I saw they had one in Bristol, so I left the course. It’s crazy because my career in D&B never would have happened otherwise. No one I knew liked D&B and I only went to my first rave at 18, but here we are! I made the jump.
Sometimes you have to take those risks in life in order to see what is possible.
The mad thing is, I was singing acoustic country tracks from the days of listening to Hannah Montana as a kid. Miley Cyrus’ country vibe was my inspiration. That’s what I was trying to do in Bristol. I was singing at open mics with my guitar, but I wasn’t getting the reaction. Something wasn’t clicking. But then I put one of those vocals onto a Gray tune and it clicked! Country meets drum and bass. That’s how it started.
It’s certainly a unique combo. The PAs you did at sit down raves last year must have been a completely different experience.
The sit down events have been massive for me. I was lucky to take part in many of the Lakota and High Rise ones in Bristol. Even if the volume was low, it was still great to perform to an audience. It was so difficult to hear myself singing because of the volume, but it was interesting to adapt the way I perform onstage. The audience could hear every single breath, so I didn’t enjoy that part, haha! The moment I had people shouting “I follow you on Tik-Tok” was one that made me realise I had a big following. Tik-Tok has helped people to recognise me as a vocalist, and having that platform has been beneficial to my career.
I bet you’re raring to get back on the stage and gain more experience.
I am because I feel like my performance has room to improve. Because I’m from a musical theatre background where I’ve performed onstage from a young age, I’ve always had confidence performing. But as soon as I’m put on a stage doing something I have a real passion for, that’s when I’m like – Oh my God… I’m analysing every aspect of it. I even forgot my own lyrics once at a sit down rave! I’d sung this song a million times. I don’t forget lyrics. That’s one of the things I’m trying to overcome with Kelvin (373). Getting rid of all that worry. Knowing I’ve got a big fan base behind me now will hopefully help. I just need to not worry about every little thing that comes out of my mouth.
Because it’s something you love, I imagine it comes with an added sense of pressure?
Definitely. The thing is, my first ever live performance was only in 2019 at Boomtown’s Wrong Side of the Tracks, singing to a tune AC13 and I did – just because I happened to be there. There was such a big crowd of people at the venue.
I couldn’t even get into that stage!
Neither could I… I was literally outside telling security I was due to perform, but because I didn’t have an artist band it was a struggle. Once I finally got to perform it was the best feeling ever! I was super grateful to have been given that opportunity so early on in my journey. I went from that to playing Lakota’s main room for Rumble In the Jungle with Inja there hyping me up. So I have gone from 0-100, and that’s why I feel so much pressure to be natural onstage. I need to stop overthinking things!
Despite your challenges onstage, when I see videos of you online you seem more confident than ever now.
Potentially because I’ve done quite a few live streams now. But I remember doing one with Born on Road and even then I was looking at Kelvin thinking – help, I don’t know what to say in this gap! So that’s why I included an MC verse in my last Stay at Home Festival set over Rum & Lime’s drop. It’s something I’ve spoken to Kelvin about for a while – working out how I can fill the vocal gaps in songs when I’m feeling awkward.
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That Stay at Home set shows just how far you’ve come. The Rum & Lime MCing caught everyone off guard!
I’m glad! It wasn’t perfect, but it provided something new. The fact I did it myself is something I’m proud of. I’m a massive fan of Koven, who has supported me the whole way. Watching her DJ and sing at Rampage made me go – you know what? I never usually get to put my own twist on tracks during DJ sets, so why not try and do it myself?
It says a lot about your ambition. A lot of people only see vocalists as someone who can sing, but really, there’s so much more you can do.
I get that a lot on my Twitch live streams. If someone joins and they don’t know it’s purely a B2B set then they’ll be like – sing Rum & Lime. That’s not what the stream is about. It’s ridiculous to expect a singer to only sing. Singing is such a strain on your voice if you do it too often. In terms of my ambition, I don’t just want to host a set where I have a 30 minute slot with someone pressing play on my tracks. I want to put on a show. That is hopefully going to make me stand out.
Love that. I hope we see more live sets from vocalists when events return.
Definitely. When Kelvin first put me on a live PA, I’d only seen Charlotte Haining, Inja and Gardna do it, but I hadn’t seen many other female vocalists do it. It’s building. There are a lot of females pushing the scene. You’ve always had Riya, Koven, Charlotte Haining and Charli Brix, but now you’ve got Ruth Royall, Emily Makis and many others coming through. You only have to look at Hospitality Weekend In The Woods and all the vocalists hosting stages.
It’s certainly positive! So looking ahead, are we only going to see A Little Sound get louder?
The sound is going to keep enhancing with every release. In terms of my writing, going back to the days of raving is what I’m writing about at the moment as that’s what we can all connect over. Once I get myself sorted onstage, I’m going to put together more DJing/singing/MCing sets. I’ve got a couple of events coming up in Bristol where I’ll try it out. I’ve also got another track coming with Annix and I’m working with Mollie Collins on an emotional liquid number. There’s no real sense of direction right now though, I just want people to keep connecting with my music.