The support of Abigail Pinehaven’s viewers was the only thing that kept her going

When she was in the most difficult point of her YouTube journey the main thing that motivated her was her viewers. Now Abigail Pinehaven does full-time YouTubing with zero regrets. Savannah Duncan hears her story.

Abigail Pinehaven began to slow down her speech as she tried to remind herself of a massive challenge she had to face, within her four-year YouTube career. It was not long before her speech pattern was normalised, and she began to tell her YouTube journey.

“Um, so I think for me I struggled actually last year because I was going to college and I was doing an acting foundation course,” she says.

“I was getting up at six o’clock in the morning, and I was not coming home until like eight o’clock at night.

“It was very intensive because it’s an acting course, it’s creative as well. So, when I come home I’ve got no energy, I’ve got no motivation, and I have no creativity as well. Because I’ve literally spent it all at the college but something that got me through. It was- and this is a little sappy I will admit, but it was the comments and the messages.

“Even when I haven’t posted for two, three, months people are kind of still coming up to me in-game and saying, ‘oh hi you’re a YouTuber, hello!’ and that kind of re-sparked the love and the joy from it for me… I’m going to make sure that what I’m creating is positive in the community.”

Abigail is a 19-year-old YouTuber who creates equestrian gaming videos mainly with the popular horse game Star Stable Online. However, she can also be found producing content with games such as Minecraft, Alicia Online, Rival Stars and Red Dead Redemption 2.

She started her YouTube career on the 27th of December 2017 at age 15, with an editor programme she had gifted to her for Christmas that year. Abigail has always wanted to practice editing and used her channel as a fun way to gain the experience.

At first, she was not taking YouTubing as a career path. But as her channel leapt from zero – 56.5K subscribes in four years, she explained how her viewers played a key role in maintaining her motivation to produce content.

Minecraft tutorial: Abigail’s digital barn tour

She takes in a sharp breath. You could hear the excitement in her voice as she says: “When I was kind of balancing my real life and my YouTube life, just having interactions with people – they didn’t necessarily have to be fans, just people reinforcing that what I’m doing is helpful and positive. That re-sparked everything for me.”

At first, Abigail wanted to pursue an acting career. Once her college acting course ended, in March 2020, she applied for a degree in drama. Unfortunately, she was not accepted into her preferred university.

“That for me ended up being a positive thing because in acting. Obviously, it’s a very person to person contact and in the current virus situation that’s not possible

“A lot of people I knew from college, who went onto university, are doing online school and there is only so much you can do online for an acting course.”

Abigail is now YouTubing full-time and has not applied for a university for the next academic year, because she wants to wait until the virus is under control so it will be safe and worth studying a drama degree.

At the beginning of her YouTube career, she was not adamant on her channel being found. Instead, she felt embarrassed by the idea that others may view her channel as strange.

Equestrian gaming: Farming Simulator 19 letsplay

“I stopped being afraid that people would find my channel… when I hit 40,000 subscribers somewhere in August,” she says.

“I’m not ashamed of it anymore.”

The fact that Abigail was finally able to feel comfortable with her channel, was when she felt she had reached true success within her career.

Eventually, she found a love for live streaming following her first live stream on May 21st, 2019. Afterwards, she was doing an hour livestream every day in July.

“I didn’t have that much practice to be fair,” she says, “obviously I did have that fear of like, what if no one turns up?”

She started her first event in July 2019, when she hosted an in-game Star Stable Online world tour. Where she visited various servers within different regions of the world, so she could branch out and meet other viewers which she could not usually meet, for games and activities.

“For me, seeing them in-game gave the entire region a personality and that was so beautiful to me, to be able to see these people interacting with each other.”

You can hear Abigail try to maintain her giggles as she spoke about the
relationship she had with her viewers. All her words bounce off the walls as if they were dancing with one other.

It is clear Abigail Pinehaven strives to enforce positivity within her viewers, whilst they consistently motivate her to continue to create content even in her darkest of days.


Singer Cole LC is taking UK airwaves by storm

Cole LC: Photo credit to Max Cheshire

The 17-year-old artist talks to Khadisha Thomas about busking, signing to Columbia records and ‘Letter to Piotr’, a song dedicated to his late friend.

Cole Lawton who goes by the stage name Cole LC is the latest act to emerge on the UK music scene. He’s been compared to Ed Sheeran who he lists as one of his biggest inspirations and recently collaborated with high profile drill artist Double LZ. The rising star who crosses the genres of RnB and rap is played on national radio stations BBC Xtra and Capital Xtra.

At just 17 he’s signed a deal with Columbia records so it’s safe to say that he’s in his prime and has a long career ahead of him. However, before the music industry presented itself Cole was your average young lad hailing from Leeds.

“My earliest memory probably would be, you know them little yellow cars you get when you’re a kid, I remember running to one of those, I must of been in nursery, and I dropped and scraped up my arm,” Cole says.

He laughs as he reminisces on one of his sharpest childhood memories and over his belief that his mother wouldn’t be pleased that the only thing he can remember is his yellow car-induced casualty.

Growing up Cole states that in school his teachers described him as quite loud and a bit annoying. Cole jokes that if he wasn’t doing music he would probably be messing about in college somewhere in Leeds.

“I wasn’t the most perfect student in the world but I was an enthusiastic kid,” he says.

That enthusiasm was particularly directed towards the subject of music and being part of a family that had a strong passion for music was also a big influence to him.

“My parents were always into music and I was always into different musicians, and I had a lot of older friends who were rappers, so I’ve kinda always been around it. There wasn’t really a point where that was my choice.

“It’s always been a thing that I enjoyed and everyone that I looked up to has been in music, so I wanted to get where they were.”

Official music video: ‘Westbrook’

Cole first sang to an audience when he took part in a school talent competition at age 12 but before he worked up the courage to perform, singing would be something he kept behind closed doors, that perhaps his family would hear only if they put an ear to his door.

“I was embarrassed because there weren’t many boy singers but then I did a talent competition at the end of Year Six and I won that” said Cole.

He was gifted a speaker a year later and decided to take it into the town centre where he started busking.

“I think busking is one of the best forms of promotion because you’re just giving the music first hand and that’s how I built up my ting,” he says.

According to Cole there was never a dull day on the shopping high streets of Bradford.

He smiles cheekily as he shares one of his busking experiences.

“I remember this one time these crackheads were walking past and they were like ‘you don’t deserve all that money, gimme that money, pack up and leave’ I was like ‘alright alright mate’ and then a guy from a shop come out and was like ‘leave him alone’.”

Cole believes that his days busking gave him even more drive and that without it he wouldn’t be as thick skinned as he is now.

“You got to be resilient and not care what people are saying or think because people will shout things or say things but they’re saying that probably just to get a laugh out their mates, they’re not trying to hurt you. You just got to take the negative things and brush it off. Most of the time the positives outweigh the negatives,” he says.

With nothing but a dream and a voice every weekend Cole set off to the streets of Bradford, but singing to the public could only achieve so much. To expand his reach he posted covers on the internet and he recognizes how integral the internet was to his success.

“I think it’s benefited everyone a lot, 100%, without the internet it would be harder for people to notice you. If you got a million people from different countries they’re the people who will take you to the top, not these men in suits. That’s the most important thing, people who are sat at home who can connect with your stuff.”

His covers received a lot of praise and soon enough they were seen by online platforms who noticed the teenagers potential.

It wasn’t long before Columbia Records, the label behind big UK artists like B Young, Deno and Da Beatfreaks, approached Cole.

“I was sat in my room with my mum when I signed it in quarantine which wasn’t ideal but it was good tho! It’s opened doors for me and it’s a whole new experience, it’s going into a whole new lid.”

At the mixing desk: Photographed by Max Cheshire

Cole is amazed by all the support he gets from producers who have years and years of in-depth knowledge. The record label helps with ideas for music videos, cover art and he feels lucky to be in this position at such a young age.

“I feel like there’s more stability in what I’m doing, it’s not going out on the weekend trying to busk and earn a bit of money,” Cole says.

A few weeks ago his close friend, Piotr Piekara, sadly passed away and in his memory Cole made a heartfelt song for him called ‘Letter to Piotr’.
The experience has made Cole mature and see how vital music is to expressing his emotions. He doesn’t only want to make songs that people can vibe to, but songs that tell stories.

“The shock of it has really made me and everyone around me appreciate things more and makes me want to get the things out of my head that I want to be said or even the things I don’t want to be said but I’m gonna say it because I’m gonna regret not saying it in the future. Just want to share everything we’ve got because we might not always be able to.”

Tribute to a friend: ‘Letter to Piotr’

Despite dealing with the loss of his friend, Cole wants to keep pushing and is excited for what the future holds. As soon as lockdown restrictions ease and a sense of normality returns he plans to do gigs all whilst continuing to release mixtapes.

“It’s kinda what carries me to be honest, everywhere I go I have music on and I express myself through it, now it’s my job and yeah man it’s just everything really.

“It’s communication and it motivates me.”

It’s clear to see that music means a lot to this young man and with bangers like ‘Rollin’, ‘Grip N Slide’ and ‘Westbrook’, we can only anticipate what more he has in store.