"On Facebook I've more than 600,000 likes and I feel that's a more accurate number of people who are interested."

She currently has about 700,000 Facebook fans. These fans may have helped her get on stage with Call Me Maybe's Carly Rae Jepsen in New York City's Times Square during New Year's Eve last year - viewing her clip the most times so that she won an online video competition held by skincare brand Nivea.

Her fans also helped her to raise at least US$12,000 (S$14,900) for her first album, My Dream.

Referring to crowd-funding website Kickstarter, she says: "With Kickstarter, my fans were able to donate, and helped me make my first album.

"I got to my goal, was able to find a studio that could record within the budget, and made it as good as we could for where we were and what we had. It's really awesome that my fans back me up and support me so much."

With online adulation comes online vitriol. But Alvord says she simply blocks them out.

"Maybe one in 10 or one in 100 is negative, but you can't focus on that. You've got to take the good with the bad," says the singer-guitarist, who has been told her singing is bad by rude netizens.

"If you're on YouTube, you've got to block out the trolls or haters because they will always be there."

Her favourite type of fans, she says, are the ones who tell her: "I've never downloaded music in my life or legally bought it off iTunes, but I really like your music, I want to support you so I'm going to buy it and pay money for it."

For example, My Dream debuted on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart at No. 2.

She adds: "That always makes me feel special and confident. That they hadn't bought music before, but did it to support me."

rachaelb@sph.com.sg


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