Finding your voice amidst the noise of New York City is no easy task. Honestly, finding your voice anywhere as a twenty-something with big dreams is a challenge. That’s the message Little Voice, now streaming on AppleTV+, conveys through its main character, Bess King. As an aspiring singer, she struggles to muster up the courage to share her songs with the world. Pair that with a couple of poorly received performances, and you’re left with a young woman plagued with the fear that she might not have it—that undefinable something that separates the good from the great.
We meet Bess writing music in a storage facility (definitely a far cry from a studio). She’s interrupted by a cute filmmaker/potential love interest named Ethan who tells her that her song is “beautiful” and “special.” But, she insists, they’re just for her. “I think everybody doubts themselves, especially when you do work that is so vulnerable to you,” Brittany O’Grady, who plays Bess, tells Glamour. “That feeling of not feeling good enough is a very common thing to see.”
The Sara Bareilles-produced dramedy—which includes songs written by the Grammy-winning artist—is partially inspired by her own experiences in the industry. The title of the show is even based on Bareilles’ sophomore album, Little Voice. O’Brady admits that working with the singer was a huge part of her desire to join the show. “We all grew up listening to her music,” she says. “So that was really exciting.”
The magic of Little Voice is in part due to O’Grady’s authentic performance. She’s able to transcend a story about a singer to make it something even more relatable: a woman trying to find her place in the world. “I hope that the audience can feel validated in some certain shape or form, especially for people in their twenties,” O’Grady explains. “I hope they take away some sort of comfort, validation, maybe even an uplifting distraction. Maybe peace of mind or just feeling like they can identify with the story or the characters.”
By the end of the pilot, Bess turns on a lamp that lights up her lyrics: “I don’t know anything…yet.” It gives a glimmer of hope that her musical journey isn’t over. And when it comes to singing, Bess and O’Grady have something in common. “I guess this was my calling,” she says.
Little Voice is now available on AppleTV+.