The Oracle

Q & A with “The Voice” singer Kat Perkins

Jody Peters, A&E Editor

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She recently made it to the top five on “The Voice,” and now Kat Perkins is ready to rock her home city. Although she was born in North Dakota, Perkins has lived in Minneapolis for the past fifteen years. The Voice helped expand her audience outside of the Midwest, but Perkins noted that she has plenty of experience performing locally. She said that she has been performing for most of her life and always had a passion for music.
“I started singing when I was about three years old; I always say before I started talking. I sang in front of an audience when I was four years old and I remember the first time I ever sang in public, and I was addicted from the get-go,” Perkins said. “I made up a whole bunch of my own opportunities to sing whenever I could and got in these talent shows and did this and that, and would like sing in the front yard instead of having a lemonade stand. But I started professionally at fifteen, and so I always kind of knew that it was my passion and that’s what I wanted to do.”
Kat went on to answer questions about her new album, her experience on “The Voice” and more. Here’s a glimpse of what went on during the interview:

The Oracle: What inspires you to perform?
Kat Perkins: The passion of music, just loving music down to my very very tippy-toes, my core. And I really got to know the power of entertainment going overseas to perform for the troops in the Middle East and I kind of got a new love for just entertaining people; that’s what I do. I just kind of lost touch with why we do that for some reason, and the troops just giving me that feeling of yes, people need to be entertained, people need to exit their brain for a couple of hours on the weekend or whatever. And that’s so inspiring for me to keep going, and that’s why we love it—that’s why it’s fulfilling.
O: What musicians have influenced you or had an impact on you?
KP: God, I was such an 80s girl, like Madonna—legendary Madonna, as a solo artist and how she created controversy, and I got to grow up with that and watch her push limits, and she was like today’s Miley Cyrus… But those are examples of artists; for bands, definitely Heart, Fleetwood Mac, Journey. Those were like my three bands that I always went back to, and played that record, and loved their music.
O: Who would you love to collaborate with?
KP: Probably Steven Tyler. I think it would be so frickin’ fun to just sing with him, write with him; he’s such a rocker. And he’s been one of my icons I guess too, on the male side of things, but that’d be a dream collaboration.
O: What styles of music would you like to experiment with?
KP: Oh, you know what, I love them all. One of the things that I listen to when I’m not performing is blues, and I would love to get the hang of writing blues kind of music. I can sing it, I just don’t write it. And to be able to write that style of music and perform it, I think would be such a challenge and such a really different thing for me. So remember I said that, because down the road that needs to happen; I need to like write it down on my goals list.
O: How would you describe your new album?
KP: You know, Fearless is definitely in that pop realm. For me, coming off the show being the rocker chick on “The Voice” was great, and I love rock music and that’s really the only thing I’ve ever written, but for me having a song coming off that experience I wanted it to be more about the message and the lyrics, and not the genre of it. So you know, I got to toy in this little pop top 40 realm with that single [“Fearless”], but the record is pop-rock, let’s just totally categorize it like that, because I think that encapsulates both [genres].
O: How was it different performing local shows in the Midwest and then going on to “The Voice” and performing on a national scale?
KP: Oh, God, it’s so much different, especially television. Television is completely different; it’s very timed out. It’s short and sweet and you have this much time to make an impact, where doing shows locally you get an hour at least, if not a couple, to get your point across and share your music. And you know, the intimacy of having people in a venue is awesome. When you’re on “The Voice”, there are people in the venue, but you’re thinking so much about the cameras, and your choreography and where you’re going with it and all those television people watching that you forget that there’s people in there. So there’s a disconnect. I like being connected with my audience, and coming back and doing these live shows definitely gets me back to that.
O: What was it like working with Adam Levine and the other coaches?
KP: He was amazing. Adam was truly inspiring, and I was scared he was gonna be icky; I was scared he was gonna be someone I never wanted to meet. But he wasn’t, he was nice, he was genuine, he is so talented—people do not realize how well-rounded that guy is. He can play drums, guitar, he writes, he’s a Grammy-winning artist. He was so gentle with me and at the same time gave me so much advice that I’ll take for the rest of my life. The other coaches were the same; Usher had an effect on me in the end. He really always had words of wisdom for me towards the last part of that show, and just giving me the courage every day to go on that stage and do what I do—do what I love to do.
O: What did you take away from that experience?
KP: Definitely I never thought I would have that much courage. I honestly never thought I’d have that. I learned my limits: I learned how to work many long hours and pace myself and still love what I do. And I learned a lot about social media. I learned a lot about what I love about social media and I learned a lot about what I hate about social media, and the negativity that can happen and that I subjected myself to out there. But it was all meant to be, and I definitely loved those lessons that I’ve learned, and I’ll take them and use them to take my career to another level, for sure.
O: What has the response been like since you’ve been off “The Voice?”
KP: It’s been incredible: the people that voted, and supported and watched all across the nation, not just in Minnesota, not just North Dakota. I’ve had people from Texas come up to me and be like, ‘We watched you, we voted for you, we love you.’ That blows my mind. And I’m a fan of the show, so I understand the demographic, I understand how many people it reaches, but I enjoy it. It’s weird getting recognized, but it’s something we all worked for as performers and singers. It’s kind of part of the job and we love that.
O: Do you feel like the representation of you on “The Voice” was fair, or do you feel like people didn’t see a side of you that you wish they would’ve?
KP: I do, I tend to say that I feel like it was about 85-90 percent real for me. And I’m not sure that a lot of other people felt that way on the show. I mean, I know some people did not feel that way. But I was really happy [with] the way that it was edited and how I was depicted. And I think mainly because I’m 33 years old, and I do know who I am maybe more than an 18-year-old girl or 15-year-old boy on the show did. So I just got to be real and talk about my real life experience and I was really happy how I turned out on the show.
O: Do you have any upcoming shows or any new material you’re working on?
KP: Lots of new material in the works. We’ve been writing, writing, writing; we’ve got an arsenal ready to go. We’re just kind of figuring out if we’re gonna do singles—I think there’ll be a second single in the business plan. And then maybe eventually working toward that record. And as far as shows go, my main mission after the show is to give back and do exactly that: for charity, for kids, we’re going overseas in December to perform for the troops for Christmas. And that’s gonna be something that I’ve always wanted to do with music, is do Christmas music for them and entertain them over there. And we’re going to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha for that one, so we’re really excited to do that again in December.
O: Do you have any advice for musicians who want to break into the industry?
KP: I think my main advice is work hard. It’s not gonna be easy, it’s never gonna be easy; hard work definitely pays off. Follow those dreams, no matter how old you are. It doesn’t matter what it is. If it’s your passion, trust your gut. That’s what Adam always said to me, trust your gut. And follow that passion; you never know. Step outside of the box and challenge yourself, because it might change your life.

For more info on Kat Perkins, you can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at katperkinsmusic or on her website, Also, her new album, Fearless, is currently available on iTunes.

Kat Perkins belts out her version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman” while competing on “The Voice.”

Kat Perkins belts out her version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman” while competing on “The Voice.”

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Q & A with “The Voice” singer Kat Perkins