Posted On 08 Sep 2015
Tag: Adam Levine, Aerosmith, All Access, All Access Music Group, Ann Wilson, Artist Interview, Dana Lowrey, Dream It Do It, Drive, fearless, Fearless Campaign, Fleetwood Mac, Grace Potter, Heart, Heather Holley, iTunes, Joe Bonamassa, John Fields, Journey, Kat Perkins, Miley Cyrus, North Dakota, Pink, Robben Ford, Scarlet Haze, Scranton, Selena Gomez, Stevie Nicks, The Voice, ZZ Ward
Fans of The Voice should recognize the lovely Kat Perkins. She was the winner of Season 6! Since those days, she has gone on to release chart-topping singles.
Her first single “Fearless” hit #5 upon release on the iTunes charts – produced independently and by John Fields (Pink, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez).
“It’s about freedom,” Kat said, “Escape…” she smiles then reconsiders the word. “For me, there is just this feeling that fills you when you’re behind the wheel. You can just go – ya’ know what I mean – you can really go anywhere.”
Enjoy the following All Access interview with Kat Perkins:
Thank you for your time! So, what’s a typical day look like for you lately?
After The Voice Season 6 I thought my days would get a little less hectic but I was totally wrong. I’ve never worked harder in my life, but I’ve also never been more satisfied with my career! I wake up early and do press for upcoming shows, single releases, album releases and new videos I have out. I still love to keep my daily workout routine so I try to fit that in in the mornings. If it’s a travel day, my band and I pile into the van and get on the road! I’ve been getting used to doing hair and makeup in the van with the help of my sister!
Most of my shows right now are early and outdoor so sound check is around 3 pm which means the boys set up all their gear asap after arriving to the venue. My recent shows have had remarkable attendance. Performing for 2000 + people has been a dream come true! Picking out an outfit for each show is one of my favorite events of each day. After the show, I ALWAYS meet my fans. It’s fun to be able to shake hands and thank all my fans that voted, supported, and continue to support my musical journey both on The Voice and beyond! After the show and meet and greet we pack up, go to a hotel and step and repeat for the next day!
If there’s ever a day off on my tour, we’ve been known to either find a golf course to pass our time or a water park for my swimming fix as I love to be in the water!
What was it like growing up in such a small town in North Dakota? What was it like finally moving to Minneapolis after you graduated from high school?
I grew up in Scranton, ND, a town of about 300 people! Everybody knows everyone and people wave to you as you drive or walk by. It was a very unique and of course, I didn’t know any different. I actually lived on a farm outside of the town where we grew wheat, oats, and barley. I rode 4 wheelers and dirt bikes and knew how to drive a grain truck by the age of 12. I had 9 kids in my class at school and for fun, we used to drive around the town listening to music and singing at the top of our lungs! I was very involved in my community and extracurricular events at school including choir, band, swing choir, speech competitions, math team, science team, Future Business Leaders of America, cheerleading, and National Honor Society.
I moved to Minneapolis directly after High School and it was a huge culture shock! I immediately found several opportunities to perform, sing, act, and dance. I felt like a kid in a candy store. Life was very different in the ‘big city’. I attended cosmetology school and at the same time I started several bands including my own original rock band called Scarlet Haze. It was so amazing and fun to finally be in a place with so much opportunity and fun! I felt like the world was my oyster!
Can you talk about your experience performing for our troops in the Middle East? Do you have any plans to return there?
I started performing for the troops back in 2012 at least once a year if not twice and it was life changing. It felt so great to be able to bring the gift of music and entertainment to our troops that simply love to have fun for a couple hours and decompress from their job overseas!
The magical part of performing in the Middle East is that we get to bring a piece of home to our troops to especially over the holidays. We’ve gotten to meet so many soldiers and even have gotten to see what a lot of them specialize in their area of expertise. They love showing us their jobs as we spend a few days with them on base just touring around visiting different departments. I absolutely plan on returning there as much as I can! We’ve already done 5 tours over there to this day. I’m very passionate about our troops.
Could you describe your experience on The Voice in just one sentence? What do you think is the biggest piece of advice your mentor, Adam Levine ever gave you while you were on the show?
My experience on The Voice was terrifying, exhilarating, stressful, wonderful, educational and I had a blast! The biggest advice Adam ever gave me was to believe in myself and my ability. I will take that with me as long as I live. He reminded me everyday why we are in this industry and he instilled a sense of confidence in me that was priceless! I’m trying to continue to pay that forward everyday!
Tell us about touring the US now and sharing your message to kids. What’s that experience been like for you? What’s been a favorite memory so far from the road? Why do you think this lifestyle fits you today?
I started an anti bullying campaign which I call the Fearless Campaign and sometimes refer to as “Dream It Do It” in August of 2014. I go around to schools to kids ages 4-18 talking about he importance of following their dreams and being kind to create a culture of success!
So far I have spoken to about 30,000 students in the Midwest and will continue in the 2015/16 school year and hope to expand it nationwide! The experience has been very inspirational. It’s amazing to meet talented kids that have so many passions and dreams!
One of my favorite memories from the school tour was when a very talented high school boy raised his had and said he wanted to be fearless and sing for me, so he grabbed the mic and beautifully belted out the national anthem in front of his whole school and me. It was truly fearless!
One of my favorite road stories with the band had to be the time we showed up to headline a show in Bismarck, ND in a football field. the show was outdoors and it was freezing outside! We all had to go get gloves and warm clothing at the local sporting goods store. But in the end, it was our single most attended shows to date. Almost 5,000 people showed up to support and listen to me sing!
This lifestyle has fit me my entire life. I have loved traveling from a very young age. I like to explore different parts of the world and I love to stay busy. I was born to entertain. I hope I can continue this lifestyle for many years to come!
What was it like finally putting out your very first single, “Fearless”? Where did the inspiration for the song come from? How is it different then the songs on your debut album? Were different things inspiring songs like “Drive” and others?
“Fearless” was my first single back in August of 2014. I wanted a song that encompassed the experience I had auditioning, competing, and filming The Voice. Fearless is such a powerful word and the idea came from 2 great writers – Heather Holley and Dana Lowrey. It was very important to me as an independent artist to have my first single express a powerful message lyrically. I wanted to inspire others with what I had just accomplished and I felt compelled to continue to tell a story through music. Fearless is different from my other songs on my debut album. It’s got that big ballad feel that I love. It’s timeless and very meaningful. Other songs on my debut album were inspired by life as well.
My second single, “Drive”, was most inspired by just simply having fun. It’s all about grabbing your friends, jumping in the car, rolling the windows down, blaring music, and singing your heart out! It’s completely opposite from “Fearless” but that’s exactly what I wanted. I’m a diverse fan of music and I think that shows when it comes to my artistry.
How do you think your sound and overall style has changed since your days on The Voice?
One thing I was most proud of on the Voice was that I stayed true to my style and sound all the way through the show. I got to be myself and remain true to my rock roots no matter what song I was presented on the show. I really feel like I still carry that trueness beyond the show. When it came to making a record I stayed true to my rock roots once again and got to translate my original sound into original songs. I’m so proud of the record and the sound I was able to capture on recording!
What are some of the artists that you have been listening to the longest? Who would you love to work with one day? Are there any new artists that you are really enjoying these days?
I’ve been listening to artists like Heart, Fleetwood Mac, Journey, and Aerosmith the longest out of any artist in my life. I’m a huge fan of classic rock in general and I continue to listen. I would DIE to work with Ann Wilson of Heart or Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac one day. They are my ultimate idols. These days however, I’m listening to a much more broad scheme of music. I’m completely into Blues artists like Joe Bonamassa and Robben Ford. I’m also currently obsessed with ZZ Ward and Grace Potter on the female side of things! Great music is great music no matter what genre!
I hope listeners pick up my album and feel something from my songs. That’s always my goal. A great song will make you FEEL something. Of course I set out to inspire with some of my songs and lyrics, but again, feeling emotion is what I hope some of my songs will do to people. Maybe my fans will want to dance, maybe they will feel motivated to do something with their passion, maybe they will want to just sit and contemplate life. I’m just hoping they will listen!
What’s been the most surprising thing to you about the music industry?
(Laughter) Sorry — what ISN’T surprising about the music industry?? I mean I’ve always known that I chose a very hard, demanding, unfair industry to be involved in but the surprises are endless in this field. I think one of my recent favorite discoveries however is how successful independent artists can be without the support of a record label. With the way that distribution is these days, it’s amazing how we can all get our music in front of fans with out having to have a label do that for us. I love that in this industry nowadays, hard work pays off. Persistence pays off as well. It used to be so hard to get the recognition and keep all the parts moving as an independent artist. I’m proud to be in the industry. I’m also very glad that the industry keeps us on our toes as artists so we don’t get lazy!
Where do you see yourself in 10 or even 20 years?
I definitely still see myself singing. I see myself writing, recording and making records till the end of my life. It’s what I do. It’s what I know. It’s what truly makes me happy. Happiness has always been the key for me. I love my life and I plan on continuing to love it forever. Performing and singing will always be who I am and it will always be what I do best. I hope I can continue to inspire others for the next years to come to follow their dreams, work hard, and challenge themselves. I plan on spreading the ‘Fearless’ message for the rest of my life. I think it’s what I’m supposed to do on this earth!