Kat Perkins Q&A

December 14, 2020
Kat Perkins got famous on "The Voice" and sings a mean version of "Barracuda"

“My favorite technique for managing stage fright is called grounding. It’s a form of meditation right before the event — takes like five minutes. You imagine connecting to the earth from the clouds to the core of the planet and then back to your own two feet.  Sounds kooky doesn’t it? However, it works.”

I love that YouTube clip of you singing the Adele song in the Amsterdam airport, which got the attention of producers of the Voice. Have you ever got the chance to let her know of the impact that had on your life?

I haven’t. How cool would that be if I could? I will definitely keep that in mind if I ever get the chance to meet her one day. That song and impromptu video changed my life. Who would ever think that taking three minutes out of my day at an airport piano could be so huge? It blows my mind. This is why I always encourage people to take weird opportunities. You never know what can happen. 

You’ve said that among the many pieces of advice Adam Levine gave you is how to steady your nerves before a performance and use your energy in your performance. Any tips you can share?

I think my favorite technique is called grounding. It’s a form of meditation right before the event — takes like five minutes. You imagine connecting to the earth from the clouds to the core of the planet and then back to your own two feet. Sounds kooky doesn’t it? But it works. There’s several articles and videos about it.

Your version of “Barracuda” just kills me. That strikes me as a hard song to sing. What has it been like actually working with members of Heart? 

It’s a very hard song to sing! Working with members of Heart was a crazy dream come true. Once again, it was the Internet that brought us together. The legendary Roger Fisher and his brother Michael saw me sing Barracuda on the Voice. I ended up spending a year traveling back and forth to Seattle playing music, and getting to know one of my icons. It was super cool. Roger even gave me harmonica lessons.

You really enjoy Christmas songs. Have you always loved holiday music? 

I was born for Christmas. My birthday is December 23 and I have loved Christmas time my entire life. One of my very first CDs that I bought with my own money was “A Very Special Christmas Vol. I” This year I started listening to Christmas music right around Halloween.

I love your curbside concert series that you kicked off this summer. Will you continue doing them post-pandemic?

Oh my gaud. It’s so much fun! I kept saying “This is what I’m doing right now” then I quickly changed that to “This is what I do now.” I absolutely want to keep on doing curbsides for the rest of my life, especially around Christmas. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever done. To be able to meet my fans in such a cool intimate manner is priceless. Of course I love touring, but this gives me great joy.

Has it been hard not being in front of audiences this year?

I’m a huge advocate for finding things that make people happy. It’s been a challenge this year. I do miss audiences. However, one thing I’m very proud of is that I put an inflatable hot tub in my living room. Not sure if that’s a midlife crisis, or pandemic, but what I do know is that it makes me very very very happy. I also realized that it’s a source of creativity for me to be in water. I’ve written like six songs.

After your star-making turn on the Voice, you started the Rising Star Foundation, which provides encouragement to young people in need of music education. Are you dismayed by the cutting of music programs in schools? 

I’m always sad when I hear about music programs being cut. That’s exactly why I started my foundation. Along with providing scholarships for kids to make and or take opportunities in music, I run my own music camps to help keep the music alive in our youth. I always say, where there’s a will, there’s a way. I’ll personally make sure I help keep the music alive whenever and where ever I can.

You’ve put out albums but you’re also a believer in the model of  releasing one track at a time. Do you think the album model will always be around or are we in danger of totally losing it?

I think we’ve been in danger for many years. I was a nanny before I went on the Voice and I’ll never forget the first time the oldest girl in the family came downstairs from her room to tell me she had listened to an entire album front to back. She had never done that before. I still think that there are enough legendary artists in this world that will always believe in the album model and continue to release music that way. I do miss making full albums and writing music in a way that is focused on making a story in album form. But if we are being real here, it’s hard to make money on selling music. Therefore if you’re like me, you can only afford to make music one song at a time with money made from other areas of my company.

Would you ever want to be a judge yourself on the Voice?

OMG… are you kidding me? It would be a blast! I would absolutely take that opportunity if it came my way. One of the great things about the coaches on the Voice is that they are positive role models and mentors unlike some other shows that you see. That would be the ultimate fun job.

What’s next for you?

I still have a lot of inspiration to keep tugging away at writing and recording music, working on my Rising Star Foundation to continue to raise funds for talented youth, continue doing motivational speaking for corporate functions, colleges, and schools, and the biggest new goal is to write a book. I’ve been slowly working on an autobiography for the past year and combining that with a “Fearless Guidebook” on how to approach your life with absolute bravery. Look for that in the coming year.

Photo by Justin Higuchi.