Minnesota’s own Kat Perkins became internationally recognized by her incredible performances in season 6 of NBC’s The Voice. Since then she has been busy traveling the world, showcasing her talents for US troops, selling out venues across America, and has founded The Rising Star Foundation, which helps musicians reach the potential of their dreams.
Though raised in North Dakota, Minnesota has become her adopted home. She has become a powerful voice in the Minnesota Music community, and a powerful voice it is.
Her style is a mixture of the power of Ann Wilson, the smoothness of K.D. Lang, the strength of Billie Holiday, and the presence of Pat Benatar. She has an astonishing ability to own each song she covers, recreating it as her own. It is a talent very few are able to achieve.
We had a chance to chat before her performance Saturday night at this year’s Minnesota State fair:
[MIM] So, How does it feel to play the grandstand tonight at the Minnesota State Fair?
[Kat] I’m so excited! This has been a bucket list thing. my heart has been beating since 10 a.m.
[MIM] When did you find out about this?
[Kat] I think it was in March when we found out about the booking. Then every day it just got more real and real. Then today I woke up and was like; this is a dream come true
[MIM] So perhaps you answered my next question? What’s your highlight in 2018 with your musical career?
[Kat] Oh my God, Its probably going to be this in 2018. But this whole summer has been so epic. We started off in Medora, ND; where I’m from doing my camp for kids out there, We did a big recital with those guys and a big show, then we cam immediately back here for the 4th of July.
We went to Duluth. that was a 5,000 to 6,000 event. then we came down for the actual 4th of July to Mystic Lake ‘s outdoor amphitheater, which I have never done. that was like 6,000 to 7,000 people. I mean it’s just been an amazing record-setting summer.
[MIM] On that note, what’s the biggest crowd you ever performed in front of?
[Kat] Well… A live performance was probably Target Center.
[MIM] With Scarlet Haze?
[Kat] Yes. That was in 2005 and that would have been like 20,000 people. though I think we may top the attendance tonight. It’s like 15,000 people. Oh, and I remembered this today, thanks to an old sound guy. It was like 10 years ago, maybe?
I got home and I used to live right across the street from the state fair and I was like “Hey guys, Let’s just go to the State Fair, I’ll Buy All your Tickets”. So, we all came over here and we all just jumped on the Sky Ride and I pointed at the grandstand and I said, “One day, I’ll be doing that”! that was like 10 years ago! Goosebumps!
[MIM] Obviously we cover music of national and local acts, but the cool thing about you is you are internationally recognized, yet you are still local. One thing we would like to know more about is your foundation and how we (Music in Minnesota) can help it grow?
[Kat] Oh my God, that is just a great question. So, last year I was like last year I was really driven to put together something that was really official. Something that would help our youth our kids and help them pursue exactly like I did it. I remember just thinking in high school, “Oh my gosh, this is going to be impossible, How am I going to do this? I was overwhelmed.
Especially financially. Because there is not a grant for that, there is no scholarship. It’s very tough to find those things. So I thought that would be the answer. That is what I can provide for the kids. An actual scholarship. If you want to go to a music camp or you need help getting to an audition to getting to The Voice, Americas Got Talent or whatever you want to do there is money available for that through my foundation.
Also, for kids that want to pursue an actual musical career, be it musical education or musical performance through your college. We have a scholarship for that too! I can’t do it without the community support. I do it on complete donations. It’s a total Non-profit foundation. And this year we already set records, I thought we would never do! Its all at The Rising Star Foundation.
You can donate right there. We also have been doing fundraisers throughout the year. If you want to come and donate that way, you can do it there too.
[MIM] O.K. I have a personal question just for me.. Roger Fisher (Guitarist of HEART)
[MIM] I’m like the biggest Ann Wilson fan in the world. How did that come about?
[Kat] For the second time in my life, the internet changed my world. For The Voice the found me on a viral video on youtube that I didn’t even know was up there. the asked me to audition for there show that way. Now back in January, I got an email through Youtube from Roger and Micheal Fisher.
Two very legendary brothers in the music industry. Roger being the guitar player and Michael being the business manager. And the found me on Youtube singing Heart tunes from different shows and of course, The Voice had a couple out there. After seeing and hearing they really were thinking about putting the band back together and just needed a singer.
[MIM] that is so awesome that is so…
[Kat] I mean I still had to go out there and audition and it was gut-wrenching.
[MIM] that’s next week, isn’t it?
[Kat] Yes! So excited!!
[MIM] I know you have to run and do a sound check but I have just one other question. What is the one question you get so tired of answering or getting asked?
[Kat] (laughing) It probably, but its also the cutest question so there is a disclaimer. It’s “What Does Adam Levine Smell Like?
[MIM] so what does he smell like?
[Kat] (laughing) So there is a story. A real famous clip on the voice of me giving him a huge bear hug and he lifting me up. So I got asked that. So I said he does smell good but I don’t know what it is. So let me get to the bottom of it, for America (laughing). For the ladies of America, or some men too. So I asked him I said, “What is it”? He said “Its just Old Spice”. He then said that he does double up. He uses the deodorant and the cologne.
[MIM] OK. I have one more question. A very serious one! Where is your favorite place to get music news in Minnesota?
[Kat] Obviously, Music in Minnesota!