Q&A with Kat Perkins

Photo By Cameron Wittig

Even after finishing in the top five on The Voice, Kat Perkins is as down to earth as ever. Despite the fact that the Minneapolis-based rocker was invited to perform when The Voice Tour rolls into town this month, she respectfully declined—instead she will be attending her best friend’s wedding. Fans fell in love with Team Adam [Levine]’s nanny-by-day, musician-by-night and were heartbroken when she was booted off in the signing competition’s final weeks. But this is not the last we’ll see of Perkins. She’s staying in Minnesota (for now) and on August 17 she kicks of a Midwest tour at Mill City Nights. In the meantime, catch The Voice’s season six favorites and alumni at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel on July 17.

Tell us about how you got started in the music business.
I started doing voice lessons when I was about 10 and my first professional gig was when I was 15. It didn’t seem that weird at the time, but now, when I look back on it, it’s crazy. I had been performing with my family since I was little. So my dad, my sister, and my mom—we all performed.

It seems like a great talent to have.
For a long part of my life, I thought it was a curse. It was so hard to make a living, but it was the only thing that made me happy to do all day long. I tried my best and did it, but it was definitely hard. It’s not easy at all.

Why did you decide to audition for the show?
I had started performing for the troops overseas and on the way back from one of those shows, we had a layover in Amsterdam. There was a piano in the airport and my piano player and I started jamming, kind of on a whim. The video ended up on YouTube, the producers saw it and contacted me to audition for the show. They recruited me to do it.

What has been the biggest change in your life since being on the show?
My self-discipline has changed a lot. During the process, I was taught a lot about taking care of my voice, doing the proper warm-ups and cool-downs. I never thought I would be able to become a better singer in my 30s. Another thing that has changed back home is the recognition, the respect, the opportunities that are coming from it. I can’t even go to the post office without somebody saying hi, and it just feels so good to feel that love.

What do you think is the strangest/weirdest thing that most people don’t know about being on a reality competition show?
The strangest thing to me was the editing. There were so many things that were out of order that, when you’re watching it on television, totally made sense, but it wasn’t the order they filmed it. Also, they literally dressed me from head to toe. Every single piece of clothing was theirs, down to the rings that I wore on my fingers. They were very meticulous and very complete. It was fun!

Throughout the show, what was the best piece of advice you got from Adam or one of the other coaches?
Adam’s biggest takeaway was to trust my gut. He was always a huge fan of my gut in my musicianship. When you’re on that show, you second-guess everything. I was second-guessing every single choice I made and I always wanted to make it perfect and make it undeniable. He gave me so much confidence. The other big takeaway was from Blake Shelton. I would see him every single Monday before the show and we would talk about what’s next and where I take it from here. Blake’s biggest advice to me was to go forward in the business knowing what I want, because that will show results.

If you had to go back, would you pick a different coach or do anything differently?
No, I wouldn’t change a thing about anything if I had the chance. I’m really happy about the journey and how it turned out. I just think the universe came together and I feel very complete about the experience. I feel like I went far enough. I feel like I exceeded my own expectations. I’m really happy with every decision that I made, with every decision that was made for me, all of it.

What did you miss the most about being in the Twin Cities while you were filming?
I missed my home, I missed my cats, I missed the normalcy of having people that I know around me. The community I live in is so tight and it was really hard not to have a home. I lived out of a hotel and there were strangers all over the place. I definitely missed the normalcy of being here. And the nice people!

So what's your next step?
Right now, it’s important for me to connect with the fans in the Twin Cities. I think they were my biggest voting base and I want to connect with them and do some shows. We will start touring in the middle of August. We’re putting a bunch of stuff together for that right now and we’re going to hit the Twin Cities, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa—right in those places where I had the biggest voting demographic. I’m working on recording a record and we’ll start very simple by having a single out in a couple of months. So it’s all kicking off and I’m really excited about that.

Do you think you'll continue to nanny?
I do! I’m going to go back next week and at least do it for a couple of months while I transition back to normalcy in Minnesota. I missed those kids so much. I missed them like my own. I want to reconnect with them and just be able to talk to them about the experience and just check in on their lives for a few months while I get my show ready and get ready to go on my own tour. I don’t need to, but I would love to, and they’re so excited. They just texted me today and said, “Can you start today?”