Catch up with country/pop singer-songwriter Katie Perkins and listen to lead single, "Take My Hand", off her forthcoming album.
What first got you interested in music and songwriting?
Katie Perkins: I started singing, basically, ever since I started talking. Music was always in me and I didn't grow up in a musical family - I didn't have any family members who played any instruments or sang - but music just, to me, always felt like a part of me that I felt I was missing, so it just became a huge passion. From a young age, I started performing out and I loved being able to touch other people with songs and get right to their emotions and help people heal basically because that's what music did for me. Music's kind of just always been a part of my life. I didn't get into songwriting until around the age of 16/17 and that's pretty much when I started learning how to play guitar and wanted to start sharing some of my own experiences.
Do you remember the first song you wrote?
I'm okay with my first song [laughs]. My first song was a mess [laughs]. I had just started learning how to play guitar and I kind of just wrote what was flowing out of me. I was in not such a good relationship at the time so it wasn't a happy song per se, but I was 18 and I was at Berklee College of Music and I wrote it in my dorm room and my chord changes and everything were just all over the place; so, I'm not particularly proud of the song, but I'm proud that I had that first step and first experience to continue writing 'cause I just kept growing from there.
Which musicians have you been influenced by?
When I was younger, it was definitely more like Celine Dion and Mariah Carey, I used to listen to pop a lot, and now that I've kind of switched gears over into country music because I love the storytelling, I'm a huge fan of Miranda Lambert - I love her - and I love Carrie Underwood.
Is there any track you're hooked on right now?
Right now, I have "Dirty Laundry" by Carrie Underwood on repeat, a lot [laughs]. I love that song.
What were your inspirations behind your single "Take My Hand"?
"Take My Hand" was actually written by a woman named Linda Pestana and she had asked me to sing the song and I had listened to it and I have been through quite a lot in my life for such a young age and it was kind of all about finding yourself and just believing in who you are and constantly remembering that so you don't get lost in the shuffle of life, because that can lead to a lot of negative thoughts, so then you really aren't confident in who you are, some people actually forget who they used to be. It was just kind of a remembrance to be yourself everyday and to stay true to that, and I feel like that's something that everyone can relate to - I know I did - and the song really touched me and so I was honored that I was able to release this as my single because I know it's going to be able to touch a lot of people and probably help a lot of people, as well.
Is that single indicative of what we can expect to hear on the next album and could you tell us more about that album?
Well, a lot of inspiration is going to come from my personal life. There's been a lot of songs that I've wanted to release but I never felt like I had the right crew behind me to really give it as much credit as it deserves, but now I have a great team behind me and so I'm working on all the songs that are really close to my heart and really deal with a lot of personal issues that I went through. A lot of the songs that I have put out before have kind of been downer songs, I guess you could say - they're not very upbeat - but there's going to be a lot of happy songs on there now, too. It's just a great pop/country/rock vibe that these new songs are going to have and I'm just really excited for everybody to hear them.
Do you have a favorite track when you're out there performing live?
My favorite original song to perform is from my first album and it's called "We Can Make It" and, as far as covers go, when I'm out performing live, my favorite song to do right now is "Little Red Wagon" by Miranda Lambert.
What do you hope that your listeners will be able to take away from your music?
If there was one main thing I would want someone to take away from my music it would be that it helped them in some way. Music seemed to be what was always there for me, and no matter what mood I was in, or what I was dealing with in my life there was a song that could help me deal, or help me heal. I want my music to do for others what it has done for me.