It was just her and her guitarist, but her distinctive and rocking voice filled the entire Ritsche Auditorium on Thursday night on the campus of St. Cloud State University. Kat Perkins joined us on campus with her tattoos, long black hair, and a completely black outfit, which reminded me of Johnny Cash, also known as the “Man in Black.” The simplicity of just her beautiful voice and the sound of the guitar was an incredible experience.
The Scranton, N.D. native is a singer-songwriter with a love for many genres, specifically rock, pop, blues, and country. She is the daughter of two music teachers, with her dad teaching her a lot about the musical craft.
Perkins was a semifinalist in season 6 of “The Voice” and was coached by Adam Levine of Maroon 5. “He was the best coach I could wish for. He taught me so much and he was very involved in my song choices. And, of course, he is just a hot dude,” said Perkins with a big smile on her face.
As a spectator, you could feel how proud she is for what she has achieved and how much she loves to sing and make music. She added that she wasn’t even sure if she would choose compete in the television show because being on national television was a scary thing to imagine. She had to step over that line of fear, she said, and then added a wonderful anecdote to this decision-making moment.
After a surgery on her vocal cords, she had to deal with the thought of an early retirement from singing. She started working as a nanny for a family with five children, which she immediately took to her heart. They made her sing again and helped her back on her feet. She then received the invitation for “The Voice.” At first, the overwhelming feeling of fear and the thought of failing on national television backed her off from saying yes to what would be the greatest opportunity in her life.
Then, one little girl asked her with big innocent eyes, “Why would you not go there?” It was a simple but accurate question. Saying yes to :The Voice” was a life changer, and maybe also a life saver, for her. She sang herself into the semifinals and Adam Levine was hooked. “Kat Perkins is hands down one of the best singers we’ve ever had on The Voice,” he said.
The 36-year-old is now a big number in the music business, but she is as humble as she was during her very first steps on the stage. She always dreamed about going on the road, traveling, and touring around the world. Now she has been overseas five times.
She shared the very special story that led to this much needed change in her life with us on stage here in St. Cloud. As she traveled to the Middle East to sing for the troops, she had a layover in Amsterdam. It was 6:00 a.m. and her friends made her play the piano that was standing in the airport hall. She sang and performed with her eyes closed. As she opened them again, the giant crowd was excited and her impromptu performance went viral. Hollywood took notice and subsequently decided to send her an invitation for “The Voice.”
She emphasized what a great, exciting, fascinating, and educating experience the show was, and how she has overcome her fear and stepped out of her comfort zone to make things happen since. Fifteen million people were watching her perform. This is a great number, she said, clearly overwhelmed. She became stronger mentally and performed her best. Ritsche Auditorium must have been just like a coffee talk with some friends for her. I felt her authenticity and honesty. Her songs touched my heart and I got goosebumps during her song “Angels,” which she dedicated to her dear friend Christina, her former roommate on season 6 of “The Voice.”
After the concert, Perkins took the time to meet the fans for a meet and greet event in the hallway of Stewart Hall. Perkins will be back on Dec. 7 in the Granite City Radio Theatre in St. Cloud and again on Dec. 20 at the Pioneer Place on Fifth Theater.