My childhood was average and happy. I was born in Greenwood, Mississippi then my family moved to Chicago when I was about 5 years old. Every summer my family and other family members (Several of my relatives had also moved to Chicago) would travel back home. We always had an enjoyable time. My family was not well off but they taught us to appreciate what little we had and to take care of it. Both of my parents were hard workers and knew how to make ends meet.
2. What is your family background like?
Do your family members all believe in Christ also? I am very grateful that I was raised in a two parent home with my brothers and sister. I am the oldest of four children. Recently, another brother has entered our family. My mother taught me how to love God and how to pray. Every Friday a group of believers would gather at our house to pray in the living room. My mother would call on each of her children to pray but more often than not she would call on me. I can still hear her saying “Pray Yvonne” We had to pray out aloud. To this day even when I’m praying alone I pray out loud. All of my family members believe in Christ but unfortunately at this time they all are not serving him. I continue to believe God to save my immediate (husband, sons and grandchildren) and extended family members.
3. Were you Christian before being a songwriter? Or vice versa?
I accepted Christ in my life as a young teenager unfortunately my fellowship with God was broken at age 21. I have always written poems and I wrote a couple of songs while my fellowship with God was broken. I was in my 40’s when my fellowship was restored. On 1-16-00 during a service at my church (Monument of Faith where the pastor is Apostle Richard D. Henton in Chicago) my pastor laid hands on me and spoke these words into my life. He said “you feel like you have lost so much time and that God will not use you but eye has not seen, ear has not heard, neither has it entered into your heart, the things that God is going to do through you”. I will never forget that service and the sermon he preached “What you need is a breath of fresh air” because on that night I received a refilling of the Holy Spirit. When I went home that night I wrote my first gospel song “Holy” because my soul was overwhelmed at the mercy and holiness of God.
4. What are your thoughts on the state of the world these days?
We have seen some of the worst tragedies of our times and yet those tragedies have brought out the best in us. 911, Katrina, Tsunami, the New Orleans flood these were terrible things but the vast majority of humanity rose to the challenge by reaching out and embracing humanity. Spiritually, American particularly and the world have been so blessed. Yet, we are so far from honoring God for his blessing. When I think of how one woman took away the privilege of prayer out of school, the fight to keep the Ten Commandments out of the court house, the push to take “God” out of the pledge of allegiance it is both a sad and frightening state. America was built on a foundation of honoring and believing God. Our schools were better, our government was better when America Bless God.
5. Where do you perform? I am a songwriter not a singer. I often say God has a sense of humor because my singing ability is very limited. The songs on the CD are all Demo. I don’t perform but I’m looking for recording artists who want songs of inspiration and hope, songs as my pastor would say “with a message for this mess-up age”
6. Do you have full albums out or just mp3s?
Thanks to the awesome opportunity that the internet provides I have my own website at www.forhisgloryyp.com . My music can be downloaded at several websites: for at little as 79 to 99 cents or $9.99 for an album. T Some of the sites are: www.indietunes.com, www.indieheaven.com; www.broadjam.com www.christinbands.co.uk www.indie911.com Two of my songs (It Shall Not Always Be and Good Morning Jehovah) are available as ringtones. There seem to be a lot of interest in demo tapes these days.
7. 27 years of marriage is certainly something to be proud of, how do you balance family, faith and music?
Actually, it is 29 years of marriage. I need to update some information on my bio. There was a time in my life when I tried to be the “superwoman” but that just didn’t work. I could not be everything to everybody and be everywhere. I came to the decision that I would do the very best I could and not feel guilty about what I could not do. I decided that I would put God first in every aspect of my life and trust him to bring balance into everything else.
8. What are some of your hopes for your music?
My vision is that recording artists will hear, and record my music. That this music will be heard around the world. That the songs would not only touch the hearts of the people but changed the lives. The intent of my songs is to uplift, inspire, motivate and encourage all that will hear and to spread the Gospel by lifting up the name of Jesus in a manner that brings glory to his awesome, magnificent name.
9. What are your thoughts on the music industry and how much involvement do you have in it?
These are times of tremendous change in the music industry. The internet is an infant with undiscovered potentials and has a great impact on the music industry. The internet is changing how music is produced, promoted and sold. Even the way press kits are presented is different thanks to the internet. I can send my press kit instantly from www.Sonicibids.com or www.Artistopia.com Someone like me would have slim to no chance of ever having their music heard and presented to the public in this manner. I’m always searching the internet to find any opportunities to present my music. I’m a member of ASCAP, Songwriter Guild, TAXI, Film and Music network. My songs are doing well on the charts and are generally in the Top 10, or Top 100 often with 3-6 songs in that category at www.theindustryresource. www.broadjam.com www.artistopia.com (my rank is #15 out of over 2500 artists on that site) www.soundclick.com , www.wwswa.com to name a few. My songs “Holy, It Shall Not Always Be Like this and Victory Dance have been #1 songs. On 1-3-06 my song Victory Dance was the winner of the Sweet Sixteen contest at www.makeastar.com .I was recently interviewed by Makeastar after winning the contest and that interview it is available at their site. My music is heard in Europe and on Celtic Radio at www.crossrhyths.com, www.celticradio.com, www.newgospelhorizon.com, www.indiegospelradio.com , www.musicoven.com www.cybroradio.com . Johnny Rock represented my song “Good Morning Jehovah” at the Midem just a couple of months ago www.johnnyrock.com . I entered as many song contests as I can. I have received positive reviews from Dale Kawashima( founder of Songwriter Universe) Chelsea Harmon (www.insidecx.com) Jay Hervey, Orphaneddie, Curtis Lowell (www.makeastar.com)
10. Do you ever struggle to keep your songs true to God’s word or does it come easy for you?
No, I do not struggle to keep my songs true to God’s word. I mediate daily on God’s word and often my songs come from that meditation. I make sure that the words in my song line up with the word of God.
11. Who are some Christian/Gospel singer/songwriters that have inspired you?
Shirley Caesar will always be a favorite, Honey “Delores” Sykes (of the Duncannaires and member of my church) Yolanda Adams, Juanita Bynum, the Winans, Hawkins family, Martha Munizzi, Israel, Snokie Norfolk, Donnie Mc Clurkin. The Brown’s sisters, Lemmie Battles., Calvin Bridges and so many more. I’m inspired by singers who are true to their calling and see what they do as a way to minister to the people. I’m impressed with singers who not only understand the power of praise and worship but know how to usher people into the presence of God. I would love to write for these singers.
Thank you for your time!
It was a pleasure, be blessed and may the favor of God surround you, your family and staff at Chicago Music.
MakeaStar.com Contest Champion
Contest Round Ending 1/3/2006
Yvonne Perkins was born in Mississippi and grew up in Chicago, Ill. She is a songwriter. All of the songs she has submitted to MakeaStar.com have been demo CD’s. She feels that in order for a songwriter to showcase their talents it is equally important to have a good song as well as a high quality and well produced demo CD. The internet levels the playing field and gives the undiscovered songwriter and singer a well deserved opportunity.
MakeaStar.com: Welcome to the finals. Did you ever think you would get this far?
Yvonne Perkins: I always believe that it was not if but when it would happen. This is the sixth time I have been selected as a Sweet Sixteen Finalist. Please don’t think that I am being braggadocios but I am making a faith declaration.
MAS: What do you think it is about your song “Victory Dance” that it has gotten into the finals?
YP: Often in our lives we face disappointments, dreams that are delayed and what seems to be missed opportunities and I believe that Victory Dance speaks to the heart of many and cause hope to come alive in their heart. People need hope.
MAS: Have you been getting any e-mail from Fans? The Industry?
YP: Yes, in fact it was a fan that alerted me that the contest had actually started. The song had already made it to the 2nd quarter and the fan email me that they really loved the song.
MAS: What is the response to your song and your sound in general?
YP: It has been very positive. People have email me to say how their lives were touched by this song and that makes me very grateful to God. My music is meant to inspire and uplift the lives of those that hear it.
MAS: What do you think about MakeaStar.com's Industry review service?
YP: I absolutely love how each component of the song is broken down and so thoroughly reviewed. I take those reviews seriously and to heart as a way of improving my ability to write well constructed songs. I realized that although God has given me the talent to write it is a gift that has to be perfected.
MAS: What about the equal voting power being given to Fans and the Industry in the contests?
YP: I think it is unique and important aspect of the voting. It is good to know not just what the Industry view is but also that of the everyday man. It is a good balance.
MAS: Was getting into the contest your primary goal or were you more interested in the industry review?
YP: My primary goal is the review process itself. I am serious about songwriting and really want to be the best that I can be. Getting into the contest is a fringe benefit that is very much appreciated.
MAS: How did you develop your sound? Is there a primary songwriter? Is it collaborative?
YP: My writing is truly by inspiration. I write lyrics but I always have a melody in mind for the songs. I have written songs in the Traditional, Country, Southern Gospel, Praise and Worship style. I find that the recording studio I use also influenced the sound of the music. I have used Gifted Productions, Leonard Mercury Productions and Nashville Song Service. Nashville Song Service produced the demo for this song, Victory Dance. However, the “true sound” of my music is the sound of praise and worship being used as spiritual weapons.
MAS: Any influences you care to mention? What have other people compared you to?
YP: I’m influenced by any individual who not only understands the power of praise and worship but has the ability to usher others to that place. I love the music of Shirley Caesar, Yolanda Adams, Juanita Bynum, Martha Munizzi, and Donnie Mc Clurkin. I would love to write for them.
MAS: What do you think may set you apart from other Artists in your genre?
YP: I am passionate and determine to write music that will uplift, motivate, inspire and spread the Gospel of Jesus love by any means necessary.
MAS: It’s obvious that your recorded material is great, how about the your shows?
YP: I’m a songwriter looking for recording artists to record my songs and/or publishers to work with me. My songs are on many websites and doing very well on the charts. I generally have 3-6 songs listed in the Top Ten, Top 100 of the charts. At one point, I had 6 songs to place in the Top 10 at www.broadjam.com. I have had 7 songs to place in the Top 100 songs at www.industryresource.com. On 12-24-05 Victory Dance was the #1 song on the Pop Contemporary Christian Chart at www.soundclick.com. On 1-1-06 I have 13 songs on the Top 50 Christian chart and 3 on the Top 25 Gospel chart at www.Artistopia.com my rank is #15 out of the Top 100 Artists at that site.
MAS: Are you playing anywhere anytime soon?
MAS: Have you released your music already? If so how, where and when? If not, do you plan to in the near future?
YP: The demo version of my songs are available at www.broadjam.com, www.indietunes.com, www.indieheaven.com, I hear that demo tapes are becoming popular. Two of my songs (Good Morning Jehovah and It Shall Not Always Be) are available as ringtones at www.indietonezone.com. Both of these songs were selected as Sweet Sixteen Finalist. My song “Good Morning Jehovah” was selected for the Midem conference by Johnny Rock and is listed in the Midem catalogue.
MAS: Where would you like to see your music take you?
YP: I believe that I am one of the best yet to be discovered songwriters and I will write for the top recording artists again, I do not say this braggadocios but as a declaration of my faith.
MAS: How realistic is that goal in terms of the immediate future?
YP: Very realistic, thanks to the new world of internet. The internet provides resources, contacts and unheard of opportunities with the industry that WOULD NOT otherwise be possible. A site like yours www.MakeaStar.com opens up the floodgates for opportunities for the unknown to showcase their gifts and talents. The internet has given me access and made it possible for my songs to be heard literally over the world. My songs are being streamed in Europe www.crossrhythms.com, in Celtic at www.celticradio.com; www.wwswa.com, www.christianbands.co.uk www.cybroradio.com, internet radio www.indiegospelradio.com, 365 live internet radio www.newgospelhorizon.com. www.musicoven.com streams my songs into restaurants and shopping mall. The Internet is a whole new baby that is yet in it infancy with untold possibilities for the future.
MAS: What one band would you like to follow in the footsteps of down the road to success?
YP: I want to travel the road of Fred Hammond, Hezekiah Walker, Smokie Norful, John P Kee, Valerie Boyd, Kirk Franklin just to name a few and many others great gospel songwriters.
"Good Morning Jehovah" would raise many hands in the Baptist church, with an R&B beat to boot a soulful voice. This spiritual ballad offers a balance beween religious upliftment, and catchy hooks. The smooth syle of the song is reminiscent of the well-known sounds of Erykah Badu and Aretha Franklin. While religiously charged, this song has the potential to become a mainstream household name. With a carefully constructed presentation, "Good Morning Jehovah" may become a greatest hit.
Changing gears, Perkins quickly borrowed musical style from Shania Twain's sweet vocals in "It Shall Not Always Be Like This",. incorporating a down south country sound behind her positive message. The transition was a surprising one, but the flexibility demonstrated by a wide range of vocal ability proves her well-rounded talent. "It Shall Not Always Be Like This" proving her dubbed nickname the "Ultimate Multi-tasker" to be fit.
Yvonne Perkins is only steps from success. With her hard work and diligence overtly apparent, it will only be matter of creative compliation of songs and cooperation before her name begins to stir attention in the musical arean. As she releases more tracks, her well-rounded ability will continue to mature and develop into a precise individual style. The music world will be awaiting her arrival into an elite group of greats. Yvonne Perkins will be a name to watch in the future.