ABOUT SYDNIE PERKINS
Where were you raised?
For the first 3 years of my life I lived at St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy with my mother Michelle Spikes. St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy, is a non-profit mission in the Roman Catholic tradition on the East Side of Buffalo. My grandmother Amy Betros and my Godfather Norman Paolini are co-directors and founders of the mission. St. Luke’s was opened on August 1st 1994, and I was born on August 9th, eight days later. I have two older brothers Shamir and Damien, and I have three younger siblings Joanah Perkins, Zakarria, and Joshua. I am the oldest girl.
When did you first become interested in music?
I have been singing since before I could speak. I cannot remember a time when my family didn’t sing. My dad Hugh Perkins used to sing me my ABC’s all the time; he used to end it with “school is where I want to be.” He had me singing that before I knew it. Then, once I saw Beyoncé and her influence on the world I wanted to be just that. I knew I had what it takes. After I felt the power of music, I knew I had to chase it.
When did you first start singing?
The first song I ever remember performing is a song I learned as a very little girl. A song from the Psalty Series: Charity Church Mouse, I played Cheesus of Jesus. The song is called “Make Me A Servant”, I remember watching those videos over and over to learn the songs; I still sing “Make Me A Servant” today.
Who was/is your biggest musical influence?
My biggest musical influence is Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. Everything about Beyoncé from her impeccable work ethic, to her ear for music and how she changes the music world with every hit, to the way she is a world class performer. I want to be all of that and then some! I study music, and Beyoncé is a modern artist that I can always learn something from. Another musical influence is Lisa Fischer. I was introduced to her in the movie 20 Feet From Stardom by Morgan Neville. The movie is about background singers, their work ethic, and lifestyle. Lisa Fischer is truly a vocal chameleon. She changes her sound to fit the emotion of the music, and I find that incredible. My goal in music is to tell a story to change the world, not be a story in spite of the world.
How has music shaped you personally?
Music is everything to me. I heard this beautiful quote once “singing is the only way I know how to breathe.” I cannot remember a time when I didn’t sing, no matter what the circumstance; happiness, sadness, excitement, nervousness, blessings, sufferings… I always sing. I love the feeling of turning my speakers up until I can only hear the music. It's euphoria. I want to create music that does that to people, that makes people feel something that they need to feel.
What are your professional accomplishments?
I perform music locally all over town in jazz clubs and theatres. I also perform as Sugar in “Sugar Katty Cool” a three woman tight harmony jazz show with a six piece band. I have been in many musical performances throughout Western New York. For TNT, Lancaster Opera House, Rocking Horse Productions, Buffalo Chrysalis Theatre Company, and Rivera Theatre. As for recordings, I am recording two CDs. One is spiritual music and the other is secular music. Both will be out within the year. “Sugar Katty Cool” has a CD of our live performance that is available through our Facebook Page.
What are your future goals?
My next steps are to get more of my original music recorded. These first couple CDs have cover music on it so people can get a feel for my sound. Soon after that, I want to record my original music so people can really get to know me. Throughout this entire time, I want to create mediums for people to be able to access the music, while also sharing it with record labels and seeing what is out there for me.
Anyone you'd like to thank?
First and foremost, I thank God for giving me such a gift and the courage and confidence to share it. I would like to thank my mom Michelle Matthews and my grandmother Amy Betros for showing me how to be a strong but gentle woman with wisdom and grace; and for the tremendous hard work and support they have shown me constantly since the day I was born. I love you both very much and I owe everything to both of you. I would like to thank both father figures in my life my dad Hugh Perkins and my step-father Carl Matthews for their protection, love, and fatherly guidance throughout my life. I would also like to thank the rest of my family and my St. Luke’s family for their amazing support and encouragement throughout my life. My friends, all of them for what they do for me each day and the wonderful memories they fill my life with. I would like to thank my boss Steve Stewart for believing in me and allowing me to share my story and my music with the world. I would also like to thank everyone who has ever prayed for me, who has ever come to one of my shows, who has ever watched one of my videos, or supported me in ANY way. I truly would not be here without you.