In Chesterfield, he’s a driver for OfficeMax, but in Nashville, Zach Perkins is a true-blue country music singer. A resident of Matoaca, Perkins, 25, signed a recording contract in March with Lamon Records, an independent label, jumpstarting the path he had been dreaming of for the past few years.
“When I heard about it for the first time, it didn’t hit me,” he said. “It took me a few weeks for it to actually sink in. It’s a real dream come true. It happened, and there’s no turning back now.”
Perkins, a performer since his teenage years, first contacted Lamon early this year after relentless encouragement from his family and close friends. After sending the record company memos of him singing, he then got the call to visit Nashville, Tenn.
He has been traveling back and forth to the Music City ever since, intermittently, to complete his new album – while soaking up every bit of the experience.
“It’s fun to me and it’s nothing stressful. Most people go to work every day and has a boss to worry about and all that,” said Perkins. “But life in the studio is a bit different: you can cut up, cut loose and relax. You have no real worries and you’re not thinking about anything other than just making music. It’s fun even though I’m working because I get to be myself.”
According to Perkins, his music sounds like Rascal Flats; many tracks on his EP ranging from country-rock to traditional country. Then there’s his pop-country single “Looking for a Change.” And though the songs he has been recording are not written by him, the next step, he said, is songwriting.
He believes he has come this far because of the constant encouragement showered on him by close ones – those who have seen him perform live, whether when he was volunteering and teaching at the Chesterfield Children’s Theatre or during his days singing in the show choir at James River High School.
One of those fervent believers was Cindy Rawls, a distant cousin to the Perkins family.
“When I first heard him sing, I said, ‘Wow, why aren’t you promoting yourself and why aren’t you following your dream.’ We’ve been pushing him the last few years to really go after it, to stop wondering and just do it,” Rawls said. Now she’s looking forward to the day when she hears one of his songs on the radio.
His mother, Wanda, is one of her son’s biggest fans – naturally – and feels his work ethic is opening doors for him. “He’s a hard worker and doesn’t give up on things,” Wanda said, “and I think that’s one reason he’s where he is right now; and he’s just a believer. He just persevered, and that’s why all this is happening now – because he didn’t give up on things.”
Perkin’s EP, which is short for extended play, – a musical recording containing more music than a single but is too short to qualify as a full album – is tentatively scheduled for release Sept. 20 in the digital realm.
For him, just finishing the album is a great feeling.
“It’s a big, big relief,” he said, “and I get a great satisfaction out of just getting it done. I’ve put a lot of hard work into something that I love to do, and to be done with it for people to enjoy is the greatest feeling in the world. Overall, I’m kind of nervous and excited at the same time.”
He said the digital release, which includes iTunes and Amazon, is helpful in working out the “kinks” before it can be sold in stores. After the release, Perkins will have to work extensively to promote the EP, but he feels his single could “climb the charts.”
To hear his music, or to follow up on his future endeavors, visit www.zackperkinsmusic.com .
All in all, Perkins keeps himself grounded by keeping in mind his early motivations for doing it all in the first place: “This is all very exciting,” he said, “but right now I’m just looking forward to making music.”