“My father is a pastor, so my whole family has been shaped by the church,” explains Kerrie. “Growing up, I saw my parents ‘on call’ 24/7 as a support in times of grief, despair and other unexpected turns. They consistently taught me to reach out to the broken and to those who need encouragement and hope. That’s something that resonates in me and something I love being a part of.”
Kerrie’s mother also was instrumental in shaping her artistry. Indeed, thanks especially to her, music has always been a natural -- and central -- part of Kerrie’s life. “My mother is extremely musical, and in church, is always directing the choir or leading worship” explains Kerrie. “At home, you could always find her, my sister, and me singing around the piano.”
Kerrie began writing her first songs in high school, performing one during her own graduation. When the time came for college, Kerrie chose to get her degree in Studio Music and Jazz Vocal Performance at the University Of Miami. “Little kids have dreams. For me, it was ‘I’m going to be a singer.’ And I never grew out of it,” she says with smile.
As she finished college, Kerrie began the long, aching pursuit of doing music professionally. Always proactive, she continued writing, performing locally, and even toured for a year as a background singer with legendary icon Engelbert Humperdinck, all the while establishing new relationships in the music community.
While living in Florida, she financially enabled her music pursuits by teaching elementary school and working as an accounts payable clerk. Then, she relocated to New York with two suitcases in hand, moving into a tiny apartment with almost no furniture. Working a desk job by day, she pursued her musical dream at night. But the dream frustratingly did not materialize into reality.
She wasn’t desperate for a record deal…she was desperate for the right situation. She walked away from several offers until she was in the right place to make a commitment. But Kerrie is grateful for her professional journey. “The thing I’m so thankful for from all those different heartbreaks and disappointments is the realization of how much those experiences have prepared me for where I am now,” she says.
Given the compassionate family and ministry that molded who Kerrie is, it is no surprise that her work displays as much heart and intellect as breathtaking talent. Or that, thematically, it explores the raw nature of faith, hope and love. These are songs for the broken -- and truthfully, that’s each of us.
Kerrie’s songs repeatedly speak to the reality of such heartache and heartbreak. “A lot of people eventually lose their faith when they expect Christianity to be all bright and shiny with a god who only answers their prayers with a ‘yes.’ I wanted my music to be an honest reflection of the life.”
This passion for authentic faith permeates Kerrie’s songwriting, informing every topic. She says, “If you’re someone who’s hurting, sometimes the local church is the last place you would want people to know the brokenness in your life, your weaknesses, or the mistakes you’ve made. Yet, despite the religious pretending that goes on sometimes, everyone has things they’re struggling with. Your church should be your family, where you can go and be safe, vulnerable, and taken care of. A healthy church is a church for the broken.”
When asked what she wants her audience to walk away with, Kerrie says, “I want to share the unconditional love that I’ve had poured into my own life. I hope that when people listen to my songs, and identify with the emotion in them, that they will know they’re not alone. And ultimately, I want listeners to be filled with a sense of purpose -- a realization of truth and a promotion of hope and healing.”