Youth Talent Semi-Finalist: Small-Town Girl Headed For Big Things

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Saturday night, teens from across Arkansas and Oklahoma will meet in Fort Smith at the Youth Talent Contest at the State Fair.

Some of the semi-finalists are from big towns, used to playing before big crowds, but then, there is Ashley Perkins, from St. Paul, Arkansas.

If Alan Jackson says it's alright to be little-bitty, then it's certainly okay with Ashley Perkins.

From a porch on her grandpa's mountaintop home, it's easy to see (and hear) that she's a natural.

Ashley is a recent graduate of St. Paul High School, and this fall she's a freshman at Arkansas Tech.

One day she plans to be a pharmacist, but this weekend she's hoping for the right music mix to become winner of the Youth Talent Contest.

"I really have no idea where I'd be without music. It is probably one of the biggest parts of my life," Perkins said. "I listen to it everyday. I listen to it when I'm sad and when I'm happy. It helps me get my emotions out and a really big part of my life."

You might think that growing up in a small Arkansas town she's be a country singer, but her musical tastes are as wide open as the blue skies near her childhood home.

"I love alternative music, Head and the Heart, Mumford and Sons," she said. "I'm willing to try just about anything. I like taking new things and making them my own."

So listen up music fans: It's Ashley Perkins; a small town girl now, headed for big things.