Jazz singer Kandi Peppers brings an elegance and vocal prowess to her shows, mixing her homegrown Mississippi influences with classic style and sophistication to create a flavorful and unique blend of southern jazz, R&B and country.
Music has been the centerpiece to Kandi’s life from the very beginning. Kandi was born and raised in Amory, Mississippi. It was there that she began singing as a child at her church, accompanied by her mother who was the church pianist. She also performed gospel and country music with her mother and sister at local events and on local radio.
Kandi spent her college years studying classical voice and majoring in Vocal Performance with a minor in Theatre. While still in college, Kandi won the Miss Tupelo Scholarship pageant. She then went on to compete for and win the title of Miss Mississippi. That fall, Kandi competed in The Miss America Pageant. “The pageants were a great experience for me," she says. "They gave me performance opportunities and scholarships, and played a valuable role in shaping my musical vision.” To this day, Kandi remains involved in the Miss Mississippi Pageant as the vocal producer for the televised event. This program has won three Emmys during the time of her participation.
After receiving her Master’s degree in Vocal Pedagogy (music education) from Mississippi State University, Kandi came to Nashville to work for Gaylord. She spent the next two years entertaining crowds at Opryland Theme Park before going back to Mississippi to earn an additional teaching degree. She spent the next several years teaching elementary music and working as a demo singer in Nashville, where she recorded her first song for a nationally released album. As Kandace Williams, she sang "Beyond The Sea" for the Disney albums Finding Nemo-Ocean Favorites and Driving With Disney.
It was the culmination of all these experiences and influences that brought Kandi to her unique brand of southern jazz vocals. “It was more of an evolution than an epiphany," she explains. "Growing up with gospel and country, my classical training and my pageant and Opryland experiences were all part of the journey that brought me to southern jazz vocals.”
Kandi's first album, ON MY MIND, is now available, and she will be performing more extensively in the Nashville metro area this spring, bringing multiple styles of music to her audiences. “I’m very proud of my first album," Kandi says, "and I hope music lovers enjoy listening to it half as much as I enjoyed recording it.”
©2014 Kandi Peppers. All rights reserved.