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Five questions with April Cummings
April Cummings, who went to Gainesville State College, performs county music and top 40 hits to crowds both big and small.
April Cummings
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Prime Parc Restaurant and Lounge, 3480 Financial Center Way, Buford
More info: 678-482-2125

When April Cummings belts out country and top 40 hits, it doesn’t hurt that she has roots in gospel music and has professionally trained pipes.

And people take notice.

Just two weeks ago, the local singer had the chance to open for pop/country music crooner Shawn Mullins, and this weekend she’ll be performing at Prime Parc, a new eatery owned by local chef Timmy Lee.

We talked to Cummings to see what she’s working on musically and how her roots got her where she is today.

Question: Is there any new music coming soon from April Cummings?

Answer: I’m working on a second album, where I will be a coproducer. As well as having a different feel from the first album, it’s going to be a little more of a live, raw-type sound rather than so much production. It’s been a long-term project for me but hopefully things are going to come together by later this year.

Q: What inspiration did you use when writing the songs for the new album?

A: A lot of the inspiration, honestly, has been from just probably personal struggles and a lot of the new material that’s going to be on the album is a more spiritual focus, back to the roots of where I started singing in church and doing a lot of praise and worship kind of stuff.

Q: You play at various night spots around this area. How do you change up your performances for each venue?

A: It really depends on the crowd. Depending on the age of the people ... I try to pick my material around the age. If I see there’s sort of an older crowd and they would really appreciate some of the Patsy Cline or the Kris Kristofferson stuff that I do; if there’s a lot of kids in the crowd at the restaurant, I’ll pull out some of my Fergie or Leona Lewis, these popular songs that are newer on the radio.

Q: What is your music education background?

A: I didn’t have any lessons until I went to college. I went to Gainesville College for two years studying music education and I took classical vocal training there. From going from high school and being involved heavily in chorus and learning some of the basic fundamentals of singing and using your diaphragm for support and then going into college, I think that the vocal training when you are learning to sing in Spanish or Italian, in different languages, and you’re learning a lot about diction and your singing very difficult material, is going to help you in every facet.

Q: What new music are you listening to now?

A: The new music that I’m listening to now is Mercy Me. I heard one of their songs a few years ago and I liked it — I loved it — and recently I’ve heard a lot on the radio ... They’re just great songs with great lyrics and really good messages in there.