Christina Perri Biography
At just 23, Christina Perri has already lived a handful of lives. She's toured the world as an assistant to a rock band, spent a year at a prestigious university, became a wife and then an ex-wife, produced popular music videos, made olive oil in Italy and even served as a fashionista barrista in Beverly Hills. The whole while, music had been tapping her on the shoulder, trying to lead her down a path as a musician. It seems that fate grew tired of this shoulder-tapping approach as well and went for an old fashioned sucker punch.
On June 30th, a raw, defiant break-up song that Perri had written called "Jar of Hearts" aired on Fox's So You Think You Can Dance as a backdrop to a memorable piece choreographed by Stacey Tookey. The song struck a chord with viewers, who began downloading it from iTunes in droves, sending "Jar of Hearts" into the Top 10 on the iTunes Pop chart and into the Top 15 on the Overall chart overnight. Impressed, SYTYCD's producers invited Perri to play the song live on the show two weeks later.
Following Perri's stripped-down piano performance on July 15th, "Jar of Hearts" continued its meteoric rise. After landing at No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and at No. 1 on Amazon's digital singles chart, the track sold 200,000 downloads in three weeks. Suddenly a hot property, Perri signed a record deal with Atlantic Records and is in the studio finishing up her debut album, with an eye toward a late fall release. She will also hit the road for a handful of shows in late September to perform with Jason Mraz, one of her all-time favorite artists.
"While all of this was happening, I barely slept," Perri says, "because I was afraid it was just a dream; that I'd wake up and none of it would be real. One minute I didn't exist in the music world and the next minute I did. It has been so unbelievable."
Though she's a newcomer to the pop charts, Perri has actually been preparing for this moment since she was a child. The daughter of hairdressers (whom she describes as "not musical, though my mom can whistle in many octaves and both my parents play the accordion"), Perri first sang in public at her Holy Communion at age six. Piano lessons began at age 8, followed by musical theater from age 11. At 9, her piano teacher "fired" her (as she puts it), because "I would change the endings to all the songs because I didn't like the way they were written. I liked my version better." Perri picked up a guitar and taught herself to play from watching VHS tapes of Blind Melon (whose guitarist, Christopher Thorn, recently sent her a congratulatory email via MySpace).
Perri was in London working as a gofer for her brother's band Silvertide when she got word that she had been accepted to Philadelphia's prestigious University of the Arts with a sizeable scholarship. She attended for a year, but took a leave of absence to visit her father's extensive family in Italy. "I was 19 and I needed to soul search," she says. "I was still writing music, but I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life." She spent the summer learning how to make olive oil and wine, living with seventeen different family members in seventeen different cities.
Still searching, Perri moved to Los Angeles with a suitcase and a guitar. "I didn't know anyone," she says. "I did a lot of crying and a lot of songwriting." On her fourth day in Los Angeles, Perri met a guy, and, carried away with the romance of it, eloped four months later. The couple launched a production company and Perri worked as its executive producer, creating music videos and commercials. She was 22. "In theory, it all sounds perfect," she admits. "I had the house, the job, the dogs. It was the coolest life ever, but it was somebody else's life."
Perri and her husband split and she decided to recommit herself to being a singer and a songwriter. "I locked myself in the house and wrote music," she says. She also posted YouTube videos of herself performing her own songs, as well as covers, and shared her struggles in her uniquely humorous way. A video of one of her original compositions, "Tragedy," caught the attention of Bill Silva Management (which represents Jason Mraz, James Morrison, and others), who signed on to represent her.
And so began Perri's charmed odyssey.
Perri feels that "Jar of Hearts" has connected because, "on a basic level, everyone has had this experience with a person who broke their heart. I'm just telling my story in a very real and direct way. This kind of slapped the crap out of everyone's hearts," she says with a laugh.
The songs Perri is recording for her debut album are all about love. She excels at setting dark, tumultuous emotions to stunning, pretty melodies, something Fiona Apple and Alanis Morissette excelled at back in the day. "I would love to bring that back for a younger generation," Perri says. "I had them to listen to when I was young, but girls today don't really have their Fiona or Alanis. And writing about love and heartbreak is just who I am. I've tried so hard to write about other things, but ultimately this is what comes out of me. I have zero capability to do anything that is inauthentic to who I am."
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i love christina perri! | Reviewer: tiffany | 7/16/13
she is my inspiration!
biggest fan ever! i am doind my passion project on her
im so glad in the end she has a happy ending
just like twilight!
soz im a twihard like the biggest one eva!!
yay! her dream came true which is the most important part of all!!
Great touching song,great lyrics n great vocals | Reviewer: Rudo | 6/11/13
love this song so much coz I can relate with what she z singing. can't seem to stop playing it over n over again.heard mi lil brother playing it n asked if he could send me the song via Bluetooth.the. song z jus a classic, sad, touching n real.The instrumental n vocals are awesome. Infact every bit of the song.hv been a fan eversince.
Biggest fan in SA | Reviewer: Marlene Beukes | 5/12/13
I've recently had n heartbreak!! And I listend to this song!! And I've been a fan of the way she expresses everything the way you feel it!! Can't wait till she has her first show in South-Africa !!
so real | Reviewer: eli | 3/9/13
i think that this song is so gorgeous and touching. I didn't know anything about the artist and i never heard the song before until today. I have to sing it and learn it quickly because i have to perform it so since it was given to me i discovered it that way.As i was listening to it i started to cry because coincidentally I'm going through something like it. I can relate and feel the same pain expressed in the song. It is just too real and too emotional. I just love it and fell in love with it instantly.
i cried | Reviewer: jana | 5/7/12
was listening to pandora... when this "haunting" song captured my attention... the melody was just different but absorbing... but the moment i listened to it again and had the lyrics on... I CRIED .... it was as if she wrote the song for me.... been a fan since then,,,;-)
Discovered Christina on the radio last week on holiday in the Outer Hebrides | Reviewer: John Gray | 8/10/11
Steve Wright played this haunting song on his radio show and I was hooked from the first hearing. I tuned in to his show each day last week while I was driving and he played the same song Jar of Hearts everyday. When I returned home I was straight on You Tube and downloaded her cd and was blown away by her raw talent as a singer songwriter. Ten years ago a similar thing happened when I first heard a guy called Ryan Adams who I have since seen live many times. I can't wait to be at her first live shows in the UK.
Answer to my Prayers | Reviewer: Emily | 7/28/11
My dad was in Staples getting copies of some papers and I asked him to leave the keys in the car so I could listen to the radio. I flipped through the stations to my favorite one and heard this song. I had no way to know what this song was called so I just remembered a quote or two from the song and then researched it and discovered this song. I kept on replaying it over and over and over again on YouTube. I found the song "haunting" me, as it was always stuck in my head and I could never switch the song whenever I heard it. The song actually meant a lot to me, and Christina Perri brings her edgy yet classy style into her music which is what I love about her so much. She is my favorite artist and I'm a major fan!
Great Songwriting | Reviewer: susan pasquale email@example.com | 2/8/11
All I remember is that I was driving down the road and all of a sudden this "haunting" melody was on the radio. The lyrics were as captivating and memorable as the melody. I pulled off the road to grab a pencil and write down the name of the song and the artist. I can't ever remembering doing that before. I'm 60 years old and love all kinds of music. She sure has a gift! I could feel her pain!
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