I had the pleasure of sitting down with Christina Perri at the Mohegan Sun Casino stop of the Demi Lovato World Tour where she is the opening act. Through our short 10 minutes together my music editor and I developed a new found love for what is Christina Perri. Her music is great. Personality is humble and gracious and her performance has this majestic feel to it.
We touched on how she started, how she got to where she is today and where she sees herself in the future. Check out the interview below and the photos from her performance at the bottom!
Lets go back 10-15 years, what album or artist shaped your childhood?
I have to say Revolver.
My cool aunt gave it to me when I was 13. After I got that, I went to the CD store in my neighborhood and I said to the guy “I just got Revolver, can I have more Beetles please?” He said “you cannot start with Revolver” and he then made me buy Please Please Me by The Beatles and then took me in order of all of The Beatles albums. From there on every Saturday I would babysit and get $20 and I would go buy the next album.
You can travel back in time to one musical decade. Which do do you go to? Who do you go see?
Oh man, it is going to be August 17th 1964. Beatles at Shea Stadium.
If you could write a song with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be?
Probably Dean Martin. I want to just sing with him so if I could sing whatever I write, it would be perfect.
What’s the most important element in a pop song?
Melody. I don’t want to say I don’t care what the lyrics are, but I love the melody and if it moves me I could be listening to any lyric, whatsoever.
You turn the top 40 radio station on, which song or artist do you hope is playing?
You could live in one place for the rest of your life, where is it?
If I can bring my whole family, Italy.
I’ve read that your brother was a huge influence in the start of your career. A bit of inspiration rather. Is he still today?
Not in my music. He is just my biggest inspiration because he is my big brother and I want to be him. I want to do everything he does. He is my favorite. But you know, he plays guitar only. He is the best guitar player I have ever met in my life. But that is his thing. He is also very much into rock and all that stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I love Guns n Roses and I love all of those originals. But musically, I think we are in two different spaces. He just inspires me as a person. He is my bestfriend.
You have had an interesting progression as an artist. You moved to LA, then moved back to Philly then back again to LA. Did the experience help shape your career in music today?
Yes, especially the reasoning why I went back and fourth. The reason I moved to LA was that I wanted to go chase my dream. That was the most important one. Then what actually happened is real life. I was terrified and wavering back and fourth between courage and insecurity like most people do. Especially in LA where everybody is trying to do similar things. What happened was I then moved back to Philadelphia with my tail between my legs thinking that aw man this is not going to work out. However, once back in Philly I was like I didn’t even try hard enough. I then go back to LA with another boost of courage and that is when it all happened. And if I hadn’t gone to Philadelphia on December 2nd, of 2009 I wouldn’t of written Jar of Hearts in my pajamas at my parents house. So I am pretty sure that was the most important trip of my entire life. Even though I had no idea at the time.
Interesting, so you don’t regret going back and fourth?
I have zero regrets in life. Completely 100%, even all of my tattoos.
What most frequently inspires your song writing?
Feelings. That is when I am going to write something; when I am really feeling a 10 or a 0. I can not think of any songs that I have written that have made my albums where I have been at a 5. I am either extremely happy or extremely bummed out. The only way I know how to get through tough days is to write a song about it. For me, writing is the constant in my life. When I feel down and out, I am going to write no matter what. It helps me get through it all. I am an Italian girl, I have a lot of feelings.
I’d like to get some insight into your creative process. Can you take us through the inspiration that led to your song, Human?
April 9th, 2013. I was crying for 3 hours before the song was written. Which is awesome because crying is like a -2. I usually hit the 0, but that day it was a -2. I was feeling real sorry for myself. I felt like I really didn’t even like music that day. I was maxed out and I had to do this writing session so instead I sat there and cried. Then this song was born . It started out on the piano. I had the flu that day so I sounded very sick. I showed the song to Martin Johnson who is an awesome song writer. He came in with a guitar when I would calm down and stop crying and we finished writing it together. We then voiced memoed it like I do every single song. Both of my albums were birth stones of fucking iPhones; it’s awesome. We were at a studio in LA, in a little piano room. The engineer Kyle was waiting in the control room, when we finally felt good enough we laid down the demo. I played piano, Marin played guitar. I was so sick I only sang through half of it, Martin sang the other half. Then within the next five days Martin demoed up all of the sounds you hear. I only played piano on that recording. All of the songs were different. I played guitar or piano or bass or nothing or tambourines and snaps and claps and shit. But, for Human it was only piano. I then finished up all of the harmonies. That took about two days. We then sent it to the label and thats when they gave all of their opinions. They didn’t have many because it was a perfect demo. We almost didn’t beat the demo, we kept trying to make the final sound exactly like the demo. We got the track mastered soon after, then since it was the single on the album I ended up re-mastering it two more times up to 24 hours before it was released. There was this awful whip sound that I hated so much. I kept begging everyone to take it out. Instead of taking it out completely we just lowered it enough to a point where I could no longer hear it. That is what a lot of the music business is, compromise.
Christina Perri 6 months from now… What does that look like? Any new albums in the works?
Lets see, 6 months I will have been touring with Demi, I am working on two little secret things that I can’t mention today. I have decided today that I am going to do another christmas EP.
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