When Christina Perri was plucked from obscurity (and a waitressing job on LA's Melrose Avenue) last year after her ditty "Jar Of Hearts" became an overnight smash, I bet the New Jersey-bred artist thought she had left the Garden State firmly in the past. But no: Of all people, the singer, who is dating fellow musician John Andersson, now has to contend with being hit on by the Jersey Shore cast.
How? I'll let Perri, 24, whose debut LP, Lovestrong, was recently released, tell all about it.
UsMagazine.com: How do you feel with the album coming out?
Christina Perri: I feel like I'm right where I should be, and I am excited and anxious at the same time. I made the album in 33 days but I don't feel I rushed through it. My band and I wrote all of the songs on the album. We just rolled into the studio, laid 'em all down, and, put on little instrumentations and whatnot. The biggest challenge was re-visiting the feelings and emotions I had when I wrote the songs a few years ago. I had to reopen all my wounds to make the album, and they didn't all close when I finished recording. There were nights where I just wanted a chocolate milkshake because I was so emotional and vulnerable. The last little stitch will get stitched back up on my heart when the album comes out. As soon as it comes out, I feel like I'm just going to feel way better.
Us: Were all of these songs about the same person?
CP: No, they're all different people. They're just my stories from the past. I fall in and out of love a bunch and so that's my biggest inspiration. You can follow the timeline of my life when you listen to the songs. I've always been open and feel as though maybe I go through certain things for certain reasons. I write songs to put out to the world and make other people feel better and stronger. They're all personal stories.
Us: Has it been hard to date with guys worrying you are going to write a song about them?
CP: Nobody's safe. I wrote a song on the album called "The Lonely" about my relationship with loneliness.
Us: Are you single now?
CP: I have a boyfriend named John Anderson who I adore. We have been together seven months. I co-wrote a song with him called "Penguin" and it was the last song to add on to the album. Because it is the last song, it's obvious where I'm at today, which is in a good place. It's cool because the relationship fuels my writing and it is why I've been able to add some new songs at the end.
Us: Was it easy to write with him?
CP: It was over-the-top, nauseatingly cute, but that's because that's the stage we're in. The relationship will be up and down, and who knows what will happen. I'm sure the world will find out with my next songs.
Us: The last time we spoke, you were a waitress. Have you gone back to that restaurant?
CP: I could have had this big, grandiose ending like, "I'm never waitressing again!" When it all happened I didn't want to be that asshole. I got my shifts covered before they replaced me and had this nice, polite exit. They were great and supportive while I was doing all this crazy stuff. It was a nice, little "hey, thanks for the job, but I'm going to go be a rock star now."
Us: Have you gone back to the restaurant to eat now as a customer?
CP: No, they closed! I might have been the best barista they ever had at Melrose Place Café. It was only open for a year, and the place before it was only open for a year. You know how it goes in Hollywood. It's ridiculous.
Us: Have you been able to help any struggling actors and singers now that you are successful?
CP: Nobody's asked specifically for help, but I'm always open to help someone. I haven't had the opportunity to bring on a struggling musician or introduce someone to somebody specifically, but I would if the opportunity ever came up or if anybody I know ever needed help.
Us: Have you gathered any strange famous fans?
CP: The cast of the Jersey Shore. I'm in love with them. I grew up in Philadelphia so I watch that show when I'm homesick. Every kid in my high school had a blowout, a fake tan, lip liner, extensions, and the fake nails. I am a total closet guidette. When Vinny and Deena were tweeting me, I was like, "Oh, my God." I was more excited than if Madonna had tweeted me. Vinny has indirectly been hitting on me. Something about my tattoos, He was like, "hey girl, are you in New York City? Let's meet up." I have yet to meet him, but it's pretty interesting.
Us: Are you attracted to Pauly D or Vinny?
CP: Unfortunately, I went to high school with people similar to them so I have this "oooooh" thing about the whole blowout look. It's not really my type. I'm more of the tattooed rocker wearing skinny jeans kind of person. But I seriously love them all as people. I want to be their friend for sure.
Us: You are a viral, overnight superstar, similar to Rebecca Black. Do you have any thoughts on her fame or what happened to her?
CP: I didn't really think about it. I have been wrapped up in this whirlwind so I've been missing a lot of stuff going on today. Everybody has his or her own path. I worked really hard as a singer/songwriter for years; I have a different perspective of it. Whatever happens in your path that makes you blow up, that's rad.
Us: Do you have any advice for up and coming musicians?
CP: My advice is to not give up because I wanted to give up so many times. The majority of human beings don't get their big break because they give up when it's the hardest. I guarantee you if it's scary and awful, it's probably what you're supposed to do. Always just push through that really crappy time and I guarantee you that your dream is hanging out waiting for you like, "oh there you are!"
Us: So you're obviously very proud to have your album out. Are you surprised at all?
CP: I've been dreaming of making an album my whole life and I definitely didn't know what to expect. This is my first album, my first tour, my first tour bus, my first everything. I'm in the position of like, 'Holy cannoli!' Everything's crazy, and I'm constantly freaking out and not believing it all is really happening. Everyone keeps saying, 'Wow, that was a really crazy whirlwind!' I'm like, 'What are you talking about? I'm still in it!' I have not stepped out of it yet! Maybe in a couple years I'll have a better perspective.
Us: What's coming up now that the album is finally here?
CP: I'm going to tour for the rest of the year. I want to meet everybody who buys my music, who likes my music, and who comes to my shows. I hang out with fans after every show. My favorite part is the communication with these people. People write to me and tell me how their hearts feel better and I feel super honored to wake up everyday and write and play music.
Us: Anyone that you want to collaborate with?
CP: I've never been into so many female artists at once! Normally I have a bunch of favorite dudes and then one or two girls that come up. I liked Fiona Apple growing up. Now, there's this crazy resurgence of female singer/songwriters who rock and who just kick ass: Lissie and Adele and Florence and the Machine and Laura Marling. I'm dreaming of some rad tour with all of these girls. I would be honored to do anything with any of them.
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