AOL Music had the chance to talk with Perri about why she sings ballads, her upcoming tour with Blunt and what it was like getting a tattoo from Kat Von D.
'Jar of Hearts' has already gone platinum and is on its way to double-platinum. 'Arms' is getting tons of buzz. How does it feel to have all this before your debut record even releases?
It totally freaks me out every day. It's so unbelievable and magical, and I couldn't feel luckier. I don't know what I would do without iTunes and Facebook. I went to Paris, and I've never been there. They don't even play my song on the radio, and you couldn't move in the place I played . So many people showed up just because of the Internet. I just feel ridiculously blessed and so excited.
And the other thing that I've been keeping quiet about is that I'm so in love with the album and the way it came out. So I'm so excited when it's not out yet and people are freaking out over a certain thing. And I'm like, "Oh my god, this song didn't even come out yet." It's really exciting.
Since there's so much hype about you and 'lovestrong.' right now, do you feel any pressure?
I think if I let myself think too much about it, I feel like I would. I totally get nervous, and I'm just human. And I definitely freak myself out too much. [But] I'm confident in it, and I couldn't imagine the songs being recorded any better. I know I did my best. I have no loose ends about it. And it's going to go out into the world. The people who are going to like are going to like and the people who don't aren't, and it's totally OK. Whatever happens is totally OK with me.
You recently released a video for 'The Lonely,' what is that song about?
'The Lonely' was funny. Well, not really funny, but kind of sad. It was the August of last year, and I remember I went to this event. I was all dressed up with full hair and makeup and poufy dress. Then I pulled into my driveway, alone, and sat in the car at 2AM and cried my eyes out and wrote that song. It's about loneliness but personified. It's about my relationship with nobody or with this ghost of somebody. And it couldn't have been more true for me during that time in my life.
Every song on the album is a time for me -- like 'Tragedy' was 2002. I wrote that song so long ago and was the second song I had ever written. There's such a range of signs and emotions. They are just like little time markers in my life or something, and 'The Lonely' happens to be very new. 'Arms' and 'The Lonely' happened in the summer of this past year, but they're all real. They are just real relationships I've had and real experiences I've had with love.
Watch Christina Perri's 'Jar of Hearts' video.
So far the songs you had released are emotional and mostly ballads. Is that the direction you have always wanted to go in for 'lovestrong.?' Do you want to be known most for your ballads?
I wouldn't mind. I couldn't feel more authentic. But there is a song on the album called 'Penguin' that couldn't be happier and is a total 180. But I feel like these songs are just me. But like I've said, I don't think too much about it, and I can't seem to write anything that I haven't gone through or that isn't very authentic. If I happen to be that girl who sings about heartbreak then so be it.
Who were your influences while making this album?
I try to keep love as my main inspiration. And when we were recording the album, I was trying not to listen to much music besides what we were working on so I wouldn't get distracted. I was really inspired by my producer, Joe Chiccarelli (White Stripes, Tori Amos, the Shins), my friends, and we'd go there with the songs like skeletons. Because I write with piano or guitar, I would come in with vocals and one instrument and we'd start from the ground up and add things.
I definitely have this foundation of pop music, old pop music like Dean Martin. My dad's from Italy so I grow up listening to Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. My mom was a little hippie so we'd listen to James Taylor and Elton John. So I've got this foundation of old school songwriters, and then I got obsessed with the Beatles when I was 13. So that's where my melodies and lyrics and inspiration comes from. Then I just mushed it all together in my brain and made 'lovestrong.'
You're going on tour with James Blunt. Are you a fan? How are you prepping for the tour?
I'm so excited to be on my own tour and to be on a bus with my band. I've dreamed of this stuff my whole life, and it's the first time I'm going to have a 45-minute show. So I've got this platform to a beginning, a middle and an end and really wrap my head around playing a show. And James, I haven't met him yet, but I hear he's the nicest guy, and I can't imagine anything but having the best time ever. The venues are really cool. It's only 11 shows, but I feel like it'll just a really cool tour for me. It'll just get my feet wet with touring, and then I'll hop back on the bus and do my own little headlining tour all summer. So I'm really excited to just get to this next step.
With everything that's happened from the moment everyone heard 'Jar of Hearts' on 'So You Think You Can Dance' to your first album releasing, what's the biggest change you had a hard time adjusting to?
I feel like there are little things every day that are really challenging like traveling and the constant performing and the nerves I go through every day. And then there are the equally things that are so amazing like getting emails from little girls or women who tell that their hearts feel better or getting to sing these songs for people, and they sing it back in the audience. Or not having to wake up every morning to waitress and cover my tattoos and be somebody else. I get to wake up and play music. So it's this incredible journey for me. I'm learning so much every day, and I'm grateful for so much every day.
Speaking of tattoos, you mentioned on Twitter that you got inked by Kat Von D. Can you tell us about the experience or any details about what you had done?
I've always wanted a tattoo by Kat because she's the best at portraits so that's kind of a little hint, and it was a five-hour tattoo. So that's another hint. And it was definitely one of the most fun days of my whole life. It was totally surreal. Right now, it's my favorite tattoo that I've ever gotten, and I have 37.
Watch Christina Perri's 'Black and Blue' video.