The singer-songwriter's new album, Head Or Heart, took more than a year to be completed.
Every singer-songwriter worth his or her salt is proud of each album he or she releases. Christina Perri, the artiste known for multi-platinum hits Jar Of Hearts and A Thousand Years, is no different.
The 27-year-old singer could not wait to share the new material she wrote and recorded for Head Or Heart, the follow-up to her debut album, lovestrong.
You would not peg her for a workaholic from her easy-going charisma. And maybe she’s not, but she definitely will put pen to paper the minute inspiration strikes.
Perri initially thought she would take a break after completing her 27-month long tour for her first album. Alas, that break was never meant to be. Shortly after returning home in October 2012, she wrote Trust, which is the first song on Head Or Heart.
“I never know when a song is going to come but that song just inspired the whole theme of the album so I just started again,” Perri told Star2 recently over the phone from her hotel room in Utah, United States.
Where it took just 33 days to finish lovestrong, she said the sophomore album took one year and 78 days to complete.
“Every single thing was different,” she revealed about how putting together the sophomore effort differed from the first release.
“Sonically, it was new. The co-writers I wrote with were new. The producers were new. I’m better at my instruments. I’m better at singing because I got vocal cord surgery (to remove a cyst in 2011). Everything was really bigger and better this time.”
Part of the reason for the new vibe on the album is Perri being in a different place, quite literally.
“I recorded nine songs in Britain,” she explained. “And I wrote about half of the album in Britain so I definitely think that this album is very British ‘cos it’s impossible to go somewhere and not morph into wherever you are whether it be the people there or the way people say things or play instruments.
“I was spending every day with my producer (Jake Gosling) and his kids and I was so happy. It was summer time. It was just one of the best experiences I’ve ever had which is maybe why I love this album so much because I have a very happy memory of making it.
“Because I was outside of my comfort zone and I was submersed into a new culture, I was able to focus more and felt comfortable enough to take some risks. I definitely attribute the vibe to the Brits.”
When asked if she spoke with a British accent by the end of her summer stay, she laughed before saying: “No, if I did, my friends would definitely have made fun of me.”
However, she conceded to latching on to a few things: “I did start saying things like ‘mobile’ instead of ‘cell phone’. In my head, I’d be saying one thing but I’d be saying it in another way in reality. In my head, I wished I was British.”
Burning Gold and Be My Forever (featuring Ed Sheeran) from her new album are perfect examples of the change in vibe she was referring to. The former sounds like something from a British female pop artiste while the latter is “the happiest song” she’s ever written.
Learning from her first tour experience, which was in support of lovestrong — what she calls her break-up album — Perri decided to “have more fun songs” for her second effort.
In fact, when she visited Kuala Lumpur in June 2012, she expressed a desire to write a happier album the next time around.
“I did? I said that? Well, I did it!” the singer, who has more than 50 tattoos on her body, exclaimed. “Here’s the thing: Album Two is just more dynamic in general. It’s not a break-up album. It’s the opposite. I think it’s every emotion a person feels. I think I’ve managed to capture them all.”
As for her duet with Sheeran, it materialised from a dare posed by singer-songwriter Jamie Scott. She was feeling particularly happy the day Be My Forever was written and doubted the suitability of the song for Head Or Heart at the start.
“I was sure I wasn’t going to keep this, maybe I’d give it away to somebody else. But by the end of the day, I’d fallen in love with the song. Ed and I are friends and he loved it when I played it for him. So, we recorded it. It’s one of my favourites,” explained the self-confessed romantic who went from waitress to recording artiste after Jar Of Hearts was featured on reality TV show So You Think You Can Dance in 2010.
Since the title of the album is Head Or Heart, it begged the question: Is Perri more likely to go with her head or her heart?
“In a pinch, my heart,” she revealed. “But I really, really want to learn how to trust both at the same time. I feel like the album, the whole theme, my experience with love is choosing one or the other. But, I really feel like the answer is both. I’m still on my own journey of trying to figure that out so I don’t really have the right answer yet.”