Christina Perri has had three major hit songs, but she’s still able to fly under the radar. “Jar of Hearts,” “A Thousand Years” and “Human” have all been massive hits, and somehow the 28-year-old singer has managed to keep a pretty private life unlike her pop star contemporaries. Christina will be performing at this year’s Club Skirts The Dinah on April 3 and told us all about her gay female friends and what she’s looking forward to at the year’s biggest lesbian party.
AfterEllen.com: Have you ever been to the Dinah before?
Christina Perri: Oh my gosh. No, I’ve never been, but I have been hearing about it since I booked the show and have a lot of friends who have gone before and a lot of friends that are coming with me. They’re all renting a van and going to drive down and everyone’s so excited about it.
AE: Do you have a lot of gay friends? I know you’ve done a NOH8 photo before, too. What makes you a supporter of equality?
CP: Well, I mean, first and foremost, I just believe in equality as a human being. I feel very, very strongly about it. Maybe because I grew up—my family is very loving and amazing and there was never any sort of negative judgements in my family. My mom’s a hair dresser, my dad’s a barber, I grew up in hair salons. I knew gay people from birth. It was never a thing for me. I never separated anything in my head, growing up. As an adult, three of my favorite beset friends are gay. I have an entire community of gay women in my life. So, yeah, I mean to me it’s a no brainer. I believe in equality just because it’s the right thing to me. But I also feel strongly because I have friends that deal with it all the time—issues with gay marriage, all that stuff. I absolutely believe in it so much that I would stand in line with anyone.
AE: I’ve seen some really adorable fan videos made of lesbian couples to your songs. Do you ever get to watch any of those?
CP: Yes, not only do I watch the videos but I do a lot of cute proposals on stage like if I’m on tour and someone says, “Hey, can I come up and propose to my girlfriend?” I’ve done a lot of girls proposing to girls and guys proposing to guys because I think it’s really cute and I’m a hopeless romantic! So yeah, I’m super connected to the fans when it comes to social media. I’m always seeing everything and writing them and all that stuff. So I think it’s adorable. I write love songs! I’m a softy. I love anything that has to do with romance.
AE: How do get a crowd pumped up when you’re singing a lot of slower love songs?
CP: Well, it’s a good question. I feel like maybe I’ve been very fortunate, I don’t know. But when I do parties, I tend to—you know, I’m singing with the piano by myself for “Jar of Hearts,” and that’s very slow and waltzy. … At the same time, I’ve been invited to do this show and people know these are the songs I’m coming to play. I have other type of songs I play, but I can’t not play the ballads because those are the songs that are just really big for me and hopefully people will slow dance with their dates or sing along. That would be great.
AE: I love your tattoos! Sometimes in mass pop culture, people can still look down on them so I was wondering if you’ve ever had any experiences with that.
CP: Yeah, you know, it’s funny. I’ve been heavily tattooed for about 10 years now. And so I forget a.) that I have them and then b.) people make a judgment of me right away, which is really interesting. I want to say the majority—right now there’s a shift, especially in major cities like L.A., New York, Philly, London. There’s a lot of places that don’t care at all. But when I go to much smaller town or other countries, it’s really all they want to talk about. Which, I’m fine with it—I’ve got no regrets and it’s just who I am, but it definitely ends up being more of a topic than I ever thought it would be as a musician. It’s interesting. I’ll end up getting more questions about my skin than about my music. But, because I’m so comfortable, I kind of don’t care. I love them all so I can talk about them for days. It’s interesting. One of my favorite things to do, I can’t lie, is to get really really dolled up to prove—and also, my personality I’d say people are a little bit surprised, they might think I’m really tough, they might have a judgement about me. I open my mouth and I start singing, and I’m all dolled up and in a pretty dress and I like proving people wrong. Like if they’re having a negative judgement, I can prove them wrong, which I think is kind of cool.
AE: I know you’re touring overseas soon. What are you looking forward to?
CP: I really enjoy going overseas, I enjoy going anywhere I’m invited, to be quite honest. It’s an awesome feeling to be in a roomful of people who sing along to my songs. A lot of times, I only get to see the hotel or the bus or the van or the airplane, but in a lot of cities, I like to go and, if I have any free time, walk around. Also I’ve become quite the cheeseburger aficionado and play this game where I try a cheeseburger in every city or country that I go to, so that keeps it fun. You know, it’s a dream job. I can’t even call it that because I love playing with my band, who I absolutely love the most. And the whole thing is so dreamy. Today is actually my five year anniversary of my career, I guess, from my manager—five years ago today they found the videos I had on YouTube. And so for the past five years, it’s been a dream. And that’s not me being cheesy. It’s really true.
AE: Is there anything you want new fans to know about you?
CP: Well I want them to know my music. I feel like my music is more well known than I am. I walk around in public all the time and people don’t say anything and then all of a sudden people freak out because they love my songs. I think it’s super cool being a songwriter, I’m really cool with that. So if people come to the show, I just hope that the music grabs them and it touches their heart and they want to go home and hear it again. I guess that would be my only wish.
Christina Perri plays The Dinah on April 3. Get tickets at TheDinah.com.