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Q+A: Christina Perri opens for Jason Mraz at Red Rock Resort

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Perri’s big break was performing on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance reality competition program.
Francois Bertheir

Even if you don’t know who Christina Perri is, chances are you’ve heard her music. The Philadelphia native’s songs have been featured in everything from Glee to So You Think You Can Dance to soundtracks for The Twilight Saga film franchise. Perri performs at the Red Rock Resort Sunday night, opening for Grammy winning musician Jason Mraz. She took the time out of her busy touring schedule to discuss Sunday’s show, working with Mraz and more.

The first I heard of you, like many, was your “Jar of Hearts” single. Why do you think this song was so successful?

I think it just connects to people because it’s honest. At the time it didn’t sound like everything else, so that was helpful, so it kind of stood out. But then it’s just about something that we’ve all really gone through, and it’s very real. I think that people just kind of open their hearts to it and then all of a sudden me and the listener are connected. I feel that when I go out on stage; I feel like I already know everybody, which is such a cool thing and it’s because of this song so it’s really wonderful.

Your song gained national attention after it was used in a number of popular primetime programs. Do you think that this is an important move in the music business now?

Yeah, I think it’s a huge thing, and I think it went from being really uncool to being really cool. I’ve noticed that some of my favorite bands are in commercials and on TV shows and it’s just really become embraced, I think, by the artists … it’s a great opportunity for anybody to have their song on a TV show, in a movie, on a commercial. It’s pretty baller … I was really honored to have that happen to me … it catapulted my career …

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Jason Mraz & Christina Perri
October 7, 7 p.m., $40
Red Rock Resort, 797-7777

You recorded your single “Distance” with Jason Mraz and are opening for him Sunday night at the Red Rock Resort. Can you tell me a little bit about your creative collaboration?

That was probably, and still is because I’m still kind of in it, my favorite experience, I think, so far in my career. I have a bunch of favorites, I have like probably like a Top 10, but I’d say it’s up there. … I’ve been bumping into Jason since day one of my career, because we have the same managers and the same label. We’d find ourselves running in the same circles a bunch … I was a little bit nerdy and quiet around him just because I’m such a fan, and then I guess I started getting more comfortable because I’d see him so often … one day he just surprised me and came out on stage and sang “Distance” with me. It wasn’t planned, it was a last minute decision, it wasn’t rehearsed. He just liked that song on my album, which in itself kind of blows me away. … it was so organic the way it happened … A couple months later we performed it on Valentine’s Day in New York City and … it was around that time when he was like, “I’m going on tour this summer” and everything just sort of started to line up … And he was like, “Let’s re-record that song” and “Let’s make a music video” and “Let’s go on tour together.” It was all kind of orchestrated by him … we perform the song together every night, so literally my dreams come true onstage in front of everybody every single night.

What else can the audience look forward to from your set on Sunday night?

Well, it’s going to be our last show of our whole tour, and it kind of feels like senior year for me because it’s the last show of my touring in general and the last show of my album cycle. So I’m really going to be just letting it go and having the most fun ever. … I already knew the Vegas show was going to be the most fun … also because I think there will be some pranks involved in probably our set and Jason’s set … And as far as my set goes, I don’t know. I find myself reading people’s comments and tweets and reading everyone’s faces, and they look kind of shocked in a cool way. Maybe they’re expecting a pretty tame set, and that is entirely not what they will receive at all. We kind of rock our faces off. So I expect everyone to come expecting to have a good time, and to feel something. I can’t lie, my songs are pulled from these insanely sensitive heartstrings of mine …

Your songs are quite emotional. Are you ever afraid to be so open and honest?

If I was afraid I’d be in trouble, because I just don’t know how else to be. I’m the worst liar on the planet, everyone who knows me would tell you that. I’m so open about everything anyway in my real life, with every human that I encounter, that that’s just completely translated into my music because it’s just who I am. I’m incapable of being inauthentic and dishonest, even in my lyrics and in my love life, which is not fortunate sometimes, but it’s the way that I live.

I read somewhere you’re currently working on your sophomore album. Where are you in the process with that?

I get off tour on Sunday … in that year and three months, I’ve written about 50 songs. … I’m spending October and November organizing, preparing, deciding on about 25 of them, writing a couple more with some friends, that sort of thing. December, I’m going to pre-production then with my band, and then break for the holidays. Then we start February-March recording. I do not know when the album will come out, that’s up to the label … I’m sure I’ll have a single out by the Spring, and then [I’m] kind of “joining the circus” again, as they say, for round two.

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Mark Adams joined the Las Vegas Weekly in 2010 and now serves as the magazine’s web editor. You can also ...

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