By NASA MARIA ENTABAN
CHRISTINA Perri has love affairs and heartbreak to thank for her success. If it weren’t for an on-and-off six-year relationship which inspired the soul-wrenching song Jar of Hearts that ended up being used on So You Think You Can Dance, she might not be where she is today – baring her soul for audiences all over the world.
The universal themes of love and love lost are what have brought the 25-year-old singer so far from where she was two years ago – an unknown singer working in a cafe.
Last week she performed to Malaysian fans at the packed KL Live in Kuala Lumpur as part of her promo tour for her debut album Lovestrong.
Perri is part of what’s missing from today’s music. There aren’t many young singers (well, apart from Adele) who sing with such raw emotion and come off sincere and authentic.
In an age where it’s a little tougher to catch a break if your music doesn’t have dance beats or catchy pop tunes, making it this far is a heck of an accomplishment, but Perri has done it by tapping into her deepest emotions.
“I feel incapable of doing anything that’s not authentic and they’ve tried to come in and make all these remixes of my songs to sound like what’s popular.
And maybe by not conforming to what’s popular is what sets me apart,” said the singer at a press conference earlier in the day.
“Every song of mine is about experiences I’ve had with love and loss,” said Perri. “It (songwriting) really has to do with the part you can’t count on like the emotions. If I’m super overwhelmed, falling in love or out of love, that’s when a song is coming. I should probably run to my piano and my guitar then I write the melody and lyrics at the same time.”
The one-and-half-hour KL concert included songs from Lovestrong like Bang Bang Bang, Black + Blue, Distance (which features Jason Mraz), My Eyes, Bluebird, and The Lonely.
Perri also performed a concert staple, The Ronette’s Be My Baby, and tracks not included in the album like Crazy and Run.
For the mega-hit A Thousand Years, a song Perri wrote for the movie Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part One, she brought up ad-blogging site Nuffnang co-founder Timothy Tiah and his fiancee Audrey Ooi on stage. (The song was used on the couple’s proposal video which garnered almost four million views late last year). The audience lapped it up, singing along and swaying to the slow number.
“I’m a huge Twilight fan so it’s really easy for me to tap into that. All my songs are about my own experiences, so as a songwriter it’s cool to step out of that and write about someone else,” said Perri to reporters earlier.
“It’s lyrically one of the most simple songs I’ve ever written but that’s what I think connects with people so much because that’s exactly what your heart is saying, when you fall in love with someone so much,” she added.
The stand-out performance of the night was hands-down, Jar of Hearts – Perri’s haunting and expressive vocals needed little accompaniment save the raw emotion behind the lyrics.
She may be more known for her slow numbers but this isn’t to say Perri is incapable of writing uplifting and fast numbers. She ended her set with the happy and upbeat Arms, a song about letting yourself be loved – and it was a nice, uplifting way to end the pleasant evening.