But those barista days are over for Christina Perri, a Philadelphia native whose ubiquitous single, “Jar of Hearts,” continues climbing on the Top 40 charts.
She caught the attention of Bill Silva Management’s Tom Gates barely a year ago, on the basis of a YouTube video with fewer than 200 hits. He promptly arranged a meeting with her, joined by fellow manager Ryan Chisholm. They were struck by the young singer-songwriter’s personality, charisma and desire to become a career artist and got her into a studio with a professional producer to burnish those songs.
“The first few songs to come out of this experiment were two songs that will be on the upcoming album,” Gates told Pollstar. “Both of us were floored. We shared it with Bill [Silva], he got on board with us and we watched this young artist blossom.”
At the same time, a choreographer friend of Perri’s brought a demo of “Jar of Hearts” to the executive producer of FOX TV hit “So You Think You Can Dance.”
“The song was featured [on the show], which has more than 6 million viewers,” Chisholm said. “We did the groundwork on the digital side so it would get up on iTunes and YouTube, and did Twitter and Facebook sites to be ready for that push. The fans and the song did the rest.”
In addition to keeping her music real, Perri cultivates a personal connection with fans by personally responding to e-mail, frequently posting notes and photos to her blog and spending hours after shows signing autographs.
“She’s completely committed. Anyone who buys into her, she’s going to buy into them,” Gates said. “She will take you through her day on her network, and it feels like a day you would have had – good, bad or otherwise. She documented her worst day in the studio in a very descriptive, honest and raw blog.”
Perri is currently touring with James Blunt, but with her May album debut, lovestrong, the plan is for her to begin headlining by summer.
“There’s no question in my mind that Christina is going to be one of the artists from this year’s class that is going to be vibrant, growing and have a robust audience that connects with her from around the world,” Silva said. “We’ll look to her as a real spokesperson for what’s happening for young people in music.”
“Jar of Hearts” sold approximately 220,000 copies through TuneCore before Perri signed with Atlantic. It has since sold some 1.4 million.