Christina Perri reacts to “A Thousand Years” from “Twilight,” which is one of the most viewed YouTube videos of all time

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Christina Perri is a self-proclaimed emo girl. The singer calls ‘Jar of Hearts’ – her angsty debut single from 2010 for the heartbroken – her ‘true essence’. A year later, however, the songwriter released the song she is best known for, “A Thousand Years.”

“A Thousand Years” off The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 has taken on a life of its own over the past decade, attracting billions of streams and inspiring countless covers. The love song even became a trending sound on TikTok, scoring users’ life moments. With 2.1 billion YouTube views, “A Thousand Years” is one of the most viewed videos of all time, ranking 76th out of hundreds of millions videos as of 2022, just ahead of Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” and Rihanna’s “Diamonds”, “Starboy” by The Weeknd and “November Rain” by Guns N’ Roses.

“I didn’t know that,” Perri, 35, tells Bustle of the song’s ranking. “That makes me super grateful. It’s just so cool and amazing, but I don’t quite get it either. That’s so many people watching it. … It’s such a surreal concept – something I did in my friend’s living room that has been looked at or listened to so many times. … It’s just the gift that keeps being given to me and this musical legacy that I have as a result. I just feel honored.”

A lot of life has happened to Perri in the past few years, and her new music reflects that. Her third studio album a lighter shade of blue explores themes of woman empowerment, parenting and grieving after the loss of her daughter Rosie in 2020. Perri assembled a mostly women team for this album, which became important to her after hearing a statistic that only 2% of the music producers are women. “It doesn’t change unless artists like me actually hire women,” says Perri, who has collaborated with Aijia Grammer, Rachel Platten and Adrianne Gonzalez (“AG”) on “Surrender,” a new song written for and written about mothers.

The new album is “emotional, deep and melancholic,” says Perri, who adds that she “reparented herself” from being a sad girl to someone who is open to healing and accepting help. Ahead talks more about Perri a lighter shade of blue and the legacy of “A Thousand Years”.

2022, billboard voted “A Thousand Years” one of the top 30 wedding songs of all time, alongside classics by Whitney Houston, Prince, the Beatles, Beyonce and Shania Twain. What is the legacy of this song? Why does it resonate?

It’s really funny because I was asked to write a song for the wedding scene [in Twilight], but “A Thousand Years” is actually uncredited. My friend Ryan O’Neal wrote the song [“Turning Page” by Sleeping At Last] this is in the wedding. Then the whole world was like okcool, dusk whatever, but that’s my wedding song. This is my anniversary song, the song is about my babies, the song is for my father’s funeral. It became this much bigger thing. I’m a huge Twihard by the way, so I wouldn’t mind if it was just that dusk Song. But I really think its timelessness will end up being a really emotional display of love for someone forever, whatever that context is. I think that’s where it will live on forever, which is crazy.

who is your favorite dusk Character?

I used to frame the book covers from my days as a waitress on my wall before I even got a record deal. I love Bella, but I’m also Team Edward. I love Robert Pattinson. I didn’t know if I could see him as Batman – he’ll always be Edward Cullen to me – but I loved it.

What is your favorite cover of “A Thousand Years”?

I love all covers. Especially the instrumental ones – like the Piano Guys, and I love it when children’s choirs do that. There are many, many covers of this song that absolutely devastated me and I absolutely love, but I will say one of my favorite renditions of it is this 10 second clip on TikTok where I sing “one step closer” and then it kicks off into a lullaby, and it’s set to pregnancy announcements or puppies and kittens. This is my newest favorite thing – being the soundtrack to people’s most important moments.

Tell us about your new song “Evergone”. What is it about and what does it mean for you?

I had my whole album ready before my daughter Rosie died. When I was really underground and grieving and recovering and doing all these self-healing things, my A&R guy sent me a snippet of a song. The funny thing is that in my entire career I’ve never taken over a piece of a song from anyone else. I usually write every single song in the room in real time. But I listened to the song and it was a track Evergone and I thought Oh. I think I realized that I can’t put out an album without mentioning it. I’m the most honest person ever, so I have to talk about it – I will want talk about.

“Evergone” was the last song we put on the album but the first song we put out. I wanted this song to be about Rosie and about death and grief. To decide that the person you lost is not gone, that they are with you in your breath, every step you take, and your mind, your spirit, your future. There’s this feeling that I wanted to describe before introducing the rest of the album to the world, to feel like I’m honoring my truth. Especially for me, Evergone is about Rosie, but I feel like every single person has a tale of grief, so it became very relatable.

You’re one of several celebrities who have spoken openly about miscarriage and miscarriage. Why is it important to normalize the conversation around this topic?

The truth is nobody wants to be part of this club. You embarked on your maternity journey without ever thinking it’s going to happen. I’m very open – I’ve talked about my sobriety, my career, my sanity and all those things – so it became another thing to share. But I realized that because I opened that door, people turned to me. When I miscarried for the first time at 11 weeks, I posted about it and received thousands of messages from women who have been through it. These people carried me through by sharing and I realized Oh, they couldn’t have helped me if I hadn’t told them this happened.

As things got worse and more difficult, I just started sharing again, and I’ve never been loved or supported like this in my entire life. I really found the sweet spot [on social media]. I will continue to talk about it and continue to report on it and delve even deeper into it. It will always follow me and that’s okay because it’s the truth and I just love authenticity and truth. I have a feeling if you tell the truth you never run out of story.

What would you like to tell the fans about the new album?

Buckle up. [Laughs] I think I got the task. it sounds like me I didn’t say a big farewell, but it sounds like I’m just a little bit older and hopefully a better songwriter. It honors my other two albums and my sound, and it sounds like an older version of me going through life just as dramatically as I’ve always done.

Sonically, it’s the most beautiful album I have. I hired my sister-in-law to help me with all the harmonies, and I sing five-part harmonies myself on every song. Vocally, I find it really powerful. I don’t know if I can even pick a favourite [song]. These all felt like part of this story about becoming a better, brighter version of myself.

This interview has been edited and shortened for clarity.

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