Take one listen to this Canadian songstress and you’ll be left wondering, “Why haven’t I heard of her yet?” This alone is proof that even the brightest of stars still need some help being pointed out. Thanks to some guy you may have heard of named Justin Bieber, Carlos Pena from Big Time Rush and their hordes of tween fans, Carly Rae Jepsen and her highly infectious single, “Call Me Maybe”, are now on the tip of everyone’s tongues. The 26-year old Canadian has it all: looks, a sweet voice and an even sweeter personality. In the midst of this whirlwind year for Carly Rae Jepsen, she took some time to talk to us about all the craziness.
Lemonade Magazine: Alright living near Vancouver I have to get this out of the way…You’re from Mission, B.C. Are you a Canucks fan?
Carly: Yes, I am a new Canucks fan. I am dating a guy who takes me to the games, so I am falling in love with the live show. It’s way better to go to the games than to see it on television.
LM: So how was life growing up in Mission, B.C.?
Carly: I think I was seven when I entered my first talent show in Mission and I remember making the decision then that I was going to make that my lifelong career. I really liked growing up in Mission, when I went to high school there the teachers were kind of “Mr. Holland’s Opus”style teachers, it taught me a lot and got me used to being in community plays and musicals. I got to star in Annie and was Sandy in Grease and stuff like that, there were lots of great opportunities.
LM: Before you broke onto American radio with Call Me Maybe, you placed third on Canadian Idol, tell us a little more about that.
Carly: After I placed third on Canadian Idol it was strange. You have that 15 minutes of Canadian fame and I didn’t want to waste it, but you know, I wanted to put out an album with original tunes and everyone I talked to tried to point me in a different direction.
I ended up just being really lucky and landed with Ryan Stewart and 604 Records and joined with Jonathan Simkin and Josh Ramsay. I made a lot of connections in their community and was able to put out a CD that I was very proud of. I was honored to be able to record songs that I had just been waiting to get out there for a while. The CD was a surprise for me too, we went to radio and won song of the year at radio that year with “Tug of War.” We got nominated for a Juno Award in writing and actually we were nominated for Artist of the Year. It was the same year Justin (Bieber) was nominated – and obviously he won – it was a lot of work, but there was a lot of payoff too.
LM: I personally was happy to see your career take off, since I remember hearing “Tug of War” and “Buckets” on Vancouver radio and hoping you would catch on down here as well.
Carly: Awww! Thank you, you’re the first person I have spoken with who has mentioned “Buckets”! *laughs*
LM: It’s been said that Scooter Braun was hooked when he heard you described yourself as a “sexy hippie.” What’s the story behind that?
Carly: *laughs* Yeah, I think there was something lost in translation with how that came out! When I was at his mansion in Hollywood – this beautiful mansion in Beverly Hills – he sat me down and asked me how I would describe myself and individualize myself. I was like, “I am kind of stylish pop and in a fashion sense. My style isn’t really hippie, but you know like sexy hippie I guess?” Ever since then, I have been quoted as calling myself a “sexy hippie.”
Not the same thing! *laughs* I was just meaning that the kind of clothes I would like to wear and the kind of things that could fit that description. I love listening to James Taylor and Joanie Mitchell, so my fashion sense tends to be that sort of “hippie-dippie-do” style, but you know I do shave my legs and stuff! *laughs*
LM: What does it feel like to have “Call Me Maybe” playing everywhere right now?
Carly: I’m used to hearing myself every once in a while here in Canada, but when I hear myself on American radio it reminds me of the first time I heard myself on the radio ever. It’s a total thrill! It’s always a reminder that this is working. I mean, how many people get to have their dreams come true like this? It’s hard for me to put into words, I am just so excited every single time I hear it.
LM: What really set it off was the video that Carlos Pena of Big Time Rush posted on his Youtube featuring Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, as well as other cameos singing “Call Me Maybe.” Who came up with the idea for that video?
Carly: I was just as shocked about that video coming out as everyone else was. They didn’t even tell me they had posted it actually. A friend posted it to my Facebook and I watched and was like “What!? That looked like Justin!” I was on the phone with my mom at the time and I remember saying, “Mom, I have to go!” *laughs*
It proved to me how willing they were to help me. We had talked before and negotiations on signing with Justin and Scooter, but I didn’t let myself believe it would happen just in case it didn’t and I didn’t want to end up disappointed. After seeing that video, I realized how sincere they were.
LM: What can we look forward to from you in 2012? Are we going to see a full length album? Lots of touring?
Carly: Oh, I have so much music for all of you. Even before the EP released in Canada, I had written like 35-40 songs. Within the next few months I think you will be able to see the next CD. If I am lucky and it all works out I will be traveling a lot and touring for radio. Hopefully after the CD is released I can play some shows again and that’s the best part, so I am looking forward to that.
Editor in Chief of Lemonade Magazine
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