10 Questions with ... Carly Rae Jepsen
September 8, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Singer-songwriter, Carly Rae Jepsen has released her third studio album entitled "Emotion," stylized as E•MO•TION, via School Boy/Interscope Records. Carly's 2011 breakout hit "Call Me Maybe" reached #1 in 18 countries during 2012 and was the year's best-selling single worldwide. For this new album, Carly took her time and spent the past several years working alongside a long list of impressive contributors. She wrote more than 200 tracks with some of the Pop world's biggest hitmakers, including Max Martin, The Bleachers front-man Jack Antonoff, Sia, Devonte Hynes and Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmangli.
1) Looking back at the start of your career, did you have a feeling that "Call Me Maybe" was going to be the song that propelled your career? Is it true that you wanted another song to be the lead single from "Kiss?"
People ask me that a lot and not just about "Call Me Maybe," but about "I Really Like You," too. The truth is I don't know. I kind of have a little bit of a love affair with every song I'm writing and working on. I've always trusted my friends, family and the people close to me to pick out their favorites.
2) Let's fast-forward to today and your hit single "I Really Like You." How do you think your sound and ultimately you as an artist have grown over the years? What about since your first album "Tug Of War?"
I've learned a lot about songwriting and even the type of Pop music that I love best. There's something about '80s emotional Pop that I'm drawn to. When I first started writing for my album, "Tug of War," I was very much influenced by the type of music I grew up on, which was very much Folk-based. I can look back to that now and hear how innocent the writing was. It was very much like journal entries, but to music.
3) You worked with some incredible artists on "Emotion." What was it like working with Max Martin, Peter Svensson of The Cardigans, and others? How do you think they helped shape the album as a whole?
I was lucky enough to work with so many talented and wonderful people who are generous with their energy and time on my project. Max Martin is sort of the Wizard of Oz of Pop music, so anytime he even listens to a song you've written and offers his two cents, you don't take it lightly.
4) What was it like spending more time putting this third album together? How did you go about narrowing down and selecting the songs that would appear on the album?
The time was necessary for more reasons than just the creative process. I found that I needed little bit of a break from that whole lifestyle to feel fresh and rejuvenated and come back at it with a running start.
When I compare the process of writing "Kiss" versus "Emotion," I almost look at it like a Goldilocks story. The deadlines for "Kiss" were a little too fast for my comfort, whereas the time I allowed myself for "Emotion" (although much more relaxing) did leave me to write over 200 songs, which by all standards is a tad excessive. It was extremely difficult for me to narrow down that list to a top 17 and I thank my label, friends, and family for their votes in the process.
5) Your latest single, "Run Away With Me," is being proclaimed the best pop song of 2015. How does that feel? Where did the inspiration for this song come from?
Pretty bloody amazing. I made a conscious effort to go into this album without any expectations of how it would be perceived. But I think it's a daily challenge to not think about that. When it was received well by the writing community, it meant more to me than I ever could have imagined.
6) How did Tom Hanks get involved with your video for "I Really Like You?"
It started with my manager. It just so happened that they were chatting over dinner about this concept I had for the video treatment. I wanted to find a very unexpected male character to lip sync the song instead of me. I thought it would add the right amount of quirky and random to the light sweetness of the tune. Tom seemed to dig the idea and to my surprise, he jumped on board. It was Christmas come early for me.
7) What musicians have consistently inspired you? Who would be your dream duet partner?
Cyndi Lauper is pretty up there. I had the honor of inaugurating her into the Songwriter's Hall Of Fame this year and I have to say it was one of the coolest experiences of my career so far. She's just a stellar writer and an inspirational person. When writing this album, I found myself listening to a lot of Prince, Solange, and early Madonna.
8) What has been your favorite cover of "Call Me Maybe?" Mine was Cookie Monster's! If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend checking it out!
You beat me to the punch on that. Cookie monster is my favorite, too.
9) What's been your craziest fan experience so far?
At the first album release party for "Emotion," one of the fans made what seemed like hundreds of these paper flowers to match the single cover for "I Really Like You." Somehow they were passed along to everyone in the audience, and while I sang that song I got the loveliest surprise ... they all held up their flowers at the same time. It was the sweetest thing.
10) Where do you see yourself in the next 10 or even 20 years? What do you still hope to accomplish in your career?
I could picture my writing getting even weirder. I had a lot of fun coloring outside the lines with this album and there's a desire to go further with that on the next record. As for what other surprises life has to offer, I shall remain open.
What was it like playing Cinderella on Broadway? Do you hope to continue acting?
It was very game-changing for me. I felt excited to take on a new challenge and pursue what was a childhood dream of mine. I met so many lifelong friends and caught a little bit of an acting bug that I wasn't expecting to catch.