Exclusive: Carly Rae Jepsen on staying grounded in LA and why she's still shocked at the success of 'Call Me Maybe'
30 AUGUST 2013Carly Rae Jepsen was responsible for last summer's infectious pop hit Call Me Maybe, one of the best-selling digital singles of all time.
The 27-year-old Canadian singer is now preparing to make a splash with her new single, a cover version of Part of Your World, the theme tune to the new Little Mermaid Disney Blu-ray™ and DVD.
The pint-size star tells HELLO! Online how she stays grounded in LA, what goes on after hours while on tour and the pressures of producing another single to live up to Call Me Maybe.
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Justin Bieber tweeted about your track Call Me Maybe via Twitter. How much of a boost was that?
I thank my lucky stars every day that he heard my song and tweeted about it. He introduced me to his management and record label team because they're incredible and I feel very supported in that world with them. Obviously Justin was a huge help which then connected the dots with Katy Perry and James Franco and other artists. Justin and I are both on the road right now and hard at work but we do still speak and I'm playing some shows with him in Argentina in November.
You came third on Canadian Idol in 2007. What did you learn from the experience?
I learnt that you have to try to do something to make you memorable and to stand out because there are so many people who want the same thing as you do. It helped me work out how I was different and taught me not to shy away. There was so much riding on just one day. You get filed you into the big room and there's hundreds of people lining up so you've got to do something special.
What advice would you have for people trying to break into the industry?
I'd say you should try to be open-minded and be open to different things. I was very experimental and tried out lots of different genres – I sang with a swing band at one point, I tried out folk music and I went on Canadian Idol even though I felt that that was something that wouldn't be helpful at all. My main advice is just to knock on as many doors as you can because you never really know which one is going to open for you. You should be prepared so that when one does open, you can take all the stuff you know about yourself and what you've learnt so that you can push it forward.
What have you learnt since you shot to fame?
There are loads of things, I could write you a novel! I think the main thing would be to how crazy LA can be. I'm really lucky to have had some amazing friends out there who showed me the grounding side of it and then the fake side of it. Hopefully I've landed with the right side.
Why do you think Call Me Maybe was so phenomenally successful?
I have no idea, I'm still in shock about it to tell you the truth. I had a mini goal with my best friends that it would make top ten in Canada so the fact that it did as well as it did is still a happy surprise to me.
Do you feel under pressure to have another hit as popular as your first?
I definitely want to put other music out there and I have every hope that it's a song that connects with people but I don't ever expect to achieve the same and I think you only ever get one shot like that. That song was a very fun and very crazy experience.
How does it feel to be part of a Disney film, singing Part of Your World?
It's kind of unbelievable actually, I didn't even consider it like that. I was approached by Disney and asked if I wanted to sing that song. I didn't realise how huge a deal it was until I showed up to the movie set for the music video which was a two-day event – only then did it start to sink in that it was a big thing.
The song originally sung by Jodi Benson as the voice of Ariel. Tell us about your version.
My inner four year old was dying of happiness, it's like a dream come true to sing the part of Ariel! Jodi Benson totally rocked it so it was a little intimidating to even attempt a song that is such a classic but I sang it the way the song felt to me. It's quite an easy song to sing, it's really theatrical so I had lots of fun with it. When I was in the studio, I couldn't help but let my arms wave around where it would crescendo and stuff and they were all laughing at me.
What were your Disney childhood favourites? The Little Mermaid was one of my favourites for sure, it's such a classic story. I also really loved Belle from Beauty and the Beast. I had a Belle themed birthday party when I was little.
You're on tour at the moment. Are you having lots of fun?
I'm honestly having such a blast with it that I don't ever want to stop. It's called 'The Summer Kiss' and we've almost finished the first round of the tour and then we have a few days off before another month's stint. The shows are such fun to play and everybody is really professional during the day but afterwards we always make sure we do something really fun together. I'm loving how much of a party we're making it. We went swimming the other day on this little island that we found and we played late night soccer in a field close by and tonight we're having a barbecue.
While you're on tour, what do you do to stay healthy and energetic?
I'm actually pretty active, my cousin was here and my sister was here for a bit and that encourages me to go on hikes and play soccer with the guys. Believe or not, I sleep really well on the bus, something about the motion really helps me so I think I sleep better on the bus than I do at home.
Do you follow a healthy diet?
Yes and no, I totally have a sweet tooth so I do indulge in some late night pizzas and popsicles. In general I'm a pretty healthy eater so it's only once in a blue moon that I stray too far in the other direction. I love vanilla and almond ice cream and watermelon frozen yoghurt, they are hands down my biggest indulgences.
What are your plans for after the tour?
I'm taking a seven day vacation at home which is much needed. Once that's done, I'll kick into second album mode. My team have been super helpful in allowing me some writing sessions. Album number two will be coming out in the new year.
What can we expect from your second album?
I'm still at the baby stages of it so I'm in the thick of dreaming it up. I've written a lot, I've probably written three albums worth but I don't think I've figured it all out quite yet.
The Little Mermaid is out on Disney Blu-ray™ and DVD on 2 September. Part Of Your World by Carly Rae Jepsen is available as a single from all good digital retailers now.