Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” was impossible to escape last summer. The sugary song, with its infectious chorus and bouncy dance-pop beat, shot to No. 1 and stayed there for nine weeks.
From “Sesame Street” to “Glee,” the song ruled the second half of 2012 and broke the 27-year-old Canadian singer internationally.
“Call Me Maybe” is up for two Grammys, including song of the year, a surprising feat given the Recording Academy’s reputation for ignoring youthful pop (case in point: Justin Bieber). Ahead of Sunday’s ceremony, The Times caught up with Jepsen, who was performing in Nagoya, Japan, to talk about that song and what comes next.
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Pop music typically is about that one big hit. Did you feel this was it as you were recording?
No … to be honest, and this might sound silly, but I was quite content with how things were going in Canada. I was shaping out a career there, and I was really excited because I’d had my first ever real record deal. I can remember we were choosing between “Call Me Maybe” and another song, “Curiosity.” The moment my aunt started dancing to “Call Me Maybe,” and she doesn’t really dance to anything, I realized maybe we had something.
When did you realize the song had become a thing?
I think it took me awhile. I began to see the online videos surface and it was becoming more and more of a daily thing. At this point it’s like James Franco and Justin Bieber putting up their own viral videos. And then Katy Perry did her own version of it and I got really excited.
Having a hit this massive must be a bit daunting, especially to try to follow it.
I think if I had felt like “Call Me Maybe” wasn’t a good representation of who I am as an artist it would have been very daunting. Luckily it’s right in the lane of the avenue of the type of music that I love. It is lighthearted and optimistic and slightly flirtatious, and it’s a song that today, still after singing it countless times, I’m still having a ball with because it doesn’t feel like mine anymore. It feels like the whole world gets to sing it with me and it’s a celebration. It is a stepping stone, though, and a nice way to say hello and introduce the album. And I’m looking forward to showing that I’ve got other sides to me as well, and getting that platform to showcase that.