"Call Me Maybe" was the song of the summer
Singer Carly Rae Jepsen hates the thought of being a one-hit wonder
She broke into the business performing on "Canadian "Idol"
It was the song of the summer.
“Call Me Maybe,” is a frothy pop confection that shot to No. 1 in 37 countries and spun off countless music video interpretations by everyone from Justin Bieber to Ivy League sports teams.
It was an overnight success that surprised everyone, most of all the tune’s singer and co-songwriter, Carly Rae Jepsen.
“You have to understand, when ‘Call Me Maybe’ hit No. 64 on Canadian iTunes, I was stoked,” the British Columbia native told CNN’s Nischelle Turner.
Jepsen’s new album, “Kiss,” hit stores recently, one week after the release of her second single, “This Kiss.” She seems mortified at the thought of being labeled a one-hit wonder insisting, “I get to show the other songs that I write, and I get to show the other flavors that I am as an artist. I’m nothing but excited about that.”
It’s hard to dislike Jepsen in the same way that it’s impossible to keep from bobbing your head when her music dances through the car speakers. There’s a charming girl-next-door earnestness to her demeanor, and even though she could easily pass for a teenager with her petite frame and doll-like features, she benefits from the wisdom of her 26 years.
“If you met me when I was 7 years old, I would have told you with a lot of confidence that, yes, I’m going to grow up and be a singer and a songwriter,” she said.
After attending a performing arts college, she auditioned for the fifth season of “Canadian Idol” and placed third in the 2007 competition.
“Actually, it was sort of a last-minute push by my high school drama teacher to go and audition for that show,” she recalled. “I never really considered ‘Idol’ to be the route that would work for me, but it really was – at least in Canada. It kind of broke my name there and aligned me with a good management team and label.”
In 2010, Jepsen won song of the year at the Canadian Radio Music Awards for the title track off her debut album, “Tug of War,” and was nominated for new artist of the year at the Juno Awards. Last fall, “Call Me Maybe” hit the airwaves. Among the people who heard it was Justin Bieber, who was on a trip home to Canada. The pop superstar and a few of his famous friends shot a playful video lip-syncing the song and uploaded it to the Web.
Instant viral smash.
When a fan posted the video on carlyraemusic.com, Jepsen didn’t believe it was Bieber.
“I had seen a couple covers starting to surface, and I thought, ‘Wow, that boy looks a lot like Justin Bieber. Had no idea. And then I watched it three more times because it had Selena Gomez stuff ahead of it, and I was like, ‘I think that might be him!’ It was a pretty crazy moment, for sure,” she remembered.
Bieber brought Jepsen to the attention of his manager, Scooter Braun, and the two immediately signed her to Braun’s Schoolboy Records for distribution in the United States. But instead of trumpeting the news to the world, Jepsen kept it under wraps.
“I hinted to my parents, but I didn’t tell my brother and sister,” he said. “I kept it all to myself, just in case it didn’t happen. I didn’t want to be the girl who cried wolf and was like, ‘Hey, I’m signing with Justin Bieber,’ and then nevermind.”
Unlike her sassy alter ego in “Call Me Maybe,” Jepsen is a bit more reserved in her real life – especially when it comes to the opposite sex.
“I have brave moments,” she confided. “I did a kiss-and-run once. That’s as brave as I get.”