Since skyrocketing to fame with her 2012 smash hit “Call Me Maybe,” Carly Rae Jepsen has dramatically evolved as an artist and has persistently challenged existing notions of what it means to be a modern pop star. In anticipation of her new album, which is set to drop in early 2018, we sat down with Jepsen to discuss her career, what inspires her, and her ambitions as an artist.
I took a career aptitude test in 11th grade. The top match for me was “fighter pilot,” but since there weren’t any wars going on at the time that particularly interested me, I went with No. 2, which was “chart-topping Canadian pop star.”
I was at an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet and I saw this really attractive 57-year-old nude man eating handfuls of shrimp straight out of the buffet pans. I got up the nerve to approach him and say, “Hey, here’s my number, maybe we could go out sometime.” A bunch of loose shrimp shells fell out of his mouth and he made an incredibly loud and intense hissing noise until security guards finally had to come over and beat him up. So I guess it was inspired by just this general idea of following your heart and taking a chance.
3. You took a break from your recording career to play the role of Frenchy in Grease Live! on Fox. Was the switch to musical theater a stretch for you?
You know, the medium might be different, but the performance skills are essentially the same. Facing the audience, planting your feet, standing on your tiptoes, praying your Heelys don’t start rolling you around stage until you crash into an amp and get violently electrocuted for the thousandth time, singing, etc. All the same, really—just wearing a sillier costume.
When I was born, there was a small treasure chest covered in runes where my placenta should have been. My mother opened the chest to find a crumpled-up note written in an alien language. We sent it to the linguistics department at the University of British Columbia for a translation, but the process took 30 years because anyone who touched the note died an agonizing death within hours. Finally, in the fall of 2015, I received word that they had decoded my birth note, and that it was merely one word: “Coulier.” In that moment, my destiny was fully illuminated.
5. From you to Drake to The Weeknd, there seems to be an influx of Canadian artists that blend pop melodies with emotional lyrics. What do you think can explain the trend?
The only two commercials that play on Canadian TV are the J.G. Wentworth one with the Vikings doing the structured settlement jingle and the fucked-up ASPCA commercial with the crusted-up dogs, so probably that.