In the words of pop superstar Justin Bieber, Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen is going to “blow up.”
And that’s a good thing, because it means Jepsen has been signed to Bieber’s manager’s label and has become an instant sensation across the pop music universe.
But Jepsen said she isn’t letting the fame rattle her too much, just taking things day by day, not getting expectations too high, and working hard to deserve her accomplishments. She says she’s still pretty much the same girl who grew up in Mission.
“It’s still forever my home, and I think it always will be,” she says, adding her father and best friend lives in Mission and she visits during Christmas and holidays.
Jepsen says Mission was a perfect place to start her music career because she had support from the community to pursue her passion.
“There was always ample opportunities, within even my high school. Beverly Holmes and David Fryer put on all these different musical productions that I was always involved in and I think I learned a lot from being in Mission.”
In fact, her teacher Holmes was the one who suggested she audition for Canadian Idol, while Fryer suggested she go for the Sacramento Jazz scholarship, which she received three years in a row.
Looking back, Jepsen says Canadian Idol was a big break and Bieber’s support has been a “life-changing moment”, but the real game changer was being 17 and making the decision to try for a career in music.
“It meant that if I was singing in a cocktail lounge or fronting a swing band or doing something outside of Canada, that I was going to be doing it either way just because I had such a passion for it and I found so much joy from it.”
Jepsen’s parents were teachers and at one point she considered being a teacher, but in her heart she had always considered that a “Plan B”.
Although she’s experimented with many styles of music, her latest music has made an indelible impression upon the ears of Canadians, with “Call me maybe” reaching number one on the Canadian Hot 100.
“That’s part of the fun. You get to be influenced by the world and be attracted to wherever your ear strays,” she said, adding she feels her “pop sound” is influenced by many different styles, including her background in folk and jazz.
For now, the 26-year-old is enjoying touring and travelling the world to play music and experience new things, though she’s beginning to think about a legacy.
“Ultimately my main goal in all this is to write that song that lasts long after I’m here.”
Jepsen said she would be excited to come back and do a show at the Clarke Theatre some day where she played Little Orphan Annie as a child. She still lists walking in the woods at Heritage Park as one of her favourite things to do, and loves the Mission Folk Music Festival.
When she’s not singing, Jepsen is also an avid reader, describing herself as a “geek by nature”, enjoying such divergent tastes as chess and baking.
Jepsen released her second album, Curiosity, on Feb. 14, the same day Justin Bieber made the announcement on MuchMusic that she had been signed to Schoolboy Records, the label run by Justin Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun. Although that was a month ago, she says sometimes she’s nervous to believe it’s not real.
“But I wake up every morning and it’s still not a dream.”