If you’d been responsible for a song so ginormously popular that it burrowed its way into millions of brains and spawned enough covers and parodies to fill a jukebox, it’d be hard to blame you for getting sick of it yourself.
But Carly Rae Jepsen seems to be as grateful as ever for “Call Me Maybe,” the 2012 pop megahit that catapulted the Canadian singer-songwriter from relative unknown in the U.S. to the artist behind MTV’s pick for song of the year.
“This is something I’ve been working and hoping for since I was 7 years old, and to finally see something take off … it’s really exciting,” says Jepsen, who opens Justin Bieber’s sold-out concert Tuesday at Time Warner Cable Arena. “It feels like it’s a celebration at the end of the set to sing the song and to share it with everybody. The audience is just as loud as me in that moment. It’s a really, really fun time.”
Generally speaking, she says, “it’s really flattering to watch the covers. I know my mom’s super-cute about it. She keeps texting me or emailing me the latest and greatest. I’m like, ‘OK, I’ve seen ’em. Thank you!’ It’s really cute.”
Her favorite take-off on the number, which she wrote with bandmate Tavish Crowe and Josh Ramsay, lead singer of the Canadian pop band Marianas Trench: “I’m really in love with the Cookie Monster’s version of ‘Call Me Maybe.’ He does a little parody on sharing cookies (called ‘Share It Maybe’).”
Jepsen, 27, who broke out in Canada after finishing third on “Canadian Idol” in 2007, got her big break with “Call Me Maybe” in the U.S. after Bieber and then-girlfriend Selena Gomez tweeted a plug for the song to their massive Twitter followings early last year. Not long after, Bieber helped sign her to his label, School Boy Records.
Before blowing up, “I made my own posters and I put them up around town … I folded all the T-shirts, and we were sardines in the back of a soccer-mom van,” Jepsen says.
Now, as the set-up act for Bieber, she and her band are playing for 15,000, 20,000, more. “When the lights go out, it feels a little bit like magic, and I think it’s what attracted me to being an artist, that magic that I saw when Melissa Etheridge took the stage, and Sinead O’Connor. To get to feel that myself … I can’t believe this is my life.”
More highlights could be looming on the very near horizon. “Call Me Maybe” is up for song of the year and best pop solo performance at the Grammy Awards, which will be held Feb. 10 in Los Angeles. It’s yet another pinch-me moment for Jepsen.
“My family’s going to be coming down for that,” she says. “We’re going to get all dolled up together and – I don’t know … it’s a great way to start 2013 together. I think we all can’t wait. We grew up watching the show with popcorn and PJs, so it’ll be a whole new experience this time around.”