Carly Rae Jepsen: Pop’s Newest Princess

Pop-Tarts Crazy Good Summer Concert in Chicago with Carly Rae Jepsen

When it comes to picking a favorite collaborator from her debut album dropping this September, Carly Rae Jepsen just can’t do it. “I mean truthfully it’s hard to pick favorites like that because they are such different collaborations,” says Jepsen of the chart-toppers that range from Redfoo of LMFAO to Justin Bieber. “For me there’s still that moment where I kind of pinch myself and ask if this is all really happening.”

One of those songs, “Good Time,” a duet with Owl City, is quickly leapfrogging its way to the top of the charts, where her bouncy, syrupy “Call Me Maybe” has held the number one spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for the last seven weeks. “It’s the project of my life. It’s my baby. I’ve written on every song that’s on there,” she says of her involvement on the new album.  “Some of them I did myself but some of them are collaborations, but the main focus was always on how the album should sound, so it was really important for me to be a main writer on this album.”

Even before working on the new album, Jepsen had an idea of what she wanted it to sound like. “I’ve been addicted to Robyn. I listen to her so much that people who are friends with me are sick of it.” Electropop band Dragonette and Sinead O’Connor, who Jepsen calls “an oldie but a goody with an incredible voice,” also helped add to the creation process. “Those three artists are the vibe I’m going for with the new album. But with that being said, when I listen back to the CD, it sounds like none of them. It’s kind of cool that what you’re inspired by has an effect but really doesn’t sound like any of them at the same time. The end result sounds totally different.”

Though her new album won’t be released until September, she’s already thinking of dream collaborations. “I know they wouldn’t work right now, they would work in my later years when I transform into a late-life Norah Jones,” she says, laughing. “But I definitely think John Mayer is on the top of that list. I’ve always wanted to sing with him or James Taylor, because that’s the music I grew up listening to.”

While Jepsen is no stranger to the spotlight, having placed third in season five of “Canadian Idol,” she was thrust into worldwide superstardom rather suddenly thanks to her boss—Justin Bieber. One would think she’d be under pressure to match the success of “Call Me Maybe” with her new tracks, but she says she hasn’t had the time to sit back and have too much concern for anything. In fact, she’s having the opposite feeling of pressure. “It’s more excitement,” she says. “And I just feel very blessed that I have such an amazing group that really seem to get me and respect what I’m doing. They’ve made a platform for me to be able to do it in a worldwide way and not just in Canada.”

While that platform has led to her partying it up with Katy Perry (“She’s the bomb. Katy is one of those people I really, really love.”), don’t expect her to deviate from her squeaky-clean pop princess trail. “I’m one of those few people who has only gotten a hangover once in their life and it was a lesson learned that I haven’t done twice,” she says. Jepsen is just happy being blessed with the man (she’s not willing to go public with his name just yet) she’s found. “It’s definitely important to have somebody who really knows you and gets what you’re doing. It’s fortunate to find somebody who gets that.” Does that mean we shouldn’t expect any public displays of affection with her current beau, then? “I’m still kind of in the new business of this,” she says of keeping her private life out of her professional one. “I think I’m still learning to balance that right now. But it’s good to have something that’s inside and outside this world I’m living in.”

The world she’s living in also requires the pop star to know her designer labels. Jepsen isn’t afraid to admit that she’s new to the designer world, too. “The Dolce & Gabana dress I wore at the Billboard Awards made it my Cinderella night. I felt very, very special in that dress.” And when she’s just out hanging with friends? “I like a nice twirly skirt or dress—something that I can move around easily in.”

Learning the latest fashion of the season takes backseat for Jepsen. She’s all about carving out a long and diverse successful musical career for herself. “There are so many people I admire, but those artists that have such longevity in their career and remain classy are those I most admire,” she says. “John Mayer is one of those artists where every album of his is a little different, but there’s so much quality in each of them. But then I’ve always had a secret crush on him so that probably doesn’t hurt my view,” she says, laughing.

And where does Jepsen see herself down the road? “That’s a great question,” she says. “I think my main goal is to continue writing and hopefully improving that skill. And I think it’s something you can learn from collaborations and life experience. My main goal has always been to put out that song that really lasts after I’m gone—and that connects with a lot of people, the way that the songs I love have connected with me.”