Carly Rae Jepsen is a force to be reckoned with. Following her 2012 debut album Kiss featuring her multiplatinum-selling breakout hit "Call Me Maybe," the Grammy-nominated singer is gearing up to release her newest record, E•MO•TION. We sat down with the star to talk music, emojis, and possessions that should quite frankly be illegal.
What do you like most about your album?
Carly Rae Jepsen: I think I like the '80s hint to it. It started after seeing Cyndi Lauper while I was standing side-stage at a festival show in Osaka and then again in Tokyo, and by the end of those two performances I just kind of had this idea in mind that I wanted to add some '80s flair to whatever I did next.
What's your biggest career moment to date?
CRJ: It really wasn't my career moment, but a moment that I was involved in and had to do with my career was when I got to inaugurate Cyndi Lauper into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
What's your favorite song on the new record?
CRJ: It definitely depends on my mood. Right now I really like "Warm Blood." I actually think "I Really Like You" was one of the hardest songs to write. I think sometimes when you're making such a lighthearted message come across, it's like a tricky fine line you don't want to cross of it being purposefully sweet and almost silly in a way. We wanted to pull that off, but still have that '80s flavor to it. It was a big challenge.
What is the most stereotypically Canadian thing you have a habit of doing?
CRJ: I apologize way too much. My assistant and I were running out of my house, we were getting a whole bunch of to-do's done and kind of in that flustered mode, and I ran into the stairs and said, "Sorry!" My assistant was like, "Do we need to talk about the fact that you apologized to your staircase?" And I was like, "I'm so Canadian right now." Yep. That's my habit.
What is one thing you'd like to accomplish?
CRJ: My New Year's resolution for my entire life has always been to become a master of the guitar. The problem is, I know the bare-bone chords, like Elvis Presley–style pop songs and enough to write the kind of music that I write. And then I have a professional guitarist who is usually sitting about 10 steps away from me, so then I always end up just showing him the idea and he just makes it sound better so I give up right away. So I don't have a ton of motivation behind me to really need to learn, but my goal in life is to take a stab at that.
Do you know how to play the air guitar?
CRJ: Who doesn't have the air guitar down? It's funny because all of our band boys are always moving in motion to any song that they like. It's kind of in their bodies, seeing as they're musicians. But whenever we're in the car driving they each take on an opposite instrument than what they do. So my drummer will be, like, playing the bass and we're like, "What are you doing?!" And then my guitarist will be rocking out on the air drums. So we do have an air band.
What's the weirdest celebrity encounter you've ever had?
CRJ: OK, Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, Colin Firth? Notice how I called him Mr. Darcy first. That's what I did when I met him. He was at a movie rental store and I walked in and saw him in the aisle. I was literally looking down at a video of him in the same row and I just walked over and whispered, "Mr. Darcy." And then I was like, "I am SO sorry! Colin!" I think I got him to sign something, actually. I think that's the only person I've ever asked for a signature from. Actually that's not true! I asked Adam Lambert for a signature, too. My grandmother is a really big fan, like HUGE. She's sick right now and she had me go through a whole bunch of iPods for her this week of just different music that she can listen to while she's having surgeries taken and it was like Tony Bennett, K.D. Lang, and as much Adam Lambert as she could get. And I was like, "What is this about?!" But I like it! I think she's got the hots for him. She doesn't have much hope, for more reason than one. But I guess a girl can dream.
What's the worst job you've ever had?
CRJ: I worked at a sandwich shop, but it was like a little roadside dive along the highway. And all these construction men would always come in, and these particular men were kind of gross. It felt like everything they said was sexual.
Your fans call themselves "Jepsies." If you could rename your army, what would you call it?
CRJ: I've never been really good at thinking of those kind of names. I'd probably come up with some really strange name that had nothing to do with me. Like, Loretta Steele, and they'd be like, "Why? How is that even relevant?" and I'd be like, "I don't know. It's a cool name."
Do you have any hidden talents we should know about?
CRJ: I'm really good at playing and winning The Settlers of Catan. I win the game and I lose friends when I play it. I'm not allowed to play it with my band anymore because it messes up our dynamic that night on stage.
What's the strangest thing a fan has done for you?
CRJ: I went to a pumpkin-carving contest in Mission, B.C., where I'm from. The mayor of Mission asked me to come one year to help judge this competition and someone carved one of me. It wasn't creepy but it was just like, "Wow. That pumpkin really looks like me!"
Where's the weirdest place you've ever heard your music being played?
CRJ: My ex-boyfriend Matthew Koma and I wrote a song called "This Kiss" and we used to always have this joke because it was always on at this gas station. We'd be like, "It's a huge hit at this Esso!" or wherever it was. But it was like almost as if someone knew we were getting gas because it was every single time we'd go to that gas station and we'd be like, "I bet you it's playing," and we'd roll down the window and be like, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?"
What's your favorite emoji?
CRJ: Salsa dancer! Obviously!
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
CRJ: Strangely, I grew up listening to a lot of folk music because my parents were really into that, and it was before I discovered pop and the Spice Girls. I was thinking I'd be a folk artist. I think the first song I ever wrote was like a protest song about cutting down trees when I was little. So yeah, things changed. But at that moment in time I grew up with a healthy appetite of Cat Stevens and James Taylor, so I think there would be something really nostalgic and amazing to do something with James Taylor or someone like that. That'd be cool.
If you were the sixth Spice Girl, what would your name be?
CRJ: That may be the best question I've ever been asked. I'd be, like, Tomboy Spice. I'd need to work on the name. It doesn't fit the movie at all. I saw the movie. It was — yeah, it was great.
What's the weirdest possession you own?
CRJ: My mother makes jewelry for a living. And this particular hobby of hers brings out her weird side which I love, but not everyone gets. And her weird side is the kind to use really strange things to make jewelry, and one day she took it too far. I had had my wisdom tooth removed, which, as we all know, a wisdom tooth looks like a shark dagger. There's nothing beautiful about it. And she presented it to me on a cuff. Like, a bracelet cuff. I can't throw it away but I can't look at it. I was like, "Why the tooth?!" She was there during the surgery and had asked the dentist if she could keep the tooth. My mom has a weird thing. She's like, "You made this and this came from my body!" and I'm like, "EWWW. MOM! We can put it in the dirt now." I'll wear it to an event one day and people will be like, "Nice shark tooth!" and I'll be like, "Thank you. It is a shark." Her jewelery is actually quite stunning — just don't get her to make a tooth bracelet for you. But she can. She will do it.