Last summer, we argued Carly Rae Jepsen will save pop music. At the time, her new album, E•MO•TION, had just come out and everyone was talking about it. The LP—her third—triumphed over the single that made her famous (a little song called “Call Me Maybe”). It showed her naysayers what she was really made of, and that she is a brilliant talent with a brilliant knack for brilliant pop music. E•MO•TION is a bop, from the saxophone opening on “Run Away With Me” to the very end. And now, after a brief hiatus with Grease: Live, she’s touring it.
Jepsen brings the Gimmie Love tour to New York this coming Friday, March 25. From the Instagrams and tweets we’ve seen, it’s a bubblegum, ’80s tinged spectacle that’s more of a celebration than a show. E•MO•TION is an album worth celebrating and there’s no better way to do that than with the crowds of fans who know what quality pop music actually is. Jepsen knows this to be true. Read on for more.
If you have, say, 24 hours to kill in a city before the show, what are your best exploration practices? Where do you go? Who do you ask?
If I have 24 hours to kill in a place... It completely depends on where we are. If we’re somewhere with, like, a really cool cultural experience—like when we’re in Japan we want to go see the big buddha at Kamakura. We want to get up early when we’re in Mexico to go and hike. We understand that part of the gift of this lifestyle is getting to see the world and experience it as friends together. We are kind of a little abnormal in the fact that we’ll get up early even if it means we can go on, say, a safari. If we’re in a place that is a little bit more like a smaller town, and there’s not a ton going on, it’s actually a really good time for me to write. My guitarist and I will make a little studio in the back of the bus and we’ll allow ourselves to be inspired by what we see on the road and just write, and write, and write as we go.
How much do you actually write on the road?
It’s actually one of the places that I find is always a really prolific time for me. You don’t have the mundane house chores and obligations that you have if you’re just in one place, or distractions I think you would have if you’re in studio mode at home. It really does allow for this sort of freedom of creativity, because there’s not much else to focus on other than the song. I feel like that’s a really good place to be at if you’re going to try and make something creative.
Have you already started thinking about the next album?
Yes, I have. I mean, part of me is just really excited about this tour because I don’t think I’ve been able to properly celebrate E•MO•TION. We worked really long and hard on making it, and we did a couple baby tours, but because I made the decision to do Grease: Live, I took a hiatus for a couple months. This Gimmie Love tour feels like it’s been a long time coming and I love embracing the last three years of hard work and enjoying it. That doesn’t mean I’m not still thinking about future projects and what I want to write next. I’m constantly writing for that and curious about where I’ll be taken with that exploration.
How did you and Cardiknox meet?
They did a remix for me and we became friends through that. Since then, we’ve been fans of each other’s music. I feel like when you put on a tour, the best thing you can do is share other music that you love with your fan base. It’s really fun to get to share it with the people who come to the show.
What about their sound and their music excites you?
I think it’s a refreshing type of pop music. I think that because that’s always what I’m looking for: What is it that I love about pop music? When I’m doing my own pop music, I try to ask myself that question all the time. It’s hard to figure out what it is exactly that attracts me to a song, but I think their songs are really, really strong and I think that the way that they produce them is cool, different, and a little bit indie. I think it’s a combination that’s really cool right now.
In our interview with them, they mentioned how indie pop is becoming mainstream and how exciting that is.
It’s fun to be able to blur the lines between exactly what pop music can be. I think that, for me, when I go a little bit left of center, it’s always a really fun discovery.
What’s the most exciting thing that a fan has done for you?
When we were in Japan, somebody made a Twitter account or some sort of Facebook account—I don’t know what you’d call it—where they reached out to everyone coming to the show and said, “How about during ‘Gimme Love,’ we all raised these little flowers that I’ll make, and we’ll all raise them and do the pose that she did for the ‘I Really Like You’ on the cover?” They did it as a surprise to us, so as soon as we sang the chorus of “Gimme Love,” everyone in the audience—it was a ginormous, stadium size of people—held up these flowers to their faces and it blew my mind. I couldn’t believe how well organized it was and what a surprise it was to us. I was in tears over it. Happy ones, of course.