With the 2013 Billboard Music Awards rapidly approaching, we caught up with BBMA finalist Carly Rae Jepsen to help recount the incredible high points, new discoveries and memorable moments that caught her ears during the past 12 months.
Jepsen's breakout 2012 was marked by the song of last summer, "Call Me Maybe" -- landed the Canadian pop singer showing in nine categories this year, including Top Hot 100 Song, Top Pop Song, Top Digital Song and Top Radio Song.
Watch the 2013 Billboard Music Awards Sunday, May 19th at 8|7c on ABC live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas as host Tracy Morgan welcomes the biggest names in music to the stage.
Looking back on the past year, what was the highlight for you?
Carly Rae Jepsen: To be honest, it was really incredible to be at the Billboard Music Awards last year. It was my first event outside of Canada. I wore my first designer dress, Dolce & Gabbana, which to this day is still my favorite piece ever. I was just in awe of the whole thing: It was my first time debuting “Call Me Maybe” on TV. I can just remember feeling a bit like Alice in Wonderland. To go back again this year, and just to be nominated and get to be a part of the night, is so cool.
What song really made an impact on you this year?
“We Are Young” from the band fun. is so good. That intro is unpredictable, and then when it hits the chorus it just feels great. Everything about a pop song that I love is in that song.
What new talent emerged or came into his or her own this year that blew you away?
Fun. I think they’re incredible. I love that they’ve broken all of the songwriting rules. For that I say, kudos to them.
What was your favorite music-related meme or viral video this year?
What’s a meme? I don’t even know that term! I did enjoy when “Call Me Maybe” went viral because it sure helped push the song, but other viral things that I loved this year? 110% “Gangnam Style.” I was lucky enough to meet PSY when we were in Europe and he personally taught me the dance. Well, at least the handshake part. I wanted him to go the full-blown extent, but I didn’t get my wish.
Was there a surprising sound or music trend that pricked up your ears?
I love what I’m hearing right now on the radio. There’s a sort of homegrown folkiness to pop music, and there’s sincerity to it. Having grown up in a household where my parents were inspired by folk music, it’s cool to hear Mumford & Sons get some light shed on them.
How do you live like a high roller when you’re in Vegas?
I love the idea of going to Vegas and winning a gazillion dollars, but I’m sure that would never happen to me because I’m way too cheap. I’m only ever like, “OK, this is my $100, and I’m not spending more than that.” And then I just stretch it out, and I slowly lose my $100. That’s how I play in Vegas.