"Carly Rae Jepsen is a superstar," says Bieber's manager Scooter Braun
Anyone wishing to write off Carly Rae Jepsen as another flash-in-the pan viral video sensation can stop right now. The young singer/songwriter has far greater aspirations than the typical YouTube star du jour: She wants to creat music as meaningful as Van Morrison's.
Less than two months after fellow Canadian Justin Bieber tweeted on Dec. 30 that Jepsen's latest single "Call Me Maybe" (No. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100) was "possibly the catchiest song I've ever heard" Bieber, girlfriend Selena Gomez, Ashley Tisdale, as well as several Disney and Nickelodeon TV stars, created a video featuring all of them dancing to and singing the song. The clip notched 25 million views and "Maybe" bowed at No. 38 on the Hot 100 on March 10.
Bieber manager Scooter Braun, founder of Schoolboy Records and SB Projects, which signed Jepsen, says his teen sensation didn't make the song a hit; it was already exploding on its own. "We didn't announce our involvement until it had been No. 1 in Canada on her own, without Justin," says Braun, who notes that Jepsen topped the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 on Feb. 11, a full week before the video was posted.
Jepsen definitely won't be a one-hit wonder -- at least if Braun has anything to say about it. "If I thought this was a single deal, I would not have signed her," he says. "Carly Rae Jepsen is a superstar. I'm not saying this because she's my artist, I'm being dead serious…she is the real deal. Just like when people looked closer and saw Justin is the real deal."
Jepsen, who says she was "shocked" to realize Beieber and friends had made the video, was a Top 3 contestant on "Canadian Idol." She released her singer/songwriter-focused debut album in Canada in 2008, but has now found herself inching toward pop.
"I grew up with James Taylor and Van Morrison so my roots naturally led to that when I began writing and I will forever have a love for that music," she begins when describing her upcoming album, expected in September. "My tastes are changing and what my ear is attracted to are the-- including the likes of Avril Lavigne and Nelly Furtado.
"I feel ultimately honored to be mentioned among those names. These are all artists I look up to in a big way. I have their music, they've been on my records since I can remember. It's really hard to believe. It's cool because at the same time, it's all that I've all ever been working for," she says of the feat.
Jepsen's focus is on par with her business cohorts. "My whole goal in this is to write that one song that lasts after your dead, that has an impact on people," she says. "I know that's what Van Morrison was for my family. It was 'Moondance' at those family parties. To this day, I can't hear that song without almost having a tear in my eye with the memories it evokes. I just want to write music like that. I think if there's one thing I want people to know is that I won't rest til I have."