Carly Rae Jepsen signs autographs for fans outside the event. (Photo: Nicole Pajer)
Carly Rae Jepsen celebrated the release of Kiss last Thursday with family and industry friends at her West Hollywood release party. The paparazzi swarmed outside of David Arquette/ John Terzian's 60's art deco-themed nightclub, Bootsy Bellows, waiting to pounce on A-listers as they arrived.
Media, fans, and TMZ types huddled outside the nightclub to catch the arrivals on the red carpet. Cody Simpson -- accompanied by his sister Alli Simpson, Kelly McWilliam (Manager, Publicity at Atlantic Records) and manager Matt Graham -- was among the first to arrive
Graham ( Scooter Braun Management) told Billboard.biz that the management company has been prepping for the release of Simpson's freshman album on 10/2. They've also been striving to maintain Simpson's relationship with fans through social media networks and creative interactive campaigns. "We just teamed up with YouTube and The Warner Sound -- Warner's collaborative effort with YouTube to create a new platform for Warner content -- to release the first interactive movie ever done with a celebrity." Graham said that the film, which is called "Finding Cody," is a 70-minute video, which is broken up into multiple paths, and plays out like a Choose Your Own Adventure book. "It's all based on what fans want to happen. There will be a scene where you can pick if the actress should jump out the window and sneak out to Cody's show or go through the front door. You decide. Then it's like, do you hug grandma or make a run for it? Fans can keep coming back and going a different route."
In addition to the YouTube film, Simpson's management team recently launched a Cody Simpson app and is also teaming up with AEG to hold a YouTube contest where Simpson and fans will select the opening bands for his upcoming European tour.
Matt Graham (Scooter Braun Management Company, Cody Simpson's Manager) poses with the young singer Cody Simpson. (Photo: Nicole Pajer)
Simpson told Billboard.biz that he is a huge fan of Jepsen. "I got to hear the whole album for the first time today. "This Kiss" is definitely one of my favorites on the CD. It's just as catchy as "Call Me Maybe." It's very dancey. Simpson revealed that he'll be joining Jepsen and Justin Bieber for the first week of their combined "Believe" tour. "I'm hoping to be able to take a little bit of time off after that to go back to Australia for Christmas and have a surf. That's when I get to go back and walk around the streets as a local again with my friends. That always feels pretty good."
We caught up Jepsen's vocal coach, Roger Love, who has worked with everyone from John Mayer to The Jonas Brothers and The Beach Boys. Love told Billboard.biz that he helped Jepsen with the vocals on Kiss and is now prepping her for the upcoming tour. "I also just finished a movie with Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo and Adam Levine. It was my job to teach Keira how to sing." The film, titled Can A Song Save Your Life? is by the same writer/director who wrote the hit movie Once, John Carney.
Recording artist Matthew Koma, who worked with Jepsen on her album and is her boyfriend. (Photo: Nicole Pajer)
Jepsen's boyfriend, Matthew Koma, who co-wrote "This Kiss" said Kiss was a long time in the making and he's happy to see it out. In terms of his own career, Koma is about to hit the road with Owl City and has been busy promoting "Spectrum," on which he collaborated with his buddy, Zedd.
We grabbed the guest of honor for a quick chat before she headed in to celebrate. "It feels so great to finally have my album out. I worked very hard on it and at the end of the day, I'm very proud of how it turned out," said Jepsen, telling Billboard.biz that she's excited to hit the road to perform in stadiums and that this tour will bring her face to face with the largest venues that she's ever taken on. "We feel ready! I'm mostly excited to be able to be on stage with the band boys that I started this whole thing off with. These were the ones that I was paying with cookies and homemade dinners before I could afford my job. It's cool. You lock eyes with them on stage and there is something that the two of us know that nobody else does. It makes the moment on stage that much more real I guess." She revealed that "This Kiss" is her favorite song on the album and gushed at what an amazing friend and supporter Bieber has been. "I thank my lucky stars that he shed light on my project and has been here to lead the way."
Roger Love, Carly's vocal coach, poses with artist MadLove, who is featured in the new upcoming Keira Knightley movie. (Photo: Nicole Pajer)
Following her media obligations, Jepsen scampered off the carpet, signed autographs for fans, and skipped into the party where she was greeted with pink Kiss cupcakes, giant posters, and tunes by DJ Devin Lucien. Jepsen hung with family, friends, and celebrity attendees, including Arquette, Alexander Ludwig, Jesse McCartney, Ashley Benson, Tammin Sursok, James Van Der Beek, and Pete Wentz
Also spotted at the party were Scooter Braun, Jepsen manager and co-founder of 604 Records Jonathan Simkin, Carl Ryan (Finance Manager at Interscope Records), and Ryan Good (Bieber's "swagger coach").