Carly Rae Jepsen and Owl City: The Story Behind 'Good Time'
Hit single will appear on both artists' next albums.
Produced by Young and written by Young, Brian Lee and Matt Thiessen, "Good Time," the pair's happy-go-lucky pop duet that arrived at digital retailers on June 26, bowed at No. 18 on last week's Hot 100, while Canadian Jepsen's debut U.S. single, "Call Me Maybe," ruled the chart for its fourth straight week. ("Good Time" moves up one spot to No. 17 this week, as "Call Me Maybe" continues its reign.) The timing of the release will benefit both artists -- "Good Time" is the lead single off Owl City's "The Midsummer Station," due Aug. 21 on Universal Republic, and the song will also appear on Jepsen's sophomore album, expected in September.
Jepsen -- the former "Canadian Idol" contestant whose "Call Me Maybe" has sold 4.3 million downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan -- and Young -- the mastermind behind Owl City and numerous other bands whose 2009 single "Fireflies" has moved 4.5 million downloads -- hadn't met before the recording of "Good Time." But the two 26-year-olds were introduced by Scooter Braun, the head of Jepsen's new U.S. label, Schoolboy Records, and Owl City manager Steve Bursky. The two impresarios grew up together just outside of New York City and reconnected in 2009, when "Fireflies" was riding high and Braun was managing up-and-comer Justin Bieber.
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Three years later, the childhood pals were still trying to devise a way to work together. Bursky sent Braun new songs from Owl City's next album after Jepsen had signed to Schoolboy/Interscope in February.
"I heard 'Good Time' and said, 'Why isn't this the first single?'" Braun recalls. After Bursky agreed that Jepsen's voice would add a whole new sound to "Good Time," Braun brought onboard Jonathan Simkin, Jepsen's manager and co-founder of her Canada label, 604 Records. Jepsen's vocals were recorded in March in Ottawa, months after Young had produced the track earlier in the year. The two singers never met until after the single's release, finally getting together for a video shoot in early July.
For Young, "Good Time" represents the follow-up hit that the introverted electro-pop talent had been seeking since "Fireflies" helped his second full-length Owl City album, "Ocean Eyes," sell 1.1 million copies, according to SoundScan. The song "Shooting Star" was originally chosen as the impact single for The "Midsummer Station," but Bursky's team changed gears in June after "Call Me Maybe" took off. "[Interscope] was looking for another single for Carly," Bursky says, "and it made a lot of sense. It just feels like a big summer record."
Bursky adds that the "Good Time" video will be released "as soon as humanly possible." He says Jepsen and Young have also locked in about a half-dozen major TV opportunities for the weeks surrounding the release of his album, in which the pop upstarts will perform together. As the song continues its top 40 push, Young will continue on a promotional tour that began July 9 in Toronto, followed by a global concert tour starting Sept. 5 in Nashville.
As for Jepsen, a solo single will likely be released before the highly anticipated arrival of her next album, and her opening stint on Bieber's fall arena tour begins Sept. 29. For the rising star's team of handlers, placing "Good Time" on her next full-length release was a no-brainer. "From our perspective, it made sense to have it on Carly's album," Simkin says. "It's a great tune."