Carly Rae Jepsen knows her way around an indelible pop single: along with her Owl City collaboration “Good Time,” which crashed the Top 10 of the Hot 100 last year, the Canadian singer-songwriter was responsible for the undisputed song of last summer, “Call Me Maybe.” With its delicious lyrics and streamlined strings combining for an inescapable hook, the song spent nine weeks at the summit of the Hot 100 and is nominated for Song of the Year at the 2013 Grammy Awards.
Nearly one year after “Call Me Maybe” mania slowly but surely began to take over North America, Jepsen has stayed busy on the road with her pal Justin Bieber while supporting her latest full-length, “Kiss.” As she continues writing more pop songs to get lodged in our brains, Billboard’s 2012 Rising Star took some time to reflect on her five all-time favorite pop songs, as the first artist to take part in Pop Shop’s new series, Gimme Five.
Check out Carly Rae Jepsen’s five favorite pop songs and the backstories behind her love of each track, from talent-show tales to head-shaving antics:
The Bangles, “Eternal Flame”
Carly Rae Jepsen: “It was the first song that I ever sang at a live talent show when I was seven years old. There were 400 people in the audience. It was in Mission, B.C., where I was born and raised, and my dad actually accompanied me on the acoustic guitar. We played the Bangles and ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ and I won that competition. It was like my first time out on stage, and my first thrill of winning a little trophy.”
Kimbra, “Settle Down”
“She’s got an album out called ‘Vows,’ and ‘Settle Down’s’ music video is just really creative and really different. I just thought it was a rad song. I actually will say with pride that I was on the [‘Somebody That I Used To Know’] train before it took off, too. I found out about it from some friends, on a Facebook post, before it was even getting radio play… [Gotye] sounded a little bit like Sting to me, and I was excited to see that it did so well.”
Estelle feat. Kanye West, “American Boy”
“I was in love with that song when it came out. It’s so good. I remember seeing her live — she came to the Vogue [Theatre in Vancouver] and I was dancing, and nobody was really dancing yet, and I saw one other guy in the place dancing and I looked up and it was my brother! You can tell it runs in the family.”
Robyn, “Call Your Girlfriend”
“Robyn’s probably one of my favorites of all time, and ‘Call Your Girlfriend’ I think is still my favorite one of hers. It’s a classic.”
Sinead O’Connor, “Nothing Compares 2 U”
“I know it was written by Prince, but I’m going to go with the Sinead O’Connor version. Oh my God, and the video’s just a close-up of her beautiful bald head and those eyes. It actually inspired me to want to shave my head for a little while. I’m really glad my mom didn’t let me. I have to thank her for that. I don’t think I have the head for it.”