Features

2012 Breakouts: Carly Rae Jepsen

"Call" girl

Every so often, Carly Rae Jepsen tears up a bedsheet, pins it to her wall, and writes her new set of goals on it in marker. "The main one for me [this time] was to try to break out of Canada, and that happened in a bigger way than I expected."

That is typical Canadian understatement. Thanks to some enthusiastic tweets from Justin Bieber, a series of YouTube clips (starring everybody from Katy Perry and Cookie Monster to the U.S. Olympic swim team and Colin Powell), and one of the most pleasantly inescapable hooks of the summer, the 27-year-old elevated herself from former Canadian Idol curiosity to genuine pop phenomenon. "Call Me Maybe," with its bubbly backbeat and wall of strings, rocketed up the Billboard Hot 100, eventually settling into the top spot for nine weeks. That was a big-enough score to inspire a major lifestyle change for Jepsen. "[The sheets] get tossed out as I cross things off, but I kept the one from around the time I was negotiating my deal," she admits. "It's still crumpled in a ball under my bed."

Jepsen hasn't busted out the linens for 2013 yet, but she's still enjoying her massive newfound cultural cachet: Her gig as Bieber's opening act — orchestrated by Bieber's manager, Scooter Braun, who signed Jepsen to his record label — will keep her on the road well into the new year. "The fact that [the song] has spread worldwide and keeps being rejuvenated has been such a cool thing for me to witness," Jepsen says. "It really feels like a once-in-a-lifetime experience." Well, until she scribbles down her goals for 2013.

Originally posted Dec 21, 2012 Published in issue #1239-1240 Dec 28, 2012 Order article reprints