Carly Rae Jepsen’s infectious tune “Call Me Maybe” is one of those perfect hit pop songs that seem to come out of nowhere, and are almost impossible to recreate. A comment below points out, the secret to a pop hit is to “Repeat something catchy so much that it infiltrates the minds of the public and won’t let go over their vice-like grip on their brains.” True enough, but the rub is finding that “something catchy.” It’s not as easy as it sounds, and every day people desperately try to fashion a pop hook that will reel in millions (whether they like it, or not.)
Who created this song? Where did it come from?
Summer 2011: Carly Rae Jepsen, a Canadian singer-songwriter who had placed third in Canadian Idol in 2007, was working on a new song with collaborator Tavish Crowe.
Carly and Tav worked up what was then a folk song during a regular jam session. Carly later brought it to producer Josh Ramsay who immediately saw “Call Me Maybe” as the chorus. Josh then called mixer Dave “Rave” Ogilvie, and the two of them really made it “pop,” so-to-speak.
When was it originally released?
It entered the Canadian Singles chart at No. 97 when it was released on her EP Curiosity September 20, 2011. DJs immediately started playing CMM on the radio, and Carly followed up with a video directed by her stand-by director Ben Knechtel.
He told Entertainment Weekly:
“When I was in college I made this video for a school project where I was washing a car like Jessica Simpson in The Dukes of Hazard in these Daisy Duke shorts, and I had borrowed a bikini top from a girl in one of my classes. It was just a ridiculous, over-the-top parody of the classic car-wash scene. I always thought it was funny and wanted to use that idea again. “Call Me Maybe” ended up being that outlet.”
It took 12 hours to shoot in Langely, British Colombia the day before Halloween, 2011. In fact, they had to remove some Halloween decorations so it would look like summer.
By December 2011, Justin Bieber was visiting his family for Christmas in Canada when he heard “Call Me Maybe” on the radio. He was hanging out with some of his female friends, and they really liked the song, so he tweeted about it. Justin’s manager Scooter Braun saw the tweet, listened to the song, and immediately thought “it was one of the best pop records I’ve heard in the past 10 years.” He tracked Carly down, and right before he was willing to sign her to Schoolboy Records, he asked Justin if he wanted to be partners. Not only did Justin sign on, but he majorly helped promote the single by making a silly video with himself, girlfriend Selena Gomez, and their friend Ashley Tisdale.
Carlos Pena Jr., of Big Time Rush actually shot the footage for this video, which was pieced together from several goofy lip-syncing sessions all over the world. Apparently they shot enough footage to make three different videos. Even though she was in negotiations with Scooter and Justin, one told Carly about the video, she just found it on her Facebook one day.
Here’s a fun fact: Carly Rae Jepson has never actually given her number to a guy, and at this point she never will. (It would just be too awkward.)