Up on the “sunny shores of Canada” (a description we’ve borrowed from the cult Canuck cartoon Clone High), Carly Rae Jepsen is a well known pop commodity: the 26-year-old finished third on the fifth season of Canadian Idol back in 2007; released her debut album, Tug of War, in 2008; and recently topped charts in her home country with her instantly infectious single “Call Me Maybe.” Then she went viral stateside this year courtesy of the Canadian teen-pop messiah himself, Justin Bieber, who recorded a homemade video of himself and pals (including girlfriend Selena Gomez, and Ashley Tisdale) busting a move to Jespen’s “Maybe.” Now she’s signed with U.S. label Interscope, is gearing up for American shows (including a gig on Ellen), and has already recorded a duet with the Biebs. Below, she tells ELLE.com about how she became a Belieber, and what other Canadian goodies we’re missing out on.
ELLE: How did that Justin Bieber-recorded video happen?
Carly Rae Jepsen: I truly don’t know! Justin apparently came home from Christmas and heard the song playing on the radio. Then one day, I was on the phone with my mom while checking Facebook and I saw that someone had posted the video. I was like, “That boy looks a lot like Justin Bieber…wait a second. Mom, I gotta go.”
ELLE: And you’ve met since, right?
CRJ: He flew me down to L.A. I got to meet him and his whole team. That night, he played me his new album and asked me what I thought of the fourth track. I said, That’s my favorite! Then he asked if I want to do a duet? I was like, What? Yes! They put me in the booth and I recorded the song that night.
ELLE: What’s the name of the track?
CRJ: Oh, that’s on lockdown.
ELLE: What’s the weirdest question you get about being Canada?
CRJ: I’ve actually been asked if we live in igloos. It’s kind of cute. No, we don’t have winter all the time. We know what summer is—we have beautiful summers!
ELLE: As a fellow Canadian, I’m most concerned with the lack of poutine here—fries, gravy, cheese curd, delicious!
CRJ: Are you serious? I didn’t know that was our thing. Poutine, my goodness. Let’s open up a poutine shop and sell everybody what they’re missing. That and ketchup flavored chips.
ELLE: Can we throw in Caesars? The idea of a Bloody Mary with clamato juice (tomato and clam broth) repels everyone here—and nobody will make it!
CRJ: You know, I’ve tried to order that and they just look at me like I’m from Mars. But it’s so good! And it’s kind of healthy, right? Well, maybe not with the vodka.