Saturday, June 24, 2017 This Week's Paper

Call Trent, Maybe: The case for Carly Rae Jepsen, Nine Inch Nails team-up.

Carly Rae Jepsen called us. She definitely called us. We didn't have to guess like the heroine of her omnipresent breakthrough hit, “Call Me Maybe.”

For the two Amish people and the guy awakening from a coma that have not heard it, that would be the best best-selling single of 2012, with more than 12.5 million units moved and a video that's approaching 500 million views on YouTube. Spoiler alert: It's going to be on the Canadian pop star's set list on Sept. 20 at the Washington State Fair.

But we had plenty of other cool stuff to talk about, too; you, Nine Inch Nails, mermaids, the worst opening pitch of all time. Just the obvious stuff.

Tacoma Weekly: I just saw a clip of you throwing the opening pitch at a Devil Rays game. (The ball hits the ground roughly 80 feet short and rolls over the first base line 10 feet off target – unless she meant to hit that camera.)

Jepsen: That was impressive, wasn't it?

TW: Very. Have you been practicing your curve ball just in case?

Jepsen: Oh, obviously I've been working my whole life for that moment. (She laughs)

TW: I think there was too much pressure. You built it up too much. That's what it was. What are the odds you'll do that again?

Jepsen: Oh, I want redemption. I'm goin' back for sure. (Laughs)

TW: One thing I know you have been doing, though, is working on new music. Should we expect new songs when you get to the Washington State Fair?

Jepsen: Yeah, last night we were in Cape Cod, and (co-writer) Tavish (Crowe) and me had written a song that morning on the bus, and we decided, just spontaneously, to sing it for everybody. We used to do that all the time when we started out together, about four years back. So it was really kind of a nostalgic moment to do something that brave again. It was fun.

TW: Do you have an album title yet or a release date? I think I've read that you've been working on it since the last one came out.

Jepsen: Yeah, that's kind of how I work. It's just sort of a constant thing; and then, when an album cycle comes around, I have a whole lot of songs to pick from. But, no, it's a little too soon for me to know any title or any release date. I'm having a lot of fun creating music, and I'm sure all that stuff will come together in no time.

TW: I read that you grew up listening to stuff like James Taylor and Van Morrison, which might surprise people given the style of music you do. Might you get more in touch with your singer-songwriter style?

Jepsen: I think I'm writing, like, three albums at once, and one of them is (that style). One of them is a little dancier, and then one's just pure pop. At the end of the day, production can kind of change anything. But it'll be about the strength of the song more than anything else.

TW: On the last CD you worked with Owl City and Justin Beiber. Are you collaborating with any new people that you can mention?

Jepsen: Actually, the first person … I'm working with is Adam (Young of Owl City) again. He's going to be flying down to L.A. for a couple of days, and we're gonna work together. Actually, “Good Time” (from last year's “Kiss” album) was just his song. I think he worked on it with a couple of other writers, too, but they just asked me to feature on it. I wasn't actually part of the writing on that song. We've never really written together before, so this will be our first time trying that, and I think we're both really excited.

TW: So many people know you for “Call Me Maybe,” your hit that was just everywhere. When did you realize you had something special with that song?

Jepsen: One of the first moments was seeing Katy Perry do a cover of it. Justin, of course, had done one earlier; but, as soon as I saw her version I thought, “Oh, maybe this will be something that will catch on.” So that was an exciting.

I also felt a thrill the first time I was in Mexico City, and I was Justin's special surprise. I came out just to sing that one song, and it was crazy. There was about 300,000 people in the audience, and they were all singing along to every word, and it was my first time in Mexico. So that felt pretty incredible.

TW: There have been a lot of mashups, but my favorite was on the Spin web site. They've got one with “Call Me Maybe” and Nine Inch Nails. Have you heard that one?

Jepsen: (Laughs) You know who was especially happy with that? (Producer) Dave Ogilvie, who was the mixer of both songs; he mixed “Call Me Maybe,” and he mixed (for) Nine Inch Nails. … So he called me and was like, “Oh my gosh! My two artists ... and they're combining them.” It's hilarious. We were just giggling about that.

TW: I was checking your tour itinerary, and it looks like you'll be off the road around the time Nine Inch Nails is really getting going. I'm just throwing that out there. So what else do you have coming up for the rest of this year?

Jepsen: My inner 6-year-old kind of died of happiness. I got to be Ariel in “The Little Mermaid.” That was kind of fun. Disney's … releasing the diamond edition collection (an enhanced, HD version of the animated classic, due on Oct. 1), and they asked me to play the part of Ariel for a “Part Of Your World” music video, which was totally fun. It's actually the reason I dyed my hair red.

TW: So the single is going to be in the movie re-release?

Jepsen: Yeah, it's just gonna be kind of attached to (it), kind of how Christina Aguilera was in “Mulan,”

I was either three or four when it first came out, so it was definitely the Disney show I grew up falling in love with. I can even remember pretending I was Ariel when I was little and at the lake for a beach day. It was totally a fantasy of mine, so it's pretty cool that it actually got to happen. Who knows? One day I can have my little babies around and be like, “Oh look, mum's Ariel.”

Carly Rae Jepsen with Hot Chelle Rae

Also coming to the Western Washington Fair grandstand:

  • Carrie Underwood (7:30 p.m., Sept. 13, $45-$95)

  • Digital Affair with Excision and Chuckie (4 p.m., Sept. 14, $45-$80)

  • Fiestas Patrias Music Festival featuring Roberto Tapia (noon, Sept. 15, $32.50)

  • Alabama (7:30 p.m. Sept. 16, $35-$95)

  • Raise the Roof featuring Jeremy Camp, Tenth Avenue North, Kutless and Jars of Clay (7 p.m., Sept. 17, $20-$40)

  • Carnival of Madness featuring Shinedown, Skillet, In This Moment and We As Human (5 p.m., Sept. 18, $35-$45)

  • Larry the Cable Guy (7:30 p.m., Sept. 19, $20-$65)

  • Austin Mahone & Bridgit Mendler (7 p.m., Sept. 21, $25-$60); and Kid Rock (7:30 p.m., Sept. 22, $45-$95).

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