Carly Rae Jepsen went from pop farofa ‘Call Me Maybe’ to ‘cult’ world thanks to career failures | Its Primavera 2023

When she broke through with the teen anthem “Call Me Maybe” in 2012, Canadian Carly Rae Jepsen didn’t seem at all like the kind of artist who would one day be on Primavera Sound. The Spanish festival, created in 2001, has a refined program and favors the names of a cooler audience.

However, more than ten years after its great success, here it is. Carly is one of the most anticipated attractions of the Brazilian edition of the event, scheduled for this Saturday (2) and Sunday (3), in São Paulo.

What happened? The singer’s transition from farofa pop to the “cult” world even intrigues her fans.

Former future “one-hit-wonder”

Carly Rae Jepsen in the video for “Call Me Maybe” — Photo: Reproduction/YouTube

With bubblegum lyrics about love at first sight, “Call Me Maybe” was the biggest hit of 2012: it racked up more than 7 million downloads in the United States and spent nine consecutive weeks at the top of the US chart.

A viral video with Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez helped, but the success really came with the chorus: “Hey, I just met you / And this is crazy / But here’s my number / So maybe call me” , say the lyrics, in the Portuguese translation. Carly spoke to “Billboard” magazine in 2017:

“That song, to me, was always a little bit about how you wish you had the confidence to act in real life. It’s the more fantastical side of things, where you go up to a complete stranger and do something wild, that makes you feel alive.

Pop Week presents artists who have performed in front of very few people

With this single, she gained global reach almost instantly. And, to continue to capitalize, he hastened to release the album “Kiss” the same year, with other attempts at catchy choruses, but which did not stick enough. The album did not exceed 300,000 copies sold. This was considered a failure.

Everything suggested that the singer was destined to be part of the “one-hit-wonders”, those artists who break out with a song and who are never heard from again.

In 2014, a charity event with Carly’s participation in a tea shop in Toronto, Canada, managed to gather only 20 fans. She took a photo that brought together a good portion of the public and posted it on her Instagram.

Carly Rae Jepsen takes a photo with fans at a charity event at a tea shop in Toronto, Canada, in 2014 — Photo: Reproduction/Instagram

A year later, Carly released “Emotion”, an album with exuberant arrangements inspired by the 1980s. Nostalgia for the decade can be found in the main pop phenomena of the time: the song “Uptown Funk”, by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, and the album “1989”, by Taylor Swift.

It wasn’t enough to put “Call Me Maybe” back on the map. “Emotion” only sold 16,000 copies in the United States in its first week. For comparison, “25”, by Adele, broke a record by selling more than 3 million copies the week of its release the same year, 2015.

In an interview with the New York Times, Scooter Braun, the singer’s then manager, publicly expressed his disappointment with the album:

“I think I’ve tried everything and it’s coming back to me. I didn’t do it for her.

Carly Rae Jepsen in photo to promote album ‘Emotion’ — Photo: Disclosure

But Carly was calm. “I’m really happy with how the album came together,” he told Buzzfeed.

“‘Emotion’ is as solid and pure an album as we’ve heard in pop in 2015, the result of years of work alongside a roster of historic collaborators,” wrote Pitchfork, a music site. respected American critic. The commercial failure, combined with the exquisite roster of musical partners and critical sympathy, made waves across the Internet.

The singer has become a kind of aggrieved heroine for an audience that considers itself versed in the depths of pop music: an undisclosed secret, this restaurant that is only a small door, but there is a line of waiting to get in and we almost always end up meeting. someone you know there. In short: Carly Rae Jepsen has been adopted by “hipster” culture.

She noticed the change and began steering her career in that direction, giving her fans what they wanted: simple pop music, without the mass packaging of the mainstream.

Alongside names like Charli XCX, Lizzo, Troye Sivan and Kim Petras, Carly today constitutes the movement that the American music press has nicknamed “mindie”. These are artists who make conventional (or “mainstream”) pop music, but with a certain indie authenticity. — and that’s why they’re selected for festivals like Primavera Sound.

Carly Rae Jepsen in concert at Primavera Sound Buenos Aires, in 2024 — Photo: Reproduction/Instagram

The Canadian is on her next album, “Dedicated” (2019), already comfortable in her new position. That year, she told The Guardian newspaper:

“I’m more confident in my homosexuality now.”

She also released a second part of “Dedicated” in 2020 and “The Loneliest Time”, another album split in two, in 2022 and 2023. There has never been a song on the most listened to charts again., but there is always a group of very excited fans at their concerts. And the chances of meeting someone you know there are very high.

Bonnie Garza

"Internet fanatic. Evil organizer. Tv fanatic. Explorer. Hipster-friendly social media junkie. Certified food expert."

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