What does it take to follow up a song like “Call Me Maybe,” the pop culture phenomenon from Carly Rae Jepsen that went platinum in more than a dozen countries and inspired endless covers, parodies and celebrity lip-dubs in 2012? The 29-year-old Canadian pop star has spent more than two years trying to figure that out. Even her manager, Scooter Braun, the man responsible for bringing Justin Bieber to the masses, told her she couldn’t release new music unless it matched the song that made her famous.
“I definitely felt the pressure,” Jepsen says at her record label’s office on a snowy day in New York. “I would find myself in sessions where people would be like, ‘What are we going to do next?’ When enough people say that to you, you think, ‘Yeah, this is kind of scary.’”