Carly Rae Jepsen is a real sweetheart.

The Canadian singer-songwriter put a smile on everyone’s face the moment she stepped into the room for the press conference of MTV World Stage Malaysia 2015. She totally oozed with confidence while she was answering questions from the press.

Carly Rae Jepsen at MTV World Stage Malaysia 2015 Press Briefing Pic 2 (Credit - MTV Asia & Kristian Dowling)
Carly Rae Jepsen at MTV World Stage Malaysia 2015 Press Briefing / Credit: MTV Asia & Kristian Dowling

The multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter made her Malaysian debut through 2015 MTV World Stage Malaysia.

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She opened her set with “Run Away With Me”, the 2nd and latest single from her highly anticipated new album, “E·MO·TION”. Her fun and bubbly side shone throughout the entire set and energy levels were through the roof when she had the crowd singing along to some of her chart-topping tracks like “Call Me Maybe” and “Tonight I’m Getting Over You“.

Carly Rae Jepsen performing at MTV World Stage Malaysia 2015 on 12 Sep Pic 3 (Credit - MTV Asia & Kristian Dowling)
Carly Rae Jepsen performing at MTV World Stage Malaysia 2015 / Credit: MTV Asia & Kristian Dowling

A follow-up to her US debut album “Kiss”, “E·MO·TION” breaks free from the typical pop music style as it infused elements inspired by classic 80s pop records. It finds Jepsen conjuring pop’s most thrilling paradoxes as she delivers songs that are both carefree and introspective, tender and bold, sensitive, and self-assured.

All thanks to our friends from MTV Asia, we got to speak to her real quick before she went on stage for her first-ever performance in Malaysia.

Get to know her better via our exclusive interview with her below:

Hey Carly, thanks for taking the time to do this interview!

My pleasure!

I heard your new album “E.MO.TION.” and it’s really, really awesome! How did you end up working with Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batamanglij for “Warm Blood”?

He actually reached out to my team to ask if I’m interested in collaborating with him and I love that. I feel like when you come from 2 different worlds in music and you work together, you can come up with something neither of you can make on your own. Such is the case with me and Rostam. He’s actually a very serious writer because he just kinda jammed in the room and let the inspirations hit you rather than think about it too much. I really love that too becaue I think that’s the way I write best. So he was just playing some chords while I started singing things and I remembered all of a sudden a little hook that I had years earlier from 2 writers in Canada, Joe and Tino. It’s a song called “Warm Love”. I sang it to him and halfway through, he said, “Did you just sing warm blood feels good?” I said, “No? I said warm love!” and he said “No! Warm blood feels good!” So then I came home and my dad asked me, “How did the session go?” I said that it was great and I wrote a song called “Warm Blood” with this guy from Vampire Weekend. He was like, “You wrote a song called Warm Blood with a vampire?” I said “No no no!” and explained it to him again. But yeah, it’s one of my favourite tracks from the album actually. It’s a weirder one, but it’s strange in a good way. 

There are a lot of 80s synth-inspired music in your new album. What draws you to these old styles of music, instead of the music that people are doing these days?

I think 80s is just one of the greatest times today for pop music. I felt like, if you think of Prince or Cyndi Lauper or old school Madonna, those songs are not only hooky but they are also emotional and timeless. I can play a Cyndi Lauper’s song next to any other mix with what’s going on right now and it not only holds its own and raises its hand. I felt like I wanted to dabble in that world, not just to a period piece album, but bring elements from 80s into music today or into the way I kind of hear pop music.

Carly Rae Jepsen performing at MTV World Stage Malaysia 2015 on 12 Sep Pic 2 (Credit - MTV Asia & Kristian Dowling)
Carly Rae Jepsen performing at MTV World Stage Malaysia 2015 / Credit: MTV Asia & Kristian Dowling

During the press conference, you mentioned that you were working on a 70s-inspired song as well, which makes your music style ever-changing. 

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Yeah, I mean the way that I look at music is that you don’t have to only just be one thing. This album is very much a 80s album and it was important to me that cohesively, it bred into a whole thing. But looking at what’s to come, I don’t wanna make same thing twice as I am allowing myself in this time, which is always prolific after I turned it into an album and all the pressures are gone for a while. So, you have a few months where you just write like crazy and that’s what happening to me right now here in my hotel room n Malaysia. I didn’t write it all yet, but it’s very strange and we will see how it will go. 

Carly Rae Jepsen in Broadway
Source: Broadway

Have you done any stage musicals before you made your Broadway debut in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella”?

Umm, yes and no. Not on that level, of course. Broadway is a whole different world, but yeah, it wasn’t my first time experiencing stage and theatre. I grew up in a very small town (Mission, British Columbia in Canada) and there was a community theatre where I played Annie, which was my first role. Actually before that, I was the ghost of Christmas past in “A Christmas Carol”, Annie in “Annie and Manny”, Dorothy in “The Wiz”, and Sandy in “Grace”. And then I went to perform in a college that was very based in musical theatre because that’s what I thought for the longest time was what I wanted to do, just kind of aimed at Broadway. This college is where I learned how to play the electric guitar and that’s when I really started to write songs, which kind of steered me in a different direction. It was funny because at the end of my college year’s graduaition performance, they had each student pick a musical number. I have always been teased in my entire life for looking younger than I was and they were looking for someone to play Annie and in college, I guess I was the only one who can pull it off (laughs). So I was really depressed that in grade 8, I had to play Annie in college and in university, I was also playing Annie. It was like, “When is this going to end?!” (laughs)

Haha! But now that I look at it, your life is like a movie for what you’ve experienced since you were very young.

Yeah, it has been a very fairy tale-ish life and I’m aware of it. I can remember that on the closing date of “Annie” in grade 8, I was crying to my parents. It’s funny because I live in a very small town, like I said, in a corner of Canada, and I told them (in a crying tone), “What if I’m just this child star?” They’re like, “Umm. No one knows you. Don’t worry, you have big things to come!” (laughs)

Carly Rae Jepsen 2015

Thank you so much for the wonderful interview!

Thank you!

MTV World Stage Malaysia 2015 is presented by Sunway and supported by Tourism Malaysia. In Malaysia, it is ignited by Xpax, brought to you by Brickfields Asia College, Watsons Malaysia, supported by local broadcast partner, Astro, radio partners hitz fm, ERA fm and MY FM, with media partners Big Tree Outdoor, Cleo, EH!, Hype Malaysia, Selebriti Online, TimeOut KL and YG magazine.

The show will premiere on MTV in Asia on 26th September (Saturday) at 1:30pm (TH/WIB), 2:30pm (PH/SG) and 3:30pm (MY), 10th October (Saturday) at 9pm (JP) and 11th October (Sunday) at 12am (KR).

For more information about Carly, visit her official website or stalk her on Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Adrina was our former writer and now contributes to Hype. Find out what she's up to on her IG: @moonsglowslow.