The Weekly interview: Carly Rae Jepsen

Carly Rae Jepsen opens for Katy Perry January 20 at T-Mobile Arena.
Photo: Andy Kropa / AP

You know her as the girl behind “Call Me Maybe,” but that’s definitely not the only reason Carly Rae Jepsen should be on your radar. In 2015, the pop singer released Emotion, an album lauded by both indie-music hubs like Pitchfork and teeny-boppers. Now, Jepsen returns to the pop spotlight, opening for Katy Perry on her Witness tour. We spoke to the Canadian star about sharing a bill with one of the industry’s top stars, performing in Vegas and her crossover musical style.

On opening for Katy Perry: I had no idea I’d get to do this, but I’m more than thrilled. I’ve known Katy throughout the years just casually here and there ,and she’s always been really warm and someone who as a performer is just a powerhouse and someone I look up to in a lot of ways. Her show is fantastic; it’s very Cirque du Soleil, and I find myself going out there every night to watch it even though I’ve seen it a couple times. It’s such eye candy.

On playing Las Vegas: This is a place for escape and celebration and party, and that energy is felt in the audience, too. When I’ve played there before, it feels like people show up ready to dance with you, and that’s the best feeling.

On indie music versus pop: I have no idea how we’ve been lucky to have a footing in both genres. I think pop itself has changed a lot, and there’s a lot less boundaries as to what it specifically has to be. I’m attracted to more indie-style production, but I really still love a great, strong pop top line. That was always a challenge for me, to find my flavor of pop that felt really authentic.

On her goals for 2018: I want to release an album that I’m proud of, and feel like it’s a good representation of the sweat and tears from the last couple years. I want to be better involved in the creative. I have a great team around me, and it feels like we have a very similar vision, which is very exciting, so I want to run with that and get as creative as possible.

Carly Rae Jepsen opening for Katy Perry. January 20, 7:30 p.m., $51-$201. T-Mobile Arena, 702-692-1600.

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Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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