LONDON — Carly Rae Jepsen is playing cupid — on an international scale.
Her catchy hit "Call Me Maybe" is about giving someone you don't know your phone number. The 26-year-old Canadian singer hopes the lyrics will inspire people to take a risk on love — even though she's not had the guts to do it that way herself.
"I have never actually given a guy my phone number before," Jepsen told The Associated Press in a recent interview. "You have to live vicariously through your music, so I figure if I was ever that brave that is how I would give a guy my number."
"Call Me Maybe" is in the top 5 on iTunes and has hit No. 1 in the U.K., Canada and Australia.
The track was first spotted by fellow Canadian Justin Bieber, who signed Jepsen to his manager's record label, Schoolboy Records/Interscope. He gave the track a big boost by appearing in a YouTube video, along with Selena Gomez and Ashley Tisdale, where they mimed and danced along to the song.
The video has now clocked nearly 35 million views on YouTube.
AP: Why do you think people have related to "Call Me Maybe"?
Jepsen: A lot of the reason people have been able to hear it is because of Justin's support. But why it is responding as well is kind of a mystery to me, but it is wonderful.
AP: What did you think when you saw the Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Ashley Tisdale video?
Jepsen: I was talking to my mom at the time and it popped up on my Facebook. There had been a couple of mock videos that fans had done and stuff, I thought it was one of those. But I was like 'that guy looks like Justin Bieber and that girl looks like Selena Gomez' and by the time Ashley Tisdale came on I was like 'Mom, I got to go!' and I had a little freak out.
AP: Have you seen the other ones by Katy Perry and James Franco?
Jepsen: And Miley Cyrus did one too, it's insane. It's kind of a cool little thing that has started — celebrities but also lots of different fans putting together videos. And everyone always looks so happy.
AP: What's Justin like as a boss?
Jepsen: So far Justin hasn't taken on the boss attitude, which is nice. He's been more of a really good supporter and friend. He's also given me a bit of a boost of confidence because you struggle for so many years.
AP: Is he OK with you beating him? In the U.K., you outsold him 2:1 and beat him to No.1.
Jepsen: (Laughs) Oh, I think we had a little friendly competition going on but he's a good sport about it. And I think he knows, as I know, that none of that success would have been possible without his support.
AP: Tell me where "Call Me Maybe" came from, the inspiration.
Jepsen: The line 'Before you came into my life I missed you so bad' was in fact written and inspired by the guy that I am seeing now, actually. He's got like three CDs written for him so it's old news, he is used to it. That was the truth for me and him; I was like 'Oh, life could be this good? Awesome.'
AP: Is there pressure on you now to follow up on that success?
Jepsen: It would be a shame if I just released 'Call Me Maybe' and that was it. I feel so hungry to show all the stuff I've been writing for the past few years and this experience is inspiring things too!
Justin's version of 'Call Me Maybe' on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsBsBU3vn6M