“Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen

Carly Rae Jepsen’s discography dates all the way back to 2004, when she was an indie artist. But the singer really hit her stride during the 2010s, as a signee of Interscope Records and Schoolboy Records. In fact it was “Call Me Maybe”, which was initially released through an obscure label called 604 Records on 20 September 2011, that led to her being put on by Interscope and Schoolboy. 

More specifically it was fellow Canadian singer Justin Bieber, alongside fellow A list musician Selena Gomez, whom he was dating at the time, that personally and publicly cosigned this song. And that’s what ultimately led to Scooter Braun, the head honcho at Schoolboy and furthermore the Bieb’s manager (with Justin also being a signee of the label), giving Carly her big break.

As such, this song originally served as the lead single to Jepsen’s EP “Curiosity” (2012), a product of 604 Records, which managed to break the top 10 of the Canadian Albums Chart. 

The following year, it served the same role for Carly’s sophomore LP, “Kiss”, that time around being buttressed by Schoolboy and Interscope. And by the time all was said and done, “Call Me Maybe” was found standing as the most-successful entry in the songstress’s catalog by a pretty wide margin.

Success of “Call Me Maybe”

This is the only track in Carly’s discography to have achieved diamond certification, not only in Australia but also the United states. Additionally it has gone multi-platinum in a number of nations, including the United Kingdom.

“Call Me Maybe” also topped the UK Singles Chart and Billboard Hot 100, as well as replicating that feat in approximately 15 other countries. Furthermore, it proved to be the best-selling song globally of the entirety of 2012, in addition to marking the top-selling track in industry history as far as a domestic-Canadian artist is concerned.

“Call Me Maybe” also went on to garner accolades accordingly, such as the MTV Europe Music Award for Best Song in 2012 and a Juno Single of the Year trophy in 2013, in addition to being nominated for a couple of Grammys, making it onto Rolling Stones’ “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list, etc. 

So Carly Rae Jepsen wouldn’t be what we would define as a one-hit wonder, as another track she dropped shortly after, “Good Time” (2012) with Owl City, also proved to be a multi-platinum hit. But based on her career trajectory since, it doesn’t look she’ll ever come near to replicating the massive success she experienced with “Call Me Maybe”.

Call Me Maybe

The Team behind the Hit

The production of this song was handled by Josh Ramsey, a musician down with a band known as Marianas Trench. He also co-wrote “Call Me Maybe” with Carly Rae Jepsen and Tavish Crowe, the latter being a regular collaborator of the songstress.

Meanwhile the music video to this track, which was filmed in Jepsen’s home province of British Columbia, was helmed by director Ben Knechtel. And interesting to note is that the clip’s hunk, model/actor Holden Nowell, went on to complain about how he was depicted therein (as a character who ultimately proves gay) and more notably about being underpaid for his contribution.

Also interesting to note is that Aza, a singer from Ukraine, went on to accuse Carly Rae of plagiarism, claiming that “Call Me Maybe” was derived from a track she dropped in 2010 titled “Hunky Santa”.

Meaning of The Lyrics of “Call Me Maybe”

The song revolves around the vocalist kickin’ it to a guy. In other words, the addressee is someone whom Carly is strongly attracted to on a physical level. 

So upon first meeting him, she actually proceeds to give this guy her phone number so that he could call, “maybe”, if likewise interested. And doing so is not a common move because, according to established gender norms, it’s usually the male who is responsible for initially expressing romantic interest. 

In fact Carly revealed that in real life, her strategy is more along the lines of locking eyes with a pretty dude and hoping that he musters up the courage to approach her rather.

But that said, as far as the featured narrative goes, the addressee does proceed to call Jepsen, and the two of them strike up a romance. And at this point, it should be pointed out that even though the central idea of this song is presented clearly, lyrically the verses are relatively complex, especially as far as these puppy-love kinda pieces tend to go.

For example, the second verse goes on to imply that things didn’t work out between the two of them as idealized and that Carly proceeded on to regret giving into her lust, in a manner of speaking. 

But the lyrics of the passage are so poetic that even to this day, well over a decade after “Call Me Maybe” first came out, music pundits have not been able to conclusively interpret it. And so it is, to some degree, with the first verse, though in that case the singer uses a wishing well as a plot device, thus making that segment more understandable.

“Hey, I just met you and this is crazy
But here’s my number, so call me, maybe
It’s hard to look right at you, baby
But here’s my number, so call me, maybe
Hey, I just met you and this is crazy
But here’s my number, so call me, maybe
And all the other boys try to chase me
But here’s my number, so call me, maybe”

So all things considered, it can be concluded that what the thesis sentiment of this track actually revolves around is a reality like animal magnetism, along with the thrill and the threat that such a strong level of attraction presents. 

Put more bluntly, the addressee proves irresistible in the vocalist’s eyes. Or as implied by the post-chorus, she perceives him as being her soulmate, as if the two of them are destined to be, which is why Jepsen steps to him like that. 

With that in mind, the second verse doesn’t necessarily indicate that their relationship failed. Instead, what it actually seems is being put forth, first verse included, is Carly being totally distracted, even to the point of her personality changing and not to the better, due to her love of the addressee.

Did “Call Me Maybe” win a Grammy?

It was nominated for the following awards during the 55th Grammys:

“Call Me Maybe” lost the first category to Funs’ “We Are Young“. It also lost the second category to Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain

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