Plus an album update.
UPDATE // FEBRUARY 10:
Carly Rae Jepsen’s cover of Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock’s classic 1988 smash “It Takes Two” with Lil Yachty and Mike Will Made-It is here!
“It was one of the most intimidating moments of my career being in the room with Mike WiLL and Yachty and 16 other friends of theirs just partying,” she told EW. “They’re like, ‘Alright, go perform your first-ever rap in front of actual professional rappers!’ There’s nothing more terrifying than that. But they were really helpful.”
EARLIER // FEBRUARY 7:
Carly Rae Jepsen produced one of the best pop albums in a hot minute with 2015’s E•MO•TION, and nearly two years later there’s a void to fill.
Fortunately, the “Runaway With Me” singer is currently hard at work on another pop opus at an undisclosed location in Stockholm, Sweden (A.K.A. the Oz of music creation). She called into EW to reveal a couple of need-to-know details, including an unlikely collaboration with rapper Lil Yachty and producer Mike Will Made-It on a cover of Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock’s “It Takes Two.”
“I think that’s what we loved about it!,” Jepsen said of the seemingly odd collab. “It was reaching from different worlds and coming together to make something that hopefully nobody would expect. It was a total blast. Yachty is a lot of fun, and Mike is incredibly talented, so the combo was unlike anything I’d done before.”
They filmed a Target-sponsored video for the song, directed by Roman Coppola and choreographed by La La Land’s Mandy Moore, which Jepsen says was “too weird to say no to!”
She also opened up about her forthcoming studio album, but isn’t confident it’s near completion.
“It’s always hard to pinpoint that. When you think you’re lost in the dark with it, you could actually be making the most movement with it. I’m actually in Sweden in Stockholm in the studio. I’m just really enjoying being in the thick of it. I’d say there’s a lot of work left to do, but I’m definitely finding some new sounds for me, which is always the goal: to challenge what you did last time, to break some rules, and to discover new places where you want to go musically.”
She adds: “I categorize myself as a bit of an over-writer. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it definitely has become part of my process. I can’t quite seem to just write eight or nine songs and call it a record. I think on this record alone I’m up to at least 42 songs. I’m like, “Okay, narrowing it down!” but I’m still continuing [to write and record]. I know that by the time I’m finished I’ll have a whole little catalog—the secret ones that nobody hears, and the ones that I feel are really special and put out there.”
Previous reports claimed Jepsen is aiming to channel a ’70s disco vibe a la ABBA and the Bee Gees.
“I would say more Donna Summer than the Bee Bees,” she said. “That would be the disco inspiration that’s leading the pack at the moment. That said, some of the songs that have surprised me have not been in the disco realm as much. I can’t really put my finger on what it is, but that’s exciting too. There’s so much music out there right now and so much quality stuff, so I’m trying to find out what I have to offer that’s different.”
Jepsen is also reuniting with Swedish hitmakers Mattman & Robin and Rami Yacoub, who played a hand in E•MO•TION, and a couple fresh faces.
“Mattman & Robin and Rami, we actually have already done some sessions together on the new album,” she said. “But it’s also been fun to explore some new directions. I was really into the Robyn material, and that’s what led me to [“Dancing on My Own” producer] Patrik Berger, who is one of the main writers I’m working with here along with Pontus Winnberg [of Bloodshy & Avant and Miike Snow]. We’ve gotten on this really good flow right now. We’re all reaching for the same thing, and when that happens you’ve got to stay in that pool until you figure out where you’re going. I’m here for 13 days, wrapping up. This is my fourth trip to Sweden so far for this album alone. I’m really excited to show you what we’ve been working on.”