Ready to party with Carly at the Boise Music Festival?

British Columbia native focuses on having fun while perfecting the music

Special to The Idaho StatesmanJuly 26, 2013 

  • BOISE MUSIC FESTIVAL:

    Featuring Carly Rae Jepsen, Candlebox, Jason Derulo, Vanilla Ice and Dakota Bradley. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. July 27, Expo Idaho, 5610 N. Glenwood St., Garden City. $20 advance, $30 at the door; $50 Cool Zone (private shaded area with two drink tickets and free food). ICTickets. boisemusicfestival.com.

  • Things you need to know if you go

    WHEN AND WHERE

    The fourth annual Boise Music Festival runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 27, at Expo Idaho, 5610 N. Glenwood St., Garden City.

    GET TICKETS

    If you’re 13 or older, you’ll need a ticket to attend. You can win tickets by listening to Peak Broadcasting stations, which are giving them away: 107.9 Lite FM, Mix 106, 103.3 Kiss FM, Wow Country 104.3, 580 KIDO and 630 The Fan.

    Another option is to stop at the following “tickets stop” locations July 26 to pick up free tickets:

    Æ Colliers International, 755 W. Front St., 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

    Æ Idaho Central Credit Union, 10990 Fairview Ave. 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

    Æ Ice Bouquet, 1010 Main St., 10 p.m.-midnight.

    Æ Carl’s Jr., 1212 12th Road, Nampa, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

    Wanna skip the hassle? At ICTickets.com, you can purchase an advance ticket for $20 — or upgrade to the VIP Cool Zone for $50, which includes two drink tickets, free food and shade. (You must be 21 to enter the Cool Zone.) You also can show up at the gate the day of the show and buy a general admission ticket for $30.

    MUSIC SCHEDULE

    Fifty-six local bands are slated to play multiple stages, but the diverse headliners are what draw a crowd thousands each year. They are:

    Æ 2:30 p.m. — Dakota Bradley

    Æ 3:30 p.m. — Vanilla Ice

    Æ 5 p.m. — Carly Rae Jepsen

    Æ 6:30 p.m. — Jason Derulo

    Æ 8 p.m. — Candlebox

    DETAILS ONLINE

    Go to www.boisemusicfestival.com.

    Michael Deeds

Carly Rae Jepsen admitted that she felt a little uneasy when she stepped on stage for her first night opening for Justin Bieber on that teen star’s current arena tour. It was, after all, her first time performing in such a large venue.

“It was a one song of nerves on the first night, the very first song, where I’m like, ‘Oh my goodness, how’s this going to be?’ ” Jepsen said in a recent phone interview. “Then it went right back to feeling like home again. I don’t know, it’s funny, you can kind of be a bigger and louder and a more excited version of everything in arenas like that. It’s really kind of satisfying and the biggest thrill and the biggest rush that I’ve ever experienced in my life. And it’s a good thing. I want to keep doing it. I can’t wait for the next show and the next one. I just want to keep trying to make it better and better.”

That experience will come in handy on July 27, when Jepsen performs for thousands at the fourth annual Boise Music Festival at Expo Idaho. And based on events of the past year, it looks like she may have more shows on big stages in her near future.

Jepsen, of course, rocketed into the spotlight last year with the chart-topping single “Call Me Maybe.” Since then, she’s released her first American CD, “Kiss,” and “Good Time,” her collaboration with Owl City, has gone top 10 on the Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart and gave her another shot of momentum.

It’s quite a whirlwind for this singer, who two years ago was still largely unknown outside of her native Canada. She was, though, not a fresh-faced newcomer to music, even at that point.

A native of Mission, British Columbia, Jepsen, 27, began pursuing music a year or so after high school, playing pubs around Vancouver, B.C., when she could and working jobs (including being a barista and a bartender) to pay the bills.

Jepsen wasn’t on the verge of any real breakthrough when in 2007, she talked to her high school drama instructor, who suggested that she try out for “Canadian Idol,” the counterpart north of the border to the highly popular U.S. version, “American Idol.”

“She was like ‘Carly, I know you’re trying everything, but try this. Why not? It could be a bit of exposure. Worst case scenario, you go to audition and it doesn’t work and you just keep doing whatever you do,’” Jepsen recalled, noting that she resisted the idea for a time. “It wasn’t until season five that I finally caved in to her suggestion and went and tried it.”

Jepsen landed on the “Canadian Idol” television show, eventually finishing third in that season’s competition.

That led to a record deal and the release in Canada of her 2008 debut CD, “Tug Of War,” which produced a pair of hit singles, “Tug Of War” and “Bucket.”

It would be three years before Jepsen released more music, but when that next song arrived in September 2011 in Canada, it would be a game changer. It was “Call Me Maybe,” and by Christmastime, the song was getting airplay in Canada.

It was on Canadian radio that another Canadian star, Bieber, heard “Call Me Maybe” and instantly fell for the song. He started tweeting about it and then made a viral video parody of “Call Me Maybe” (with Selena Gomez and Ashley Tisdale among others) that spread like wildfire across the Internet. Soon Jepsen had signed on with Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, and Bieber’s record label, Schoolboy Records, and radio beyond Canada was jumping on the “Call Me Maybe” bandwagon. The song became more than a hit. It was a phenomenon, going No. 1 in 37 countries, including the United States, where it held the top spot on the Billboard 100 for nine weeks.

“Call Me Maybe” (which was included on the “Curiosity” EP) makes a return appearance on “Kiss.” “Good Time” (which is also on the current Owl City CD, “The Midsummer Station”) is also featured on “Kiss.” And the rest of “Kiss” sticks to the playful dance-pop of those two songs, as Jepsen sings her way through 10 additional tracks that include cheery up-tempo tunes like “This Kiss,” “Turn Me Up” and “Hurt So Good,” and an occasional ballad like “Beautiful,” which features guest vocals from Bieber.

Jepsen’s live show features many of the songs from “Kiss.”

While she said there are a few visual bells and whistles to her show, the focus is on the music Jepsen and her band plays during her set.

“We’ve definitely been having a lot of fun creating the show,” Jepsen said. “We really focused in on wanting the music to feel great. So we’ve been perfecting the songs as best we can and making a set list that feels like home.”

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