When she was young, Carly Rae Jepsen wasn’t exactly a headliner at the music festivals near her home in British Columbia.
“I used to try and bribe the emcees to let me get on stage,” Jepsen laughed. “I would drag my cousin with me. I would try to tell jokes and sing songs in between performers.”
Years later, the “Call Me Maybe” singer is the headliner of the first day of Musikfest in Bethlehem.
“Definitely things have turned out for the better,” she said.
Jepsen is in the midst of an international tour on her album “Kiss,” which features “Call Me Maybe,” ”Tonight I’m Getting Over You,” which Nicki Minaj was featured on a remix of, and “Good Time,” a song she did with Owl City which recently received quite a bit of radio play.
She said she’s excited to play in a music festival because of the wide range of options they provide.
“I think there’s something cool about this that you can see with your friends,” Jepsen said. “It’s big. If something’s not working for you, you can go from one stage to another.”
The festivals she used to jump on stage for as a kid typically focused on jazz or folk music. Musikfest will feature a variety of acts including Jepsen, Darius Rucker, Styx and Ke$ha.
A veteran of performing on stages both indoor and out, the Sands Steel Stage at PNC Plaza is the type of venue she prefers.
“If the sound system is working great, if you’ve got what you need...then outdoor shows, hands down,” are her favorite, she said.
On “Kiss,” Jepsen said her two personal favorite songs are “Hurt So Good” and “This Kiss.”
“They’re my two favorite to play live because they’re really 80s and fun,” she said.
Speaking of the 80s, Jepsen, who’s shared tracks with Minaj, Owl City, and Justin Bieber, said her dream collaboration would be with Cindy Lauper.
“I would just love to do a total pop anthem with her,” she said. “She’s a total icon, so I’d love to do that.”
However, collaborating on a song isn’t so easy as writing a few notes and lyrics and adding a “Feat.” to the end of the title.
“There’s so many people out there I’d like to get in the room with them but you have to figure out the chemistry,” Jepsen said.
More music is on the horizon for Jepsen fans.
“I began work on the next album the moment I turned in my first album,” she said.
As with any “album cycle,” Jepsen said she goes through periods of creative droughts or prolific writing.
Part of her writing process for an album or a song at times doesn’t even include writing anything down.
“Sometimes I use pictures and colors to explain the vibe of it,” she said. “I’ll say, ‘This is very pink.’”
She said she’s attracted to certain sounds that might make it on the album but she’s just trying to “let (her) writing develop as it does.”
She said she’s still very attracted to pop but might add more of a dance element to future music.
On that note, Jepsen is excited to get her fans moving at Musikfest Aug. 2.
“I hope everyone is ready for dancing when they come,” she said.