To the Point: Carly Rae Jepsen Sings In the Holidays at Hudson’s Bay
The Canadian pop auteur brought her magic to one of our most festive and anticipated nights of the year.
Attending the unveiling of the Hudson’s Bay holiday windows is a wonderful tradition for many Canadians, and the Toronto Queen Street store made the night extra special with one of Canada’s most beloved pop singer/songwriters.
As the curtains drew back revealing the holiday windows, Carly Rae Jepsen performed a set that mixed holiday classics “Let It Snow” and “Last Christmas” with her hit singles “Cut to the Feeling” and “Call Me Maybe.”
Inside the Queen Street store, the sounds of the season were ringing out (literally) courtesy of the St. John’s York Mills Handbell Ringers. Christmas carolers were singing and Santa himself parked his sleigh for photos. Custom tree ornaments, complimentary gift wrapping and fresh-baked cookies with milk made it a memorable night full of cheer.
Outside, Toronto singer/songwriter Johnny Orlando warmed up the crowd, and HBC Bursary athletes Mandy Bujold and Sarah Wells introduced attendees to our 2019 Red Mittens.
The Point was thrilled to have a moment to chat with Jepsen about the holidays, her creative process, and her brand new single. Read on for the full interview.
Since the success of EMOTION, do you feel like your songwriting process has changed at all?
I hope my songwriting process is constantly changing, I think it is. I believe that part of that process is learning from others and that’s why I appreciate collaborations so much. Everyone goes at music in a different way and I challenge myself to do the same.
We love your new single “Party for One.” What was your inspiration that helped you frame the song?
This song kind of sparked on one of those lonely hotel nights. I work a lot with a long time friend and collaborator Tavish Crowe and anytime either one of us has an idea we’ll sync up, grab a guitar, and make a little impromptu hotel studio. This song began there and then I went to Sweden and put new words to it.
I had just been through a breakup and the idea of having a party for one was kind of the only thing that turned my mood around. Julia and Anton, two writers who I had a session with the next day, were excited by the concept and the hook and we developed it from there.
As all songs do, this one took a journey, and after a couple productions I was very happy to land with [producers] the Captain Cuts boys for the sounds and the beat that they found for this song, which sort of made it come to light again after being something I’d workshopped for so long.
Can you describe what it was like on the set of the “Party for One” video?
That was a crazy, long-awaited day. [Director] Bardia [Zeinali] was someone who came into my life through mutual people recommending him as the guy, and after seeing some of his work, I knew he was the one for this video.
We got to develop this vision together and fine-tune it for what we wanted the end product to look like.
To me, it was really important to capture the heart of the message, which was that you can be sad, you can be weird, you can be your strange self, but try to fit a little celebration into that. Even if the night starts off lonely, you can always turn it around.
I think shooting the whole thing on film, having so many incredible cast members and people embracing what that party looked like for them was such a dream, and I think Bard just nailed it.
With winter coming, what are your go-to pieces to layer up in style?
It’s strange for me because my home life is based in Los Angeles where it’s like an eternal summer. I miss the seasons, so being home in Canada right now is my dream and I’ve packed all the winter things. I think a really fashionable coat is a staple and anything floral even in the winter is something that attracts me. I like mixing seasons in that way, so a big floral winter coat would probably be my number one, and then you can layer up underneath.
Do you have one classic holiday song that brings you back to your childhood or holiday memory spent with family and friends?
I haven’t missed one family Christmas, because that’s what Christmas is about to me, so wherever I am in the world, I always fly back for it. I have an incredible family and music is a big part of our lives. We generally end Christmas with a big dance off in the living room together.
In terms of classic songs and memories, I watch Judy Garland sing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” every year and it never fails to make me cry those happy tears. If you haven’t heard that song you must go listen now. It’s a Christmas jam for me.