Before Carly Rae Jepsen caught the ear of Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, the “Call Me Maybe” singer was already busy impressing another bunch of teen idols. Over the course of their cross-Canadian tour together this past winter, Jepsen and ’90s pop sensation Hanson became both friends and fans of each other’s work.
“I love the Hanson boys!” Jepsen gushed to AOL Music Blog on the phone from L.A. last month. “I was floored by them. Their harmonies are so in sync and their musicianship … you can tell they’ve been at it their whole lives.”
Hanson, in Toronto last week to promote the Canadian release of their latest album Shout It Out, confirm the feeling was mutual.
“She was awesome,” singer and keyboardist Taylor Hanson tells AOL Music Blog. “We had a really fun time. She’s a great performer. And we hung out a lot. We had multiple nights where she came on the bus and we just listened to records and talked about …”
“Talked about whiskey,” older brother and guitarist Isaac says with a laugh.
“Well, we drank whiskey and listened to music,” Taylor clarifies.
The boys of Hanson weren’t just impressed with her whiskey consumption and record-spinning skills, though. They were also quite taken with her talent.
“I think, as a songwriter, she has a really good sense of a hook and a good sense of melody and I think she’s going to be served very well in the future,” says Isaac.
Much like Bieber, Hanson’s also eager to collaborate with Carly in the future.
“We were talking about it on the road,” Taylor says. “I want to write some stuff with her for whatever comes next.”
Jepsen was launched into stardom thanks to the attention — and viral video skills — of Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez and their friends just as her time with Hanson was winding down. As musicians who experienced a similar meteoric rise to fame with their song “MMMBop” in 1997, did the brothers have any advice for their tourmate?
“We did actually talk about her roadmap for career and how to get from where she is to where she wants to be,” Taylor explains.
As a band who turned teen idolarity into a lifelong career as respected musicians, the brothers Hanson all agree that Jepsen should focus on the bigger picture.
“I think you really just have to start with ‘Where am I headed?’ Work on pondering what the destination is and who you are as an artist and what are your goals, and be willing to stick to your guns and just focus on that,” Taylor muses.
“She seems like she has a pretty good head on her shoulders,” Isaac offers. “It’s always good when you’re coming at things from a relatively humble place as far as not thinking that all of a sudden you’re hot s—, and she certainly has a very focused kind of ‘This is going the way I’ve hoped it will go and I want to go forward.'”
Drummer Zac agrees.
“Having had the blessing of traveling the world and succeeding, it’s easy to take it for granted. We’ve tried to not take it for granted,” says Zac. “But when you do suddenly have access to a lot of resources, I think having people around you that can help you parlay that into a lengthy time in that place, whether it’s touring partnerships or just the whole process of really stretching out that success and drawing attention to you as an artist and not just that song.
“That’s a hard thing to do, but it’s something that is really an important thing to keep in mind when you suddenly have the ears of a lot more people. I think, for her, she needs as many people around her helping her to look forward to the next process and the next record to keep that train moving forward, because she is suddenly going to be in this vacuum of ‘Wow! This song’s starting to get a lot of heat! OK, run around the world promoting this!’ Just keep the process moving forward so that you’re ready to strike on the next album and continue.”
“Because that’s the hardest part of any of it,” Isaac adds.
“Yeah,” Zac continues. “Just how do you keep it moving forward and build toward the next thing.”