The 26-year-old Canadian singer was talking to her mother on the phone when his YouTube parody popped up online.
Jepsen initially thought it was just a bunch of fans lip-synching to her track. She says: “I was like, ‘That guy looks like Justin Bieber and that girl looks like Selena Gomez’ and by the time Ashley Tisdale came on I was like ‘Mom, I got to go’ and I had a little freak-out.”
The video has now clocked nearly 35 million views on YouTube.
The track was first spotted by fellow Canadian Justin Bieber, who signed Jepsen to his manager Scooter Braun’s record label, Schoolboy Records/Interscope. He gave the track a big boost by appearing in a YouTube video, along with Selena Gomez and Ashley Tisdale, where they mimed and danced along to the song.
Bieber’s support has helped the song hit the iTunes top 5 and take No. 1 spots in the U.K., Canada and Australia.
On the UK charts, according to a report on .Biz, Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” beat out newcomer Conor Maynard’s “Can’t Say No” for a third week at the chart summit. The song’s sales have continued to gow, according to the UK’ sOfficial Charts Company, which cited the songs having 114,000 in new sales — up on last week’s 110,000, which in turn bettered the 106,000 with which it entered at No. 1 two weeks ago.
Perhaps most ironically of all, the song Jepsen’s single beat out for the top spot last week on the UK single charts: Bieber’s “Boyfriend.”
The song is currently at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart behind Bieber’s “Boyfriend,” which is at No. 5.
What follows is an interview Jepsen did with the Associated Press:
AP: Why do you think people have related to “Call Me Maybe”?
Jepsen: A lot of the reason people have been able to hear it is because of Justin’s support. But why it is responding as well is kind of a mystery to me, but it is wonderful.
What did you think when you saw the Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Ashley Tisdale video?
Jepsen: I was talking to my mom at the time and it popped up on my Facebook. There had been a couple of mock videos that fans had done and stuff, I thought it was one of those. But I was like ‘that guy looks like Justin Bieber and that girl looks like Selena Gomez’ and by the time Ashley Tisdale came on I was like ‘Mom, I got to go!’ and I had a little freak out.
Have you seen the other ones by Katy Perry and James Franco?
Jepsen: And Miley Cyrus did one too, it’s insane. It’s kind of a cool little thing that has started – celebrities but also lots of different fans putting together videos. And everyone always looks so happy.
Is he OK with you beating him? In the U.K., you outsold him 2:1 and beat him to No.1.
Jepsen: (Laughs) Oh, I think we had a little friendly competition going on but he’s a good sport about it. And I think he knows, as I know, that none of that success would have been possible without his support.
Continue reading the rest of the story on Billboard Magazine