Ready to roll

Canadian pop star Carly Rae Jepsen releases her new album Kiss on Sept 18, 2012.

This year, Carly Rae Jepsen has been the one-woman juggernaut holding off boy bands like One Direction and The Wanted from topping the charts.

She's done that on the strength of one single, the catchy Call Me Maybe, which stayed atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart for nine weeks and has been turned into various Internet memes, including one involving US President Barack Obama.

This 26-year-old Canadian Idol runner-up and Justin Bieber-discovered pop star now has to prove whether she has staying power with the release of her first major-label album, Kiss, next week.

Some famous friends will also feature on the album. In addition to her dance duet with Owl City - Good Time - she gets Bieber to sing on the sugary sweet song, Beautiful.

Kiss is a full-on pop album, from its bubblegum pink cover art, to its lyrics about love, heartbreak and dancing your troubles away.

Asked about the album title, Jepsen explained to MTV: "I was at an interview once, and someone just came out and asked me, 'What's your album going to be called?' and I was like, 'Kiss', and that was how I decided."

Now signed to Bieber manager Scooter Braun's Schoolboy Records, Jepsen has taken advantage of the big-name producers she has at her disposal, while still keeping true to her roots.

After all, Jepsen has released an album on her own before, 2008's Tug of War , and Call Me Maybe was co-written by Jepsen herself and her guitarist Tavish Crowe.

She told website Artistdirect in April: "I will continue to write with people I have written with in the past. I will write on my own as I always have and always will."

But Kiss also sees the contributions of big-name pop producers like Max Martin and Clarence Coffee Jr of Miami-based production and songwriting team The Monsters and The Strangerz, who've worked on songs for Flo Rida, Trey Songz, T.I. and Cher Lloyd.

"At the beginning of this process, the label sat me down and they honestly said, 'Pick your dream producers, collaborations, write us a list and we'll see what we can do.' And I was like, 'What's the catch? Really? Is that how that works?' So I did," Jepsen told MTV News.

"I did my research, I really made a long list, a detailed list of everything that would be suited for the album I wanted to make, and they came through on a lot."

But a close look at the names behind the tracks also reveals that Jepsen will continue to fly the Canadian flag by involving producers and songwriters from her home country, including singer Shiloh Hoganson and producer Ryan Stewart.

After snippets of the album were released last week, The Huffington Post described the songs as ranging "from Call Me Maybe-like jingles to songs that recalled Katy Perry ... there is at least one dance-ready tune as well".

The songs on the album come from ideas that Jepsen's had since she started writing in her teens.

"I've written on almost every song and these are lyric ideas that I've been collecting since I was like 17, so it's really fun to get to see them put to life," Jepsen told MTV News. "It's cool to be able to say with confidence that this is an album that I feel like I've been waiting to make and I'm ready to finally have out there."

Jepsen told V magazine recently: "It is pop, but it's not all just happy feel-good. There's going to be some angry love songs and more passionate pieces as well."

Bieber's already given the album his seal of approval, tweeting in August: "@carlyraejepsen listened to your album today at rehearsal with @scooterbraun and the crew. GREAT JOB! #KISS"

Whatever the record actually sounds like, we're pretty sure we'll hear a bunch of singles from it anyway, thanks to the promotional blitz that's in store.

At the end of the month, Jepsen joins her "boss" Bieber as the opening act on his US tour.

She will also be appearing on the season premiere of US TV show 90210 on Oct 8 , acting as a headliner for character Adrianna's (played by Jessica Lowndes) concert in Las Vegas.

"I think that like in 10 years' time I'm gonna sit back and look at everything that's happening to me this year and actually have a 'whoa' kind of a moment," she told MTV News. "Right now everything's so fast and the pace of it so quick that I'm just kind of keeping my head to the ground and trying to do the best at getting through it."

julrasul@sph.com.sg

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