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Carly Rae Jepsen takes the Marketplace Quiz

Carl Rae Jepsen contemplating the business side of music. Hazel & Pine/Interscope Geffen A&M

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No matter who you are, you probably had a job that changed you, or you learned a financial lesson that stuck with you. Each week, we ask actors, writers, comedians and musicians to open up and tell us about how money played a role in their life.

This week, singer/song-writer Carly Rae Jepsen takes our money-inspired questionnaire.

In a next life, what would your career be?

I think I would be a pastry chef at a bakery that I owned. One time, early on in my teens I was a pastry chef assistant…and I found it to be the most relaxed that I’d ever been. I would make coffees, lattes, scones, cheesecakes, and I knew all my customers and it was just a really happy, wonderful lifestyle for a while.”

What’s the hardest part about your job that no one knows?

The hardest part about my job is navigating the business side of my job. My dad, early on, pointed out to me that it wasn’t my forte, and that I was going to get no where if all I wanted to do was write songs and perform them. I had to get my head somehow wrapped around the other elements. Every year I think I get, hopefully, a bit better at it and actually more engaged in it as well. I’m starting to not hate it so much.

When did you realize music could be a career?

I had an epiphany around age seven, as strange as it sounds. My family had heard me singing everywhere around the house to the point of driving them all mental. So my father finally asked if I’d like to perform at a local talent show in Mission, BC, Canada, where I’m from. He accompanied me on acoustic guitar, and I sang the Bangles’ song “Eternal Flame” and a little diddy from Beauty and the Beast. Somehow, I think probably being seven was on my side, and we won. The prize was four-hundred dollars. Four-hundred dollars for a seven year old, is like, you’re a billionaire. I remember taking my money straight to the toy store and buying a Barbie mansion and thinking, ‘This is what I think I’m going to do.”

What was the first album you ever bought?

Well I’d been fed on a great appetite of folk artists growing up, from my parents’ taste. So I rebelled when I bought my first CD and went for the Spice Girls.

What advice do you wish someone gave you before you started in music?

It’s a strange type of career. I used to be completely frustrated at the fact that it wasn’t like becoming a doctor, or becoming something else that felt very hard to achieve, where you could just go and do a certain amount of school and as long as your grades were grades were could enough they’d hand it to you. There was no real obvious path. I had a lot of great advice from people where they just said ‘knock on every door, try this, try that, be hungry, work with bands, talk to managers, see what you can do.’ I think no one really explained to me how much of a life sacrifice it was going to be, and it’s one where you’re kind of tested to know if you want to do it for sure, every step of the way, because it takes not seeing your family as much, or being in the same place, and your social life kind of gets diminished. It really is something that has to be a passion above everything else in order to commit your life to it. If someone had told me that I still would have said yes, but it would have been nice to be prepared for really what it takes to take on this type of career.

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