Following her turn as Frenchy in Fox’s Grease: Live, Carly Rae Jepsen is taking a different sort of step onto the small screen. Alongside producer Butch Walker, best known for his work with Taylor Swift and Pink, the Canadian pop star has recorded the theme song for Netflix’s Full House reboot, Fuller House, debuting on the streaming service in full on February 26th.
The 30-year-old recorded her cover of the original Full House theme in late 2015, putting aside time in the promo schedule for her third album, Emotion, to hit the studio with Walker and Jesse Frederick, the song’s writer and performer. Frederick penned the upbeat jingle, initially titled “Everywhere You Look,” in 1987 with Bennett Salvay, with whom he also wrote and recorded the theme songs for Perfect Strangers, Step by Step and Family Matters. The tune, an upbeat, optimistic embodiment of the late-Eighties opening-credits aesthetic, captured the spirit of the nuclear family’s gradual dissolution on television as the century rolled into its final decade: “Whatever happened to predictability?/The milkman, the paperboy, evening TV.”
Taking a break from her current Gimmie Love Tour, Jepsen explained how the gig came about and why the original show had such a strong impact on her.
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What are your memories of the original Full House?
Full House is essentially my childhood. It was my favorite TV show growing up. I can remember being on a camping trip with my parents and asking them what time it was, how much further ’til we get there kind of thing, and they said, “Three more Full Houses!” I understand what that means: two-and-a-half hours. So I was offered this and wondering if it could fit into my schedule; I had a lot going on at the time. I remember my team thinking, “I don’t think you’re going to have time to do this.” It was casually mentioned in one of those phone calls, and I said, “What? We have to make time for this! I’ll come in the middle of the night, whatever it is.” When I found out that Butch Walker was part of it too, that sealed the deal for me, because obviously I admire what he’s done and heard such great things that I was dying to get in the room and combine two things I was very curious about.
I heard a sneak preview and it’s very you. Did they give you guidance or did you have free rein with your version?
I was lucky enough to go in with the original writer. I was really excited, too, because they were doing a cover versus trying to make a song that seems like it. You want to be true to the original. I was trying to mimic along the lines of what Butch Walker has done and make it work, and they were like, “Just try it once the way you would do it.” And they were like, “That’s way better.” I learn that more and more as I take on new projects: If you try too hard to do something unnatural, it’s never going to feel right. You have to let yourself let loose and be.
“It was casually mentioned in one of those phone calls, and I said, ‘What? We have to make time for this!'”
Did Jesse’s presence add more pressure for you to nail it?
I think it would have had I known he was going to be there, but it was a surprise. I showed up, and there I was, and there wasn’t enough time to be nervous. It was probably a blessing in disguise. And he was very encouraging and supportive and lovely! [With] Grease, it’s the same thing I felt when I heard Didi Conn was going to be a part of it, the original Frenchy. In fact, what it ended up doing was boosting my confidence because she was so lovely and complimentary and just supportive of any time I did something different. She was into it, and it made me feel like I was finally finding my footing having her close by.
Have you seen any of the episodes of Fuller House?
No, not yet. I’ve seen a poster for it, but I haven’t seen any trailers or things like that. Either way, I feel like there’s an amazing concept already, and I’m looking forward to watching the storylines. I told my girlfriends we’re going to have to have a popcorn night and really enjoy it from start to finish.