Anniversaries are big business when it comes to today's #content-starved money-for-old-rope internet landscape. It's always ten years since a single was released, or twenty years since someone did something or other. It's understandable that we sometimes feel anniversary fatigue, but today marks a special occasion we can all get behind. On this day a day ago, the Carly Rae Jepsen single 'I Really Like You' came into our lives.
These days we might take 'I Really Like You' for granted, but there was a time before those brave souls of the internet leaking brigade fought for their right — all our rights — to hear 'I Really Like You'. They did what they had to do, and society was a better place. Shout out to those unsung heroes!
Quickly, of course, came a defining, bold statement from Carly Rae Jepsen herself: an upload that quickly became known in fan circles as 'official audio'.
Thinking back, the world was a very different place back then. Madonna's 'Living For Love' had yet to storm the Top 40; all around the world people were thinking about what Monday would bring.
But while our lives might be quite different now, people still remember where they were they first heard 'I Really Like You'. Even today. Such is the power of Carly Rae Jepsen's pop-cultural monolith that even the passage of time cannot dull the memory of that first listen.
Think back now and you, surely, can remember your own first listen to 'I Really Like You'. Perhaps you can remember who you were with, or where you were. Consider your younger self: you might remember your own ambitions and fears. And however your life might have changed since then, you will surely remember the hope 'I Really Like You' brought into your life. We're all older and wiser now, but back then Carly Rae Jepsen seemed to offer a future packed with possibilities. She gave hope.
Yet who now remembers how it all started?
These days the history books rightly focus on March 1 2015 — who's feeling old?! — as the day 'I Really Like You' changed the world, but the story actually began earlier than that. In December 2014, for instance, CRJ tweeted this message.
I really like you
— Carly Rae Jepsen (@carlyraejepsen) December 18, 2014
Little did her fans know that their world — THE world — was about to change.
By February 2015, there was a blast of the song's chorus, thanks to a post on Instagram — an image and video sharing website that was popular in those days. In it Carly Rae Jepsen was pictured cavorting with the actor Tom Hanks.
(Amazingly Tom Hanks is still alive today — and vividly remembers shooting that video with Carly!)
When the Instagram video appeared, music website Popjustice, which of course was much better in those days, wrote an article titled 'Get the fuck out of the way, the new Jeppo single’s coming through'. "We think it only fair to warn you," Popjustice wrote, "that this could be the greatest song of all time. Plan accordingly."
A fortnight later the song appeared online and was, indeed, the greatest song of all time.
And suddenly everything changed. In an instant, an entire generation's lives were altered. And there was no looking back. Pop music had turned a corner — that was quickly apparently. But as time went by it seemed that humanity, too, had found a new focus. And that focus was 'I Really Like You'.
Even after all this time, it still feels like yesterday.
Happy anniversary, 'I Really Like You'.