Mariah Carey in a candid interview with Blender IndiaMariah Carey talks about her latest album E=MC2, and all the fun, emancipation and sexiness she sends out with it
Interviewed by Ruhi Shahin May, 2008
Hey M, another musical explosion from you?
Every time I go to the studio and if I get inspired by the track I am working on, I immerse myself so much into it, that I end up wanting it to be the most fun explosion of music I can make. And that’s the way things turned out here too.
Why the Einstein Connection? Is the album actually about explosions?
(Laughs) No, actually E=MC2 is all about fun and freedom and a continuation of me feeling emancipated. It's not just that emancipation equals Mariah Carey. This is 100% of me having fun and being real. People ask me all the time: how do I make news that people continue to respond to? I just keep being real and true.
So, which of these tracks do you relate to the most?
I think Touch My Body best expresses my personality. When you hear the song or watch the video, you get a little glimpse into who I really am. The song is very close to me and a favorite even with my close friends. It’s fun, cute and all about not taking things too seriously! And the “touch my body” part, makes it sexy as well. I do love the humour in this song.
Tell us about the peppier, party tracks of your album?
There are two in the album. Migrate with T-Pain, which is fun, festive. It’s all about migrating from one place to another - like from a bar to a club, club to the apartment, wherever, whatever to the beach; who knows where. It’s about keeping things moving and having a good time. The other one is Lovin’ U Long Time, a carefree party record. It’s all about living in the moment.
We suspect you still have childhooh fantasies? Like that Last Kiss!
Last Kiss is a very special song to me. When I hear that song, especially the first line, I feel like an eight year old kid again. It’s like it’s me as a little girl singing. I remember this one particular evening, I was playing at a party for my friend and Quincy Jones happened to be one of the guests there. Apart from this one song of mine, we were playing all his songs and he kept asking me to rewind that one particular song. And I was like, he is Quincy Jones!! He asked me to play that song over and over, I of course took it as a humongous compliment and did just as he said.
We heard you did a song in this album with Stargate. How was that?
Yes, I did I Am the Chick with Stargate. I am such a fan of their works, that I was so excited just to be in the same room as them. And they are really cool guys, so talented and just truly good people. The song as expected, turned out really well. It’s the type of song that every girl would like to hear in front of the mirror when she would be getting ready for the night-out. Just like, “check me out boys, I am the chick!!” (Laughs)
Are you emotional about what you write?
Sometimes, when I write a song it comes from such a raw part of me, I actually cry. And sometimes I hear a song and cry because I know it will touch a lot of people. Thats why it's important for me, that no matter what happens in my career, I will continue to write, to try and reach people who need it, because I know I am one of those people. And when someone writes to me and says something nice, I feel indebted to them forever.
In Cruise Control you talk of handling guys who aren't your type? What on with the lyrics there?
On my second trip to Atlanta, I worked on this song with Damian Marley. It warns you to slow down when you're with the wrong type of guy, because you don’t really know how to handle him. This happens with lots of girls. You can’t keep your hands off him, despite knowing he’s not right for you! So, the song tells you to look for ways to kinda balance things out. Co-writing it with Jay-Z was cool, because that got in a woman’s point of view and Jay-Z’s view, making the track really hot.
... and something you've created just for your fans?
The track For the Record is one of my favourite in this album, and it's purely for all my fans. People who know my music really well and gravitate towards it. Not only is this a real life story, but I've used a lot of my own songs to tell my story, like Give My All To You, Underneath The Stars. When my fans hear it, they’ll know that’s for them and I am really happy people are feeling that song.
What was it like working with Damien? You seem to get along famously with him.
I love Damian Marley as a person, and am a great fan of his work. In the beginning of Love Story, I asked him to make the beat really hard, because I wanted to stay close to what I love, which is urban music, something I have in common with Jay Z (who co-wrote the song with me). So, basically Damian made it more like a rap record, yet it’s still a
ballad. I guess our success comes from the fact that we understand each other and kind of grew up on the same type of music.
You often share your experiences, both good and bad, with fans. Any such reflections here?
There’s this track called Side Effects that I wrote simply because it was necessary for me to write it. I have been through too much; at this point all I want happiness and real love but the side effects of other relations cause me to be on the defensive a lot. This is a song for people who need to be a lot more caring, mature and open hearted to help them deal with relationships. It’s also about the people who have been in an abusive relationship and its to make them feel a bit stronger.
How was it working on O.A.C with Deborah. She does have a whole different outlook to music?
It was amazing to work with someone who is also a rapper because she comes with a different set of perspectives, so we could put our minds together to come up with something really unique and cool. Well, it seems to be a favorite with a lot of people and that surprised me because I wasn’t sure of what others feel about it, but I really liked it.
Is Thanks For Nothing your way of lashing out at men who think they are God's gift to womankind?
Actually, this was the first ballad that I wrote for this album. It was going to resonate within people who're going through a bleak moment in their relationship, where it’s like, it’s fantastic but thanks for nothing. Mainly for women who need to be cool about relations, like it's ok if that one didn’t work, he wasn’t God after all, you know. It’s a sarcastic moment in the land of Mariah Carey songs. It’s like what Damian says in the beginning that this is for the all the women who are sick and tired of getting played. That’s what it is.
Carey's Celloid Dreams
Her Hollywood career started with a cameo in The Bachelors (1999), starring Renee Zellweger.
Lead debut with Glitter in September 2001, which chronicled the tumultuous rise of a singer in the 1980s.
Played one of the waitressess working at a restaurant run by a mobsters in 2002’s WiseGirls.
Played herself in the American animated television series, The Proud Family in 2003.
Mariah stars in the drama film, Tennessee which is produced by Lee Daniels (producer of Monster’s Ball).
Textbook Pop Behaviour
As part of her obsessive campaign to preserve her all-important vocal cords, Mariah insists on maintaining rainforest levels of humidity. She has 20 humidifiers around the bed.
Apart from a chauffeur for her dog, she pays for her pet pooch, Jack Russell — as she’s named him, to fly privately with her because she doesn’t like him to fly in
economy class with strangers.
Mariah needs 100 pairs of shoes for a holiday and an assistant for holding her drinks.
While signing autographs at Selfridges department store, last month Mariah demanded a £50,000( Rs 40 lakh) antique table, covered with silk cloth, to scribble upon, flown in from New York. She sat on a £1,000 ( Rs 79,000) throne and was surrounded by roses and butterflies.
She insists on having bags of popcorn ready in her dressing room before she goes on to perform.
Once she arrived a good 90 minutes late at an award function because she broke a fingernail.
At the Baglioni hotel in London, Mariah’s underlings arrived at 2 a.m and demanded that the red carpet be put out and that the walkway be lined with white candles to ensure she receives star treatment upon arrival. She once insisted on having a £10,000 (Rs 8 lakh) gym installed next to her penthouse suite at Claridge’s. Then, she booked every penthouse suite in the hotel to ensure absolute privacy and comfort.
Born on March 27, 1970, in Huntington, New York, she saw her parents’ divorce at three.
Her mother did multiple jobs to make ends meet. Before she got her big break, Mariah even worked as a hair sweeper in a salon, as a waitress and as a coat-check girl. None of which figure in her songs.
Her mixed ancestry, which comprised of Irish, Venezuelan and black descent, often made Mariah the victim of racial discrimination while growing up.
It is claimed that she was so miserable in her marriage to music mogul Tommy Mottola (married in 1993 and divorced in 1998), she often fantasised about being kidnapped so she could get out of the relationship.
It was once revealed that she’s as prudish as Mary Poppins, which did nothing to further her reputation as a red hot diva.