|From Rotations Magazine
Music gave strength and inspiration to svelte soul songbird Mariah Carey, Steve Edwards hears her chorus.....
I'm daydreaming, about to meet the biggest-selling
female artist of the `90's in a plush central london hotel. This is to
be our second sitting, the first was over two years ago, celebrating the
release of "Music Box", her fourth album for Sony. The stream of journalists
and TV reporters came as no surprise, some had been waiting at least two
hours. Most preoccupied
SE: A lot has happened since 1990, tell
us about it.
SE: Were these songs you had penned at
SE: What were the things that excited you
the most in your early childhood?
SE: Was the lifestyle associated with the
music business an attraction?
SE: As the records go by you're doing more
duets. You teamed up with Luther (Vandross) on "Songs" and Boyz II Men
make an appearance on the current album, a very different collaboration.
SE: Why "if I could get them?"one would
think that at your level in the business it was easy to get togetther with
SE: You've managed to tap into the pulse
of society across the world. What is it that your are communicating through
your songwriting that is so consistently successful?
SE: Was there a "back to the roots" directive
for this album as apposed to your regular mainstream/crossover appeal?
SE: If it all stopped tommorrow, how would
you deal with the change?
SE: What do you think that your represent
to the women of the world?
SE: And for those that don't?
SE: Does your marriage to the head of Sony,
Tommy Mottola, have any influence on your career?
SE: You directed the "Fantasy" video yourself,
SE: Why did you decide to start your own
|Ronny Olovsson interviews Mariah in Sweden
(05/30/1997) (translated by my friend Anderz back in time)
Okay Mariah, you've just gone through a divorce, did you learn any positive things from that?
- It has been good for me because I've learned to be strong and independent. I've learned to trust my own judgement. To make my own decisions.
Do you go through a change musically as well?
Now to the big question, are you still single?
Okay, how do you want to be seduced?
Okay. You've been taking acting lessons lately,
when will the debut take place?
There you see, what is the movie about?
Speaking about family, your big sister Allison
Scott, have threatened to write a book where she will reveal your "betrayal"
towards her and the rest of the family.
You got a "Rockbjornen" from Aftonbladets readers
1994, where do you have your bear?
That's good to know. Oh.. a quote who shocked
alot of people was when you were quoted by Radio 1 in England in June 1996:
"When I see all those starving children in Africa on my TV I wan't to cry.
I mean, I'd love to be that thin, but oh my God, all those flies..."
Okay, last thing, the fact that you've gone
through a divorce, have it changed your faith in love, the faith that there's
someone out there for you?
What do you say about...Spice Girls?
...Dog or cat?
|Interview - Daily Telegraph (Australia)
Headed Down Under, super songstress Mariah Carey tells Bronwen Gora how she's taken control of her own life.
Eighty million records sold - and counting. Mariah Carey's star is shining so brightly she admits it almost blinds her.
From her newly bought apartment in Manhattan's fashionable Upper East Side, the gorgeous 27-year-old singer grapples with how it feels to be a phenomenon. "It's incredible," Carey acknowledges. "I don't really think about it because the enormity of what that means is something other than the reality of who I am."
"It doesn't feel like that." Carey is indisputably the biggest selling female artist of the decade - and more.
Her albums shoot to number one and turn platinum
at lightning speed. She is the only female artist to have had three albums
sell more than eight million copies each. She has had more charts toppers
than any other solo female artist in the rock era.
Early this year she formed her own record label,
Crave, in a joint venture with Sony.
On her latest album, Butterfly, she's teamed up with rappers with names like Bones Thugs and Harmony. Any on her sassy videos, she is showing a lot more of her shapely body.
"Well that's who I've always been," Carey says,
speaking like a woman suddenly set free.
How the tables have turned. Nowadays, Carey calls
the shots in a game that she says has been controlled by others for too
long. She talks of "my decisions", "my music", "my image".
"Now I'm doing what I want musically and image-wise and I'm responsible." Carey even talks about "trying to fit in some fun," perhaps a holiday sailing with friends, as though it is a long-forgotten feeling.
She is careful not to name her estranged husband
as one of those who have cramped her style. the much older Mottola was
said to be so obsessed about losing his young wife that he had her tailed
earlier this year.
Any men in her life post-Mottola? "No, unfortunately,"
she laments, explaining she is lying in bed with a cold after a hectic
day rehearsing in wintry New York.
For all her success and it's lavish accompaniments - including her $500,000 wedding four years ago attended by such heavy weights as Barbara Streisand and Bruce Springsteen - Carey attests she remains unchanged by fame.
"I still feel like the same person from before this all started," she says. "Because of the way I grew up I felt the rug could be pulled from me at any time. I'm never really at ease with the fact that everything is going to be OK."
Carey's parents - her father, Alfred, a black
aeronautical engineer and her Irish-American mother, Patricia, a vocal
coach and opera singer - divorced when she was three.
"I always had this great hope for success," says Carey. "My mom always told me to believe in myself and to visualise myself doing what I wanted to be doing and that it could happen if I did that. I prayed and hoped and I focused from a very, very early age."
At 17 Carey headed for New York to seek the fame she craved. With one set of clothes and her mother's borrowed shoes, Carey lived in a tiny loft in a friend's apartment, waitressing and hawking demo tapes to the recording industry.
"I would walk to my little job and my feet would
be in the ice and snow because of the holes in my shoes," Carey says.
Her life changed forever when she met Mottola
at a New York party and gave him a demo tape. He listened to it in his
car on the way home and spent a week tracking her down.
Australians can thank Carey's new-found boldness
for her tour here early next year.
|Transcript: Interview from 2 Day FM, Sydney
An live interview via satellite with Mariah Carey. Here is how it went...
K: Host (Keeth Williams)
M: Mariah Carey
(Honey plays in the background)
K: We welcome you around Australia,
Hi this is Keeth Williams, and in Los Angeles via satellite - Mariah Carey.
K: Now this is..is..a..a.. technological
achievement I never heard of before. You are in a Hotel. At the Mondriana
Hotel on Sunset Boulevard. Is that right?
K: I was talking about the wonders
of technology rather than where you were.
K: It is indeed. We keep on talking to
you, this is the second time we've spoken to you via Home Free. When are
we going to get to see you in Australia?
K: Your world tour start at Oct 7th. Have
you definitely scheduled in Australia is that right?
K: It is going to be as hot here than as
it is in Los Angeles today I believe which is something like 100 degrees.
K: So January we can expect to see you
as part of world tour, I know you had some hesitancy and limited live touring
before you really going for it this time right?
K: And how long are you expecting the tour
to go for Mariah?
K: Well you played Japan last year as well
K: Yes you should have. That's the
K: Mariah Carey is with us on the line from Los Angeles and this is a number one song from a number one album. Always Be My Baby from Daydream.
Always Be My Baby plays.
K: This is Home Free with Keeth Williams
and we are talking to the biggest selling female artist of the 90's and
that just so far. Mariah Carey in Los Angeles. So Mariah you are not pregnant
but a new baby is due in September your seventh.
K: It takes just about as much time and
effort to produce an album as does a baby doesn't it?
K: What is the biggest difference do you
think with this new album?
K: We would imagine from all of those people
who had an R&B in it and Hip Hop groove and shall that Puffy Combs
or Puff Daddy No. 1 album I believe on Billboard this weekend in America
and his song I'll Be Missing You is a huge hit here. He worked with you
on the single of course didn't he? Honey
K: So is Honey indicative of the most of
album in terms of feel.
Honey starts playing.
K: We going to play now the brand new song
of Mariah Carey. It's Honey on Home Free.
K: Mariah is our guest. This is Home
Free with Keeth Willams. And Mariah Carey in Los Angleles via a satellite
believe or not. She is in a hotel room in Los Angeles don't ask me about
the technology but I think it's great. Convenient for you Mariah.
K: Look. It is pretty well documented that
you've separated from your husband Sony music chief Tommy Mottola.
I noticed on the Wire the other day that you changed managers and lawyers
and of course a new album coming up with what we fairly say has a different
feel to it. Are all these changes all one of the same Mariah?
Both cracked up
K: Mariah Carey does the Fugees.
K: I also read the article in New York
Newsday where Liz Smith wrote. She say even though you separated from Tommy
Mottola. In fact you were probably better friends now then you ever be.
K: Well we certainly are. And we talking
to Mariah Carey who was is our guest on Home Free.
K: Reference to earlier Mariah she mentions
while you are recording the Butterfly album I think in the Manhattan, you
caught taking a nap in your car. (laughing) in the street in New York.
What is going on?
K: (continue laughing).. It's not
a good look
K: Well you just stick to it. What sort
of car was it?
K: Ha..Ha.. A Gramlin I got one of those,
every car I got has a gramlin in it. So you got all those work. I understand
the pressure of recording etc. So what do you do to relax. Do you have
K: No I haven't seen it. Yet the song has
only been out a week or so.
K: Is that reprimand that I feel down the
K: No, I'm sure Sony upon hearing this
will have one by the end of the hour.
K: So you say you are not much physical
thing so much in another word sport that much. But you certainly have to
get to a level of fitness to do this tour aren't you?
K: Is world tour and lots of dates more
mentally or physically enduring?
K: We also believe you've been negotiating
a movie deal.
K: Can you telling us apart giving us detail,
can you tell us what sort of role do you like to play?
K: Who would you like to work with
K: Now Mariah I'm taking your word, you
will be here in January . If the next time we see you in movie we will
all be very disappointed down here
K: You know what I'm quite happily to do
that, you know what, I'm looking at the beach as I speak.
K: You've sold over 80 million album so
far with your last 6 albums I guess a reasonable target would be
50 or 60 with this new Butterfly album. Wouldn't it?
K: Oh well, with Honey as a indication
that it's going to be a great album we are looking forward to seeing you
we are going to hold you to your word on your world tour for January Butterfly
is out on 16 September Mariah Carey thank you for your time
|From TIME Magazine
"A CHANGE IN THE WIND, MARIAH"
If Whitney Houston can do it, why can't Mariah Carey? The diva of deep record sales is dipping her toes into the waters of acting. The video for her new song, Honey, which debuts this week, opens with a comedy sketch, after which she scampers around like a Bond girl (read: lots of changes into different, but equally skimpy, outfits). She's also in discussions
about doing a movie. "It's a great way to release different creative energy," Carey says of acting. Her music is also changing-away from touchy-feely ballads to more collaborations with hip-hop artists. And her lyrics are more personal, perhaps because her separation from Sony honcho Tommy Mottola has given her more to write about. She also finds she's
more written about. "Everytime I meet someone now or just talk to them at a party," she says, "people speculate."
|Calling the Shots, Solo
By Elysa Gardner
In her first album since she separated from her husband and champion, Sony Music chief Tommy Mottola, Mariah Carey says she's devised a strong statement of who she is now.
In the video for Mariah Carey's new single, "Honey," the pop star plays a secret agent who has been kidnapped and is being held in a sprawling mansion in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Our beleaguered heroine is tied to a chair, clad in a skimpy black dress and four-inch stiletto heels. Carey escapes, and is next spotted emerging from a swimming pool, this time wearing a skin-colored bikini that leaves even less to the imagination than her previous outfit. In the final reel, we see her cavorting with a hunk on a deserted beach. The screen reads: "Mission accomplished." While riding to the midtown Manhattan recording studio the Hit Factory, where she'll put the finishing touches on her upcoming "Butterfly" album, the singer can't help but grin as she imagines how her fans will react to these provocative scenarios. "I don't really think the video is overtly sexual," she insists, stretching out her long legs as if to touch the opposite end of the limousine with her toes. "But for me--I mean, people used to think I was the '90s version of Mary Poppins!" To be sure, Carey has never gone to great lengths to camouflage her voluptuous figure or her exotic good looks, for which she can thank a blond, Irish American mom and a black Venezuelan dad. But the singer's overall image since soaring to fame seven years ago has been one of a bubbly, G-rated crooner of fluffy, G-rated pop-soul songs--more glamorous than Mary Poppins, perhaps, but just as wholesome and nonthreatening. At 27, though, Carey seems to be tiring of that role. In the tradition of Janet Jackson's 1993 album "janet.," on which pop music's other all-American sweetheart declared herself a strong-willed, sexually mature woman, Carey's new album--due in stores Sept. 16--mixes candid romantic ballads with hormonally charged dance numbers, sending a clear message that the ingenue with the multi-octave range has grown up. "I feel really close to this album," Carey says. "I've come into my own as an artist, and at this point I feel free enough to express what I'm really feeling, without using a smoke screen. This may sound strange, but I listen to the album every night before I go to sleep--it calms me. Not because it's boring, but because I feel good about it--because there are so many things that are real on it. It's definitely an evolution for me." Carey certainly appears to be in good spirits as she saunters into the Hit Factory complex. After warmly greeting her mom, the singer enters a studio and excitedly pops a just-mastered tape of songs from "Butterfly" into a cassette deck. She seems downright giddy as she introduces the first few songs, twirling her long hair and affecting a playful English accent that could have been lifted straight out of a Monty Python flick. But as she settles onto a sofa to listen to "Outside," a ballad that describes how being multiracial made her feel insecure and alienated as a child, Carey suddenly grows pensive. The lyrics in many of these songs, she says, draw on "everything I've been through in my life," from pre-adolescent angst to obsessive love. For the album's more upbeat tracks, Carey collaborated with some of the biggest writers and producers in hip-hop--much as she did on 1995's 7-million seller "Daydream," her last and most critically well-received album. They include Sean "Puffy" Combs, the Track Masters and Missy Misdemeanor Elliott. Members of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony lend their unique rhythmic vocal style to one track. But, one senses, Carey is also relishing a new sense of autonomy in her personal life--brought about, ironically, by her separation from Sony Music Entertainment President and CEO Tommy Mottola, the man who signed Carey to Columbia in 1989 and married her four years later. It was widely assumed--particularly among those who were critical of Carey's music--that Mottola played a Svengali-like role in Carey's career, from dictating her artistic choices to assembling her career advisors. When Carey hired a new manager, attorney and independent publicist in July, many industry insiders saw the changes as an attempt to distance herself as much as possible from her estranged husband. But Carey insists that her personal split from Mottola, announced in June, was an amicable one, and that it was not the sole basis for her decision to cut her professional ties to such Mottola pals as manager Randy Hoffman and entertainment lawyer Allen Grubman. "I love Tommy, and he will always be a part of my family," Carey stresses, seemingly at ease with the topic. "There's absolutely no bitterness between us. The best thing I could hope for would be to have a great friendship with him, because he is someone I respect and admire and look up to in many ways. But right now, it's my time to grow as an independent woman. "People have to realize that I've been in this situation where I've been working with some really powerful people since I was a teenager. And everything they did for me was great. I still love Randy. He took care of me in ways that went above and beyond what a manager has to do, and that won't be forgotten. And everyone knows what a respected attorney Allen is. "But as an established artist, it's good for me to meet new people, and to start working with them at the level that I'm at now." Mottola and Hoffman declined to comment, but Grubman took his pink slip in stride. "About a month and a half ago, Mariah and I had a very long conversation that was personal as well as business," says the attorney, whose clients include Madonna and Elton John, "and we concluded that under the circumstances it was time for her to change her representation. "She wanted new people around her . . . and with the changes she's going through in her personal life, I agreed this was a wise thing. . . . I still consider her a close personal friend, . . . one of the most brilliant artists I've ever been involved with." The changes in Carey's professional life have notably not included leaving Sony's Columbia Records, for whom she has generated more than $800 million in sales since 1990. Carey now even has her own label under the Sony umbrella, Crave Records, featuring a roster of fledgling hip-hop acts. "I'm very happy at Sony," Carey says. "If I were to leave the company now, it would be in effect saying that my relationship with Tommy was the only reason for my being there, and that's not true. There are thousands of people working for [Sony] all around the world who kill for my music, and I'm looking forward to continuing with them." About the album itself, Columbia Records President Donnie Ienner says, "Mariah has always had two distinctive and authentic sides, especially on her last two albums, 'Daydream' and [1994's] 'Music Box.' She has the hip-hop-tinged music and the big, soaring ballads. "It may seem like she's leaning more toward the hip-hop side now, but arguably her best ballads are on this record--as well as her best hip-hop stuff. She's completely guiding her own ship right now." Since moving out of the estate that she and Mottola shared in suburban Westchester, N.Y., Carey has been apartment-hunting in Manhattan, where she's currently living in a hotel. Rumors in the tabloid press about her life as a newly single woman in the city, which invariably link her to male artists, have been a source of both great frustration and amusement for her. "I've never had to deal with this before, because I've never been out there in this way," Carey muses. "All of a sudden, [journalists] are like, 'Whoo! Here she goes! Stop the presses, she's goin' wild!' "The fact is, I end up collaborating with more men than women in my work, and I form friendships with most of the people that I work with. But that doesn't mean that I'm sleeping with all these guys! I'm not! Would somebody please put that in print?" Among the friends and colleagues that Carey swears she isn't involved with, despite recent tabloid reports suggesting otherwise, are Combs, rapper Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest and Boyz II Men's Wanya Morris, her duet partner on the "Daydream" ballad "One Sweet Day." In fact, Carey claims that she doesn't have a steady beau at the moment. She has a new passion, though: acting. For the past seven months, she has been studying with Sheila Gray, a top drama coach with clients in New York and Hollywood. Before recording sessions for "Butterfly" got underway, Carey, whose previous acting experience was limited to school and camp plays, met with Gray as often as four or five times a week. "It's been an incredible release for me," Carey says. "It's been like intense therapy. I would come out of sessions [with Gray] emotionally drained, because I was getting in touch with all this stuff that I'd never really dealt with--even things from my childhood." Carey has a film project in development right now, but says that for legal reasons she can only divulge that it's a period piece and that "it's gonna be a bit of a departure for me." "I've already recorded one song for the soundtrack. But even if I were never to make a movie, I think the experience of studying acting has made me a fuller person, and helped me in every facet of my life--writing songs, making videos, just living. It's been very therapeutic." "Mariah has really opened up," notes Gray, who helped Carey conceptualize the videos for both "Honey" and the title track from "Butterfly," which will be the follow-up single. "In the past, I think, her image has been more distant, even though she's actually very intelligent and articulate and funny and spontaneous. For the 'Butterfly' video, she was able to give a performance that is really soulful in a way that's going to be exciting for people to see." "Most of my fans haven't really had a chance to get to know me as a person," Carey says. "I haven't done many interviews, and many people just had this image of me as this person who stands around in a dress or a shirt buttoned up to here, singing mellow ballads or happy little songs. They didn't know about everything I'd been though. I've had a lot of drama in my life, you know? "But I've grown into myself, and I think I've reached a point now where I feel really good about who and where I am." The adult pop idol smiles, broadly and confidently, then adds, "Now I feel comfortable in my own skin."
|CNN Celebration of Mariah Carey's new album
The moon and the stars were out Tuesday night at New York's Pier 59 Studios to celebrate the release of Mariah Carey's new album, "Butterfly." Models Tyson Beckford and Beverly Johnson brought the glamour, while Pras of the Fugees brought the praise for Carey's new release. "Oh yeah, she's definitely going to sell some more records this time around. It's got new flavors. It's different. There's a twist to it," Pras says. Pras predictions appear to already be coming true. The album's first single, "Honey," debuted at number one on Billboard's Hot 100 chart the week of its release. The success of the single follows in the footsteps of her 1995 release, "Daydream," which sold more than 7 million copies and generated three consecutive number one singles. Carey, 27, teamed up with producers Sean "Puffy" Combs and David Morales on her new album. With it's hip-hop influence and sweeping ballads, Carey calls "Butterfly" a slightly new take on her established musical style. "I don't think it's that much of a departure from what I've done in the past. I think I've covered the gamut of what I do, and I don't want people to be misled into thinking that it's an entirely new thing and I've gone entirely left-field," she said. Carey's collaborators include some of hip-hop's biggest names, such as Combs, Dru Hill, and members of Bone Thugs n' Harmony. Yet the CD, with its 10 ballads, is not exactly bombastic. Carey calls it "pretty mellow." Carey went a little wild in the video for "Honey," which depicts Carey as a Jane Bond-type. Aside from one instance, Carey did not use a body double in the video. "It's all me. I was like Action Jane frolicking up and down Puerto Rico," she said. Carey's husband, Sony Music Entertainment President Tony Mottola, also attended the party. Despite their recent separation, they were seen working amicably at the event. Carey insists that the situation is fine. "It's called being grown-up about the situation and moving on," she said. Carey will be touring overseas in January, and hopes to hit the United States after that tour. She still wants to try acting in films as well. "I'm happy about it," she says
|Honey-voiced Mariah breaks loose! But Being
A Superstar Ain't Always Easy
By Rudi M
Never let it be said that being a top-selling superstar is easy work. Nomatter how much glamour there seems to be in shooting videos, attending award shows and other seemingly fabulous activities, there's just as much hard workand stress behind it. Just ask New York City's own Mariah Carey on this particularly hot and humid east coast day. Her Puffy-produced , hiphop-charged single, "Honey," hit almost every radio station in the countrylast week, her way-sexy video (the talk of the town) is already in heavy rotation, she's regularly on top of the goings-on at her Crave Records labeland she's still stuggling to put the finishing touches on her soon-to-bereleased Butterfly disc. Though she's just as approachable and bestfriend-like chatty as the first time we made each other's aquaintance, she's not quite giving up the fact that two major artists are rumored to be collaborating with her on tunes, due to the fact that there are legal mattersto work out-yet another thing lingering in the back of her mind. But there are certainly other things to discuss. Suspiciously leaking out to the media, just weeks prior to the release of "Honey," almost like a publicity stunt, was the fact that she and her husband, Tommy Mottola, were on the verge of an amicable divorce. This, of course, sent gossip mavens into over-drive. "Mariah's dating Puffy!" "Mariah's been seen with Donald Trump." "Q-Tip and Mariah are now acouple." "Mariah and Boyz II Men's Wanya have been seen together." Now vurnerable to all sorts of speculations, due to her new single status, there definitely wasn't any shortage of "words on the street." "I don't even focus on that," Mariah says of the various stories circulating. "I can't control the spin that people put on things. If someone else has an agenda where they want to make me look bad, then I can't help it. I just try to handle everything with dignity and really separate myself, so I can do the right thing for everybody, especially lately with all this drama." So - what about these likewise available fellas? "They're (the media) linking me with anybody I work with," she nonchalantly construes. "Please! Wanya and I are like good friends; he's one of my best friends. That's just ridiculous. If anyone says anything else, then they're really pushing it. So if an assistant engineer comes in the room, then I've got a new man. They even said I was with Donald Trump. So who's next?" "Me!," I quickly retort, dreaming up my own name into the mix. "Well, let's do it," she jokes. "Let's start that one with this article." Then who is Mariah singing "Honey" to anyway? "It's just a song now!"she playfully snaps. "It's up for interpretation. I'm sure each person will get something slightly different from it, maybe even someting relating to their own lives." One thing's for sure, and that's the fact that we're all bearing witness to a lightly new Mariah, on who has her eyes set on even bigger success in the music world-and Hollywood too. Her "Honey" video displays a bit of theresults of the acting classes she's been attending, revealing an even more relaxed (even humorous) Carey. She's even busting a few steps and seems more relaxed in flaunting that curvy physique that drives her male fans crazy. Perhaps readying herself for the world of film, Mariah admits that she dreamt up the storyboards for the video herself, before enlisting popular video director Paul Hunter. Shot in Puerto Rico during some of it's hottest weather, model-looking guy on the beach, jet skiing and other things probably assumed unlikely for this freed butterfly. "The video was my whole concept,"Miss C explains. "Paul and I talked about it for a while, and collaborated on it. It was a grueling process; I'm not going to say it was easy. I got up at 3 a.m. every day, and worked until 9 in the morning the next day--for four hours in a row, swimming in my Gucci pumps! I can't say that I really jumped off the roof, but dive into the pool. But I did wear and swim in those pumps, and I was not happy." Where Butterfly, the soon-to-be-realized disc is concerned, it doesn' ttake long to realize that MC's moving in a decidedly urban/R&B direction this go 'round. Outside of production done by herself, Puffy and the obligatory power ballads with longtime collaborator Walter Afanasieff, she's once again teamed up with dance music's renowned remixer/producer David Morales and even did a track with Missy and Timbaland. "It's a song called 'Baby Doll,'" she says of her collaborative effort with Missy. "I had the hook already, aswell as a melody and lyric for the chorus. Then she and I collaborated on a new melody for the verses, and we did the first verse, and the second half of the second verse together. It's one of my favorite things on the album." Apparently, Mariah called her a while ago about getting together (before Supa Dupa Fly came out), after hearing "all the Aaliyah stuff." Recalling thefact that she actually went to Missy and Timbaland's native Virginia to record it, Carey admits, "I had a good time working with Missy, and you can definitely tell that her flavor comes through on the song." Though she and Corey Rooney, her good friend and Executive Vice President of Black Music at Crave Records produced the version that exists, she anticipates Timbaland's schedule to permit his final production, or at least a remix. "I like his sound and the little thing he uses," Carey states. Outside of rumors that Dru Hill and Bone Thugs will be making appearances on Butterfly (something she doesn't touch on), she's enthusiastic about bringing David Morales' house sound to her mix. "David Morales and I did a mix of 'Butterfly' (the title track) that's on the album," she elucidates. "'Butterfly' is a ballad, but this interlude of it is called 'Fly Away,' and it's like a twist on the original record. Actually, when I wrote 'Butterfly,' I had a house record in mind, but then I started thinking about it while writing it, and it turned into a ballad. But I had to do the other one too, so they're both on the album." Done with Morales, who also did various mixes and production from her multi-platinum Daydream disc, Mariah then goes into stories of going back into the studio to record vocals especially for the slew of remixes Morales came up with her for "Honey" and"Butterfly." Says MC, "He's got so many mixes of these songs it's crazy! They came out really good." "Mariah will eventually be releasing a compilation of her best stuff with David Morales," Corey Rooney divulges,"and adding four new dance tunes too. It's gonna be crazy!" As we continue our conversation, that appears quite evident. No doubt, Mariah will embark on a hectic schedule of activities to promote Butterfly. Amidst the possibilities of touring and a rumored movie project in the works, she and Rooney have the daily business of running Crave Records. With a seven-year friendship under them, Carey fully trusts Rooney's eye and ears for talent and good music. "We want to have all kinds of stuff," Rooney says of the direction of the roster. "As far as I'm concerned, whatever moves soul or makes you dance, are the kinds of things we want to get into. We definitely want to develop a strong dance music department, a gospel music department, R&B, rock, alternative, everything. So we're just taking the steps." So far, they've experienced moderate success with Allure, who will be followed by a a dance act called DJ Company, a Detroit-based R&B act called Seven Mile, and a rap act out of Mariah's native Long Island called Neggrow League. "I just want to create the opportunities for up and coming artists that I had," Mariah shares, "and the ones I didn't have."
|Interview with MTV
It's been a busy year for singer Mariah Carey. She's started up her own little record label, dropped her longtime manager, and left her husband, who's also the head of her record company. Now, with a new single called "Honey" entering the pop chart at number one on Monday, and a new album called "Butterfly" due later this month, Carey has been yachting around Manhattan to catch her breath, and she recently took Tabitha Soren along for a cruise.
Tabitha Soren: When I listened to the record, I felt like I... I mean yes, there were some very sweet love songs on there, but I felt like there were a lot of songs about hot dates, and big crushes, and hot guys, and making out on the roof --
Mariah: Did I say anything about hot guys?
Tabitha: -- And getting between the sheets... I mean... (Carey laughs) I thought that this was going to be a lonely summer of you separating. And I listened to this record and I'm like, "Wait a minute, I'm confused."
Mariah: Well, I think the album reflects a lot of different moods. I don't think it's all of a sudden, "Wooo! Here I am! Wild, sexy chick."
Tabitha: That's true, there are some ballads on there, but those are about kisses that you can't forget, too, you know. CAREY: Right. SOREN: So, what's the inspiration? I guess that's what I'm saying.
Mariah: We have to keep some things secret. But you know what is crazy is, since this whole, my whole change has come about, every single time work with someone, or bump into someone in a hallway, or like...
Tabitha: The change not being menopause, the change being the separation from your husband.
Mariah: Well, I should hope not, babe!
Tabitha: Well, that's how people refer to "the change."
Mariah: Oh, oh, it is? I don't even think about that! Since the whole, the personal changes with my life, and all that stuff, and people looking at me as like, this single chick or whatever, you know, every time I work with someone, meet someone, take a picture with someone at a charity event, or bump into someone in a hallway, there's a picture that I'm romantically linked, and it's pretty funny to me, because I've never been in this situation before.
Tabitha: Q-Tip hasn't been making the moves on you?
Mariah: Oh, please with the Q-Tip thing! I am friends with Q-Tip! This is so ridiculous. He and I are both just like, "What is the deal with this?" Every other second there's something written like, "Did you know that Q-Tip was behind..." And, I'm like, we worked together, we did the first single. Now, I'm fair game for people to speculate about who's sleeping with this one and that one, and I never, I never realized how crazy that could be.
Tabitha: Don't you think the lyrics on this record are only going to cause more speculation about your love life? I don't know, maybe my mind's in the gutter. Mariah: Well... Your mind is in the gutter, Tabitha! And I can't help that.
Tabitha: What's the song "Honey" about?
Mariah: What's it about? Honey. No, I'm just kidding.
Tabitha: It's not a euphemism for anything? (Awkward silence) All right, I just didn't know if you were getting really raunchy.
Mariah: I'm getting totally raunchy here, man. No, I'm not raunchy.
MTV: While a parental advisory sticker might not be necessary, she is writing more sexual lyrics as evidenced by the song "Babydoll," which Mariah co-wrote with Missy Elliott.
Mariah: The really cool thing about Missy is that she's just so down to earth. She's like, "Okay, let's get together and work." We went into the hotel room and wrote the song, had a little champagne -- that's where some of the lyrics were inspired by -- but um...
Tabitha: So, the "between the sheets" lyrics you're blaming on her.
Mariah: Well, we were in a hotel room and we were looking at the bed. I mean, we were sitting on the couch. Whatever. I like to leave my lyrics open so that the fans can apply...
Tabitha: Right. Okay. Right. Interpret them themselves. Right.
Mariah: Exactly. You've heard that one before?
Tabitha: Yeah, I have. Tell me what it was like to work with Bone Thugs , and how you learned to sing like them, because it sounds like that would be really difficult.
Mariah: Okay, I worked with Krazie and Wishbone, of Bone Thugs, and I was totally inspired by their style, first of all. I mean it's obvious when you hear the song. And we had quite the interesting recording session.
Tabitha: Meaning what?
Mariah: It was just, it was interesting.
Tabitha: You keep making these allusions to stuff that went on. "It was interesting"...
Mariah: No, it was great. I loved them, I loved them. But I was having an allergy attack. I was having a little problem, and the studio was kind of smoky and things were going on.
MTV: Another of Mariah's collaborations was a duet with Dru Hill, a cover of the Prince song "The Beautiful Ones".
Tabitha: Were you a huge "Purple Rain" fan when you were younger?
Mariah: Yes. My friends and I went to see "Purple Rain" oh, numerous times.
Tabitha: I think I wore a lot of bad fashion during that period. How about you?
Mariah: A lot of people wanted to be Prince in my school, you know.
Tabitha: You've got kind of an Appalonia getup on today.
Mariah: I do?
Mariah: Next question. (They both laugh).
Tabitha: You were saying something about you were just getting around to acting, you're just getting around to so many things in your life that you haven't had time for in the past. I also get the feeling that you're just getting around to really enjoying your youth. And I feel like you're really making an effort to start having fun in life.
Mariah: I'm trying to. I just got done with the album a week ago, and the problem is, when I go out, and you're in these smoky clubs and environments, it totally goes right to my throat. So the next day, I can't sing. So I'm like, "Wooo! I'm out!" I think I'm happy, singing up and down the club, and then the next day, I can't sing. So, you can go crazy and think there are no repercussions, but really, I have to be so careful of my (makes the quotation sign with her hands) "instrument." Tabitha: Do you feel more at ease at this point in your life than you have perhaps in the last four or five years?
Mariah: Mmm-hmm. Definitely. I feel more at ease about some things, and then, I don't know if I feel more vulnerable in some ways, but, I guess it's just that I'm more exposed to the world.
Tabitha: Because you are, at this point, separated from your husband? Exposed in that way?
Mariah: Well, because of that, I'm much more fair game for all those little things that we were talking about, all the little comments, she's with this one, Puffy, Q-Tip, Donald Trump.
Tabitha: But that's all external stuff, how about internally?
Mariah: It is all external, but it does effect you, because you have to be so self-protective with all this nonsense...
Tabitha: But I feel, at the same time, that hasn't stopped you from making major changes in your life. Like splitting with your manager, and your lawyer, and your husband. Do you feel like the image that those folks helped you create over the last couple years is not really what you want to be now?
Mariah: Well, I think it was fitting for a time. And now, I'm just more comfortable in my own skin, where I can just be like, this is who I am. You like it? Good. You don't? Good-bye.
Tabitha: Well, I feel like that really shows.
Mariah: Yeah, well, again, I think it's just learning about myself, and dealing with my feelings and stuff. Mariah Carey's "Butterfly" album is due out September 16th, and there may even be a tour next year to support it.
|Mariah Carey soars with new soulful album
Mariah Carey has sold more albums than any other female artist in the 1990s. And she just soared to the top of the charts again with her new soulful album Butterfly.
The album has her signature ballads. But, it also brings in up-tempo hip hop and R&B sounds to it as well. "This was my biggest first week of sales ever," she told Jet. "Usually, my material builds when you get to the ballads. I'm very proud of it. And I'm very grateful that it went to No. 1. You never know how people are going to respond to what you're doing. I'm very gratified. I never bank on anything."
For the album, Carey brought in musical friends Sean "Puffy" Combs, members of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott. She co-produced and co-wrote most of the songs on the album. "I did Breakdown with Krayzie and Wish Bone from Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. It's one of my favorites. I think it's a really strong collaboration. This is a very personal album. It's an album I could listen to as a whole. With other albums I could skip certain songs. This album I listen to from start to finish. With this album, every word and every emotion I put into it is coming from me. I don't think I abandoned who I am. I think I just added another dimension to myself."
Some critics have charged that Carey abandoned the safety of pop to take on a major gamble and embrace rap and hip hop. She angrily denies it. "Vision of Love was my first single and it was a No. 1 R&B single. So, it's not like I've never gone in the R&B direction. It's just that I had pop success with Hero and Without You back-to-back. That took me to a pop place. A lot of people who only listen to pop radio see this as a huge departure. I don't think any of this is a gamble. I've had other singles on previous albums that had R&B songs. They (the record company) just never chose to release them as singles."
She said she always has listened to all types of music and wanted a project that brought in different types of music and beats that she loves. "I think it's really balanced."
Carey, 27, is separated from her husband, Tommy Mottola, 47, president and chief operating officer of Sony Music Entertainment. The two were married in 1993. Since their breakup, Carey has been the subject of numerous, generally unflattering, tabloid stories. "It's very surprising and it's overwhelming to me," she said. "If you believe the tabloids, you'd think I was out with a different guy every night. I am not a promiscuous person. I might go out to dinner with someone. But, I would not be in someone's bed one night and someone else's bed the next night. If you believe the media. you'd think I'm just jumping in and out of bed with gangsta rappers and models. It is so ridiculous how they are calling people `gangsta' rappers."
She told Jet that even when she has been out with her nephew, he was described as a `gangsta' rapper. She said she finds it extremely curious and offensive that some elements of the media are so comfortable and quick to label people that way.
"People haven't seen a lot of me in the last six years. For a long time, people only saw me standing on stage singing Hero or lying in a field singing Dream Lover." Now that she is a single woman in Manhattan, she is constantly reading about herself and her wild ways. "Suddenly, I'm the gangsta chick of the '90s. It's like suddenly I just went bananas and I think I'm Little Kim."
Regarding her marriage to Mottola, she said the two remain good, close friends who talk to each other frequently. "I feel like he and I are friends. We're friends. And that's cool. Tommy and I had a discussion last night. We said, `Enough about people in our business. Enough with people giving quotes on or off the record.' Now, I'm in a place where I feel confident enough to stand alone."
And that is why she is so excited about Butterfly. It's Mariah's concept. "I started on the album last January and finished early August. But, I did three videos in between. This album is definitely something I've wanted to do for a long time. There were songs I wanted to do in the past. I recorded them, but they never got on the album. That happened even on the first album because some people felt they were too R&B or whatever the terminology was. It's been a gradual process of my being able to say that this is what I'm going to do at this point. People owe it to you to let you express yourself. With all the changes that I've gone through both professionally and personally, it was a release to work on the album."
Beyond singing, she said she has always wanted to act. And now, she is pursuing it in a big way. For the last eight months, she has taken acting lessons. Currently, a movie project is being developed specifically for her.
"There are a lot of personal factors that kept me from pursuing acting several years ago. I feel everything happens for a reason. If this is the time that God intended for me to get into things and explore other aspects of my creativity, then it's the right time. I don't look back in anger or resentment or self-pity. I'm very fortunate to be where I am now. We've all been through struggles."
|From New York Post
"It should have read like a Cinderella success story - but life at the top of the charts hasn't been a fairy tale for pop princess Mariah Carey."
Despite astounding success - five multiplatinum albums, 12 No.1 singles and worldwide album sales of over 80 million - the bestselling female recording artist of the '90s says she was stifled both personally and professionally.
But over the past six months, Carey has made moves to take charge of her life and her music. First came a split from her husband of four years, Sony chief Tommy Mottola; then she began to take acting lessons; and then last month Carey released an album, the symbolically titled "Butterfly," where she moved away from her trademark sugary ballads to record with hip-hoppers Sean "Puffy" Combs and Missy Elliot.
The results so far have been positive. "Butterfly," with songs that have a rougher, street edge, has earned both instant No. 1 status and praise from critics normally dismissive of Carey's efforts.
In this unusually candid interview, Carey talks about her music, her marriage, her life and her new-found independence.
Lisa Robinson: Until this new record, why did
you always appear so uptight about your image?
LR: When you say powerful people, do you
mean Tommy (Mottola)?
LR: What about the perception that Tommy
was your Svengali?
LR: Were you trying to be fashionable by
working with hip-hop artists on your new album?
LR: Was the huge mansion that you both
[Mottola] built in Bedford a fantasy or a prison?
LR: You've been reported as having romances
with (Yankee) Derek Jeter, Puffy and a member of the Fugees. What's the
LR: You're dressing sexier these days;
you used to dress more matronly.
LR: Do you want to be romantically involved
with someone again - or free for a while?
LR: You've said you're not promiscuous.
LR: Do you think you were too young when
you got married?
|From Star Magazine
"The Truth About Me and Men"
Newly single MARIAH CAREY is speaking out for the first time about men and dating. Although SHE'S been linked with hunks including New York Yankees baseball star Derek Jeter & singer Prakazrel "Pras" Michel of the hit group The Fugees, MARIAH says they're all just friends. The pop princess, who's separated from HER music mogul hubby Tommy Mottola, tells Star: "There is no man in my life right now. I'm really throwing myself into my music. The bottom line is that I'm self-protective, & I respect myself."
"I'm not a bit promiscuous" SHE adds. "I never
have been. It's offensive to ME when people try to put that type of sexual
slant on things."
MARIAH now has two priorities-Show biz & HER summer camp for underpriveledged children. "It's all about my career-and these great kids at camp." SHE says. "For now, that's all I want & need."
The "Hero" Story
Actually, one of Mariah Carey's No. 1 singles was intended to be the title song for a film starring Dustin Hoffman. I'll let you think about which one it might be while I answer the first part of your question. There's no one person who automatically selects who will sing a movie's theme song, but it's usually one of several people: the music supervisor, the director, the producer, or a label executive who is involved with the soundtrack--or some combination of those people. Now, let's talk about the film song Mariah wrote and recorded--even though it wasn't heard in the movie. The soundtrack to the film "Hero" was a project of Epic Records. Label executives wanted Mariah Carey to sing the film's theme, but she was so hot, they assumed she wouldn't agree to be the vocalist. So instead, they asked her and producer Walter Afanasieff to write something for the movie. Afanasieff attended a screening and was told that Gloria Estefan was the likely candidate to record a title song. At the same time, Carey and Afanasieff were working on Mariah's "Music Box" album. Afanasieff tells what happened next: "We were in the studio and came to a break. I told Mariah about this movie. Within two hours, we had this incredible seed for this song, 'Hero.' It was never meant for Mariah to sing. In her mind, we were writing a song for Gloria Estefan ... and we went into an area that Mariah didn't really go into. In her words, it was a little bit too schmaltzy ... or too old-fashioned." Mariah and Walter had almost finished the song when Tommy Mottola, President/COO of Sony Music and at the time Carey's fiancee, walked into the studio. He heard the song and they told him it was for a movie. Afanasieff recalls Mottola responding, "Are you kidding me? You can't give this song to this movie. This is too good. Mariah, you have to take this song." The lyrics were completed after the decision was made to keep the song for Mariah. Afanasieff told the people working on the soundtrack he didn't have anything for them, and Estefan never knew that Carey's "Hero" was originally intended for her. The song that ended up in the film was "Heart Of A Hero," written, produced, and recorded by Luther Vandross. So aside from her remake of "Endless Love" (recorded with Luther Vandross), Carey has not charted with a movie song, but that could still happen in the future.
|Interview - Dolly Magazine (11/17/1997) (Australian
All set for her Australian tour in February '98, pop princess Mariah Carey gets between the sheets (literally!) with Dolly to give us the goss on hangin' with Puff Daddy, living with racism and her new album, Butterfly ...
Mariah, do you often do interviews in bed?
So, what's the meaning behind Butterfly, the
title of your latest album?
You seem more hard core on this album.
Did you add some tough R&B to remind people
of your background?
What were you like at school?
You have also split with your hubby Tommy Mottola.
Is the song Breakdown about him?
You looked pretty sexy in the video for Honey
Do you think you'll ever become an actress?
There has been heaps of rumours about you recently
What about the rumour that you've dated Puff
How careful do you have to be with your voice?
What can we expect from your live show?
What special thing do you do before you go
What ís the funniest rumour you've read
Have you heard of Tina Arena, Silverchair and
Finally, what's the best thing about being
|From Stern (Germany)
"I Only Obey Myself"
Again and again the former waitress swore the great love by her 80 millions records - and became less happy day by day with her marriage to one of the top US music managers. Since her separation she has tried to find her own tunes.
She is not simply coming through the door. Mariah
Carey staggers in like a confused fairy, her hands looking for something
to hold: "I am so tired", she moans. Behind her follows a man sticking
to her back constantly picking her hair, by her
Everybody in the room is nervous. The manager, president-manager and vice-manager of her label SONY strafe around, and when asking for Mariah, if one is allowed to speak, a second of silence follows. "Yes, you will be able to talk to her soon," she's let's one of the girls answer. All the others wipe away the sweat from their fore-heads and do "pfft". An employee of the "Leibziger Hotel" whispers that "Miss Carey isn't in a good mood today." You can hear workers working a few rooms away, laying parquet flooring, which was ordered over night, because "Miss Carey" wanted to rehearse for the show, for which she is advertising her new CD "butterfly".
Mariah Carey is 27, and you really can call her a spoiled goat. A pop star, who sold 80 millions records with voice and soft-ballads; a Cinderella with a similar history - waitress and sometimes background-singer from Long Island, discovered 1988 and raised to popularity by her prince, SONY-Music-boss Tommy Mottola. A relationship built on the typical columns of the upper-class: sex and money. Mariah, at that time 18 years old, made Tommy, at that time around 40, young again and secured his presidential seat with her chart successes. He, a multi-millionaire, stuffed dollars into her career and into her wardrobe. The marriage in June of 1993 "was more a crowning," guests were saying. Mariah studied the video of princess Diana's wedding for days, her dress was made for US$ 25000, and of course names on the guest list were Bruce Springsteen, Barbara Streisand and Robert DeNiro.
With saying "Yes," Mariah started a dream that became a trauma. After the wedding to one of the most powerful men of the music business, a weapons-freak who sometimes sits in the cellar of his mansion cleaning his rifles, Tommy built up a ten-million-dollar palace with two pools, a tennis-court and a sound-studio for both of them in Bedford close to New York. But he also employed 2 body-guards who followed her even to the rest-rooms door. She believed him whenever he told her which dresses to wear -closed-to-the-throught-ladylike and sex-less. She may have called it love, but she just did not realized that Tommy, from a second phone, listened to every one of her private phone calls in Bedford. Tommy controlled her mail. Tommy never allowed a acting-teacher in the house and cancelled good-looking, non-gay dancers from the casting list of her videos.
Nobody told her that Thomas D. Mottola Jr. already was called "Don Tommy" in the music business: coming from an Italian background of the Bronx, he worked himself up using a lot of strange and shady methods. The master of stars like Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen and Gloria Estefan is so much self-assured of his power, he sometimes allegedly threatens that if the Japan motherhouse does not stops criticizing his politics, he will take SONY Music away from them. And Mariah wasn't a love for him, but a project that secured his company the top of the charts.
Mariah realized that only gradually. "No," she says, "friends did not warn me. I didn't even leave the house for a few years." Only from time to time, when she locked herself in one of the rooms, listening to incredibly loud rap-music and Tommy shouting in front of the door, she thought, "He is too close to my butt." But she had no time to think it over. Records were produced like on a assemble-line, white middle-class soul with calculated emotions. Mariah became a kind of Maria Callas for hobby-markets and car-shops, where songs like "Without You" and "Anytime You Need A Friend" should raise the buyers' will to buy. Even though her voice reaches six octaves, her musical abilities stayed on base-level. The US mag "Time" certified it "nutra-sweet soul," but the marketing-concept of the blond daughter of a irish mother and a black venezuelean grew. "Every company would have loved to have her," so says music-mogul David Geffen.
Mariah winds down on the sofa and pulls her black
way-to-short leather-skirt. Her breast is so much pressed and pushed in
her white top, pressure-strips are visible, and her thin, almost ash-blond
hair won't stay in shape. Since she must not wear her dresses closed up
to the throught thigh, she demonstratively shows more skin. Life did not
leave any contours on her round face yet, even though there have been a
lot of ups and downs recently.
Behind the golden bars of Bedford Mariah developed the idea to also stand musicaly on her own. She started to write songs in secret during the night, teen-lyrics on outbursts and "finding yourself." "But I always put them aside again." It was autumn 1996 when she started to write for "Butterfly" together with black musicians - the soundtrack of her emotional outburst.
A childish project with childish pictures - in
the video to her single "Honey" for example, the chained Carey lets herself
be saved from agents in a house and then swims to freedom in a bikini.
"Everything in the video shall show: Kiss my butt, Tommy", her ex-producer
Walter Afanasieff says. "No," says Mariah, "it may looks like that, but
that is over-interpretated."
The fact that she produced "Butterfly" with rap-legends like Puffy Combs, Mase and Da Brat, initiated shocks at SONY, because they have to stick with Mariah for another four albums, the Mariah who now turned into a gangster-girl with a "fuxx you"-lyric. "They all were very nervous, because I changed the formula of success. They have asked if I am totally crazy."
The excitement came down fast, because the album
still follows the formula of success of the soft ballads, and only a few
songs dare venture a slight step into soft rap - an undecided work and
a failed try to be Janet Jackson. Nevertheless Sony's first-lady is full
of self-confident: "Musically nobody can tell me anything, there I am only
obeying myself. I can do it on my own."
Scenes like after the grammy-show in 1996, when Mariah wasn't able to get a award and after the show in a hotel lobby shouted into Tommy's face if he really isn't powerful enough to get her a Grammy, probably will be saved from that man. The separation, both was announced publicity in May, happened in financial agreement, the divorce is supposed to happen in the next year. "We speak very friendly to each other", Mariah says. Just recently they met on a yacht. Tommy made pasta.
After one hour in Leibzig Mariah again falls back
on her sofa. She moans, she is hungry. What for? "Pasta," she whispers,
"but simply cooked only."
|Interview - Dot music (UK)
Mariah Carey is the biggest -selling solo artist of the Nineties, and there's no doubting her superstar status. You don't just turn up for an interview with Carey: separate meetings with both her UK and international PR, a "chat" about questions and an hour wait in the bar are all completed before you even reach the entrance of her penthouse suite at Park Lane's Dorchester Hotel in London. The ante-rooms buzz with the activities of various guard-like hotel staff, make-up artists and other members of the Carey entourage.
Inside her sanctum, however, all is calm. Carey sits alone sipping wine in a mirror-walled chamber decorated with fake gold bird cages. Even the Queen of Pop seems impressed with the decor as she points out an appropriate golden butterfly tucked into the ornate plastering. It has not been the easiest of periods for Carey who has had to endure intense analysis of her more cutting-edge work and, above all, her personal life after the split in May from her husband of four years, Sony Music Entertainment president and chief operating officer Tommy Mottola.
Epic imprint Crave was founded in New York in February by Mariah Carey with Arista Records senior vice-president Rick Bisceglia as president. The aim, Carey says, is "to have a close-knit label where artists can feel comfortable,... discover great music and get it the attention it deserves". Carey and Bisceglia work as partners overseeing Crave's creative and business activities, with marketing, sales and administration support from Epic and distribution worldwide on Sony.
Carey says that while Bisceglia runs the day-to-day affairs she determinedly makes time for the label. "They like to know I'm there. I have personal relationships with the artists and they respect it. I'm having a big hand in it, like conversations with people's lawyers and really having to focus with what's going on with scheduling," she says. The label's first signing, Allure, is the only artist to date which has had a UK release with their single, Head Over Heels (featuring Nas), reaching number 18 in June.
The label's other groups are Detroit's R&B act Seven Mile, the pop act Jakaranda, rappers Negro League, Lutricia McNeal and DJ Company and UK releases are tentatively scheduled for February to April next year. Every lyric of her album has been dissected to establish some inference about her marriage and every collaboration investigated to insinuate a new personal relationship. And on this side of the Atlantic, she has something else to contend with: her album, Butterfly, is languishing at number 39 in the UK charts - one place behind a Dolly Parton best-of.
It is understandable that while Carey still smoulders, she smoulders suspiciously. She is unbowed, however, by Butterfly's inauspicious start. "I'm really pleased with how it's doing," she says. "It's my favourite album. I feel really close to it; it's an extension of me." But behind Dolly Parton? "I don't think Butterfly has got a chance yet over here. My guess is as good as your's why. I wouldn't want to create a negative view of things. I'm trying a different strategy. I want to open up to as many fans as possible. To me Europe always takes longer. I didn't break here (in the UK) until my third album."
|"Q Magazine" Interview
Louise, Mariah Carey's Personal Assistant of four, Lons Service Medal-earning years, is turning down the bed for her boss in her two-room, £880-a-night suite at London's elegant Lanesborough Hotel. We would be in Carey's own four-room suite (£3,500-per-night) but the cleaners are in, and the cleaners are meticulous. "There's four of them in each room," says Louise. Carey, batting with a cold, waits patiently. "I've got to protect The Voice," she says, gesturing towards her throat. Ready, the most successful female singer of the '90s unstraps her Gucci stilettos and slides into bed.
"It's alright," she tells Q, "come on the bed. I won't think you're getting fresh."
Louise pats down the sheets. Carey and Q are alone. We admire the vicious black footwear.
"They're alright. I wore them in the video for Honey." she reveals. "I went up in the helicopter in them, I dove in them, I swam in them, I did it all"
"I was a trouper."
Mariah Carey has trouped for 27 years now. And that trouping has paid extremely well. She has now sold over 80 million albums since her self-titled debut, bearing the Grammy-winning Vision Of Love, made her a heavily promoted but nonetheless instant star in 1990. Since then, in a career masterminded by the three-way axis of Carey, her husband (and Sony boss), Tommy Mottola and manager (Mottola's old partner), Randy Hoffman, she has sold more albums than any other woman in the world. Barrows of cash, it seems safe to presume are now hers.
"No, Eighty million albums doesn't mean eighty million dollars," Carey squirts.
So how much does it mean, exactly?
"None of your beeswax," she sweetly smiles.
Lashings of greenbacks notwithstanding, Carey's life is in turnoil.
The mogul-spots-unknown-makes-her-biggest-star-on-planet-then-weds-her fairy tale is over. Carey moved out of Mottola's upstate New York mansion in May. The couple are now officially separated. The title track of her new album,
Butterfly, hints that there have been painful times, with Carey cooped up in the big house on the hill. "Bilindy I imagined I could keep you under glass. Now I understand to hold you/I must open up my hands/And watch you rise," goes the song. Is this how she secretly wished Mottola would let her be? She hums and haws.
In June, Carey took yet another step towards a new independence, leaving Hoffman's management company. She wryly insists it was "a mutual agreement".
Mariah Carey, millionairess, diva, proffessional girl next door, is now only interested in a one-way axis. The woman who not only survived a themed Christmas album but could also appear on its sleeve in tacky Santa get-up and still sell over 10 million wants total control.
Coveniently, she concedes that her former self made music "can be considered schmaltzy, MOR", but she will defend the likes of Hero and I Don't Wanna Cry, if you ask. "They mean a lot to some people," she says, but in such a way that informs you that she is not one of them.
The easiest way to understand what Mariah Carey
means by taking control is to look at what's happening to her music: a
naughty urban R&B retooling abetted by genuine hardnut rap names. Gone
are the duets with Luther Vandross and Boyz II
|From Enterainment Weekly
Butterflies Aren't Free
Welcome to the newly single life of Mariah Carey. It is free and entangled, exhilarating and embattled. And it never stops moving. At a Manhattan photo studio in late August, Carey is torn between posing for shots and dealing with the prelaunch mania surrounding her fifth album, Butterfly. Cell phones ring incessantly. Carey's new manager, Hollywood power broker Sandy Gallin, swings by to nail down details of her appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards. A stylist and hair and makeup artists commandeer the pop star' free minutes. At one point, Carey--who, these days, oscillates between moments of infectious playfulness and emotional rawness--shoves a tape into the VCR. It's the video for a remix of Butterfly's first single, "Honey." In it, she pinches the cheeks of rappers Sean "Puffy" Combs and Mase--a tender gesture, but one that also conjures The Godfather. "That freaked them out," she says, laughing. "They take that [gangster] stuff seriously."
At other moments, Carey disappears to her dressing room with a cell phone. One wireless conversation with a Butterfly producer erupts into a dispute. To the chagrin of her makeup artist, tears soon streak Carey's face. "Being able to handle things on my own is good," she explains later. The singer is in the midst of a complicated breakup from husband Tommy Mottola, the president and COO of Sony Music Entertainment and the man who, until this year, has overseen every aspect of her career. And behind the scenes, the split has sparked angry accusations of infidelity, abusive behavior, and artistic suppression. Carey's tears, she says, were inevitable: "It's so easy to become overwhelmed during the state I'm in right now, I just couldn't help it." At the club, Carey and party slip through a private entrance into near chaos. So many people fill every corridor that bodyguards are exercising crowd control backstage. Carey, however, makes her way through the multitude like an habitué. She kisses the night's headliner, the manically dreadlocked Busta Rhymes. Heads swivel as she sidles on, greeting a hot record producer here, an up-and-coming hip-hopper there, before climbing upstairs to a private office, where a bucket of Cristal awaits.
Carey hangs out in this cramped hideaway for most of the night. Her two bodyguards block the door, but a few VIP rappers, like Combs and Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, cameo in to say hi. "Mariah, she listens to rap. She's straight up just cool," says Elliott, a friend since the two cowrote a song for Butterfly. Contrary to tabloid innuendo, it's hardly the wild gangsta- rap atmosphere in which Carey has supposedly immersed herself. In fact, the only threatening thing is the guy blowing chunks just outside the office door. Carey--the pop diva who, in the past, has seemed so inaccessible--is experiencing it all. And as 3 a.m. approaches, it's still four hours before the insomniac will hit the sheets. She promises to make a 3 p.m. interview scheduled for the next day. "That's bright and early for me," she warns.
It's only a 50-mile drive from this scene in downtown Manhattan to the affluent white burg of Bedford, N.Y., where Carey lived for the last two years. But the contrast between environs--froms nightclubs to country club---is immense. In 1993, Carey, dressed in a $25,000 Vera Wang gown, married Motolla in a grandioso ceremony attended by the likes of Barbara Streisand and Billy Joel, and reportedly and reportedly modeled after teh royal nuptials of Diana and Charles. At the time, Carey gushed to People magazine that her life had become a fairy tale--"Cinderella," to be exact. And the couble built an ostentatious, $10 million mansion in Bedford--complete with two pools and a recording studio--that became music biz. The plush surburban life, for a time, clearly had its appeal. "She didn't get out much," says rap producer Jermaine Dupri, who began working with carey two years ago on her 1995 multi-platinum album Daydream.
Motolla and Carey had met in 1988, when she was an 18-year-old waitress, singer from Long Island and he was a maried talent manager turned rookie label head 20 years her senior and on the hunt for the next Whitney Houston. According to industry lore, he grabbed her demo tape away from another exec at a party and within days signed Carey and her octave-scaling voice. While she was recording her 1990 debut, Mariah Carey. a romance blossomed. The professional and personal symbiosis turned Carey into the best-selling female singer of the '90s..
If the success rested ona formula--a pristine pop persona fasioned from sugary ballads and girl-next-door clothes--no one scoffed at the payoff. Carey's worldwide album sales have topped 80 million units. Her singing reaps Sony's Columbia records up to $200 million in annual revenues. In February, the company rewarded Carey with her own label, Crave Records.
Now, in a shift that puts her career on the line as never before, she is leaving the formula and the husband behind. On May 30, Carey and Mottola, 47, announced that they would no longer live happily ever after together. Since Mottola remains her boss, industry observers speculated that a nasty breakup could rock Sony Music. But a statment issued at the time reassured: "[The couple] have mutually and amicably agree to a trial separation...They look forward to continued success in their professional relationship."
Indeed, Carey appears to be taking charge of her music and her life. Along with the symbolic titling of Butterfly, she is stepping out in a number of ways. Boasting a host of R&B and rap collaborators, Butterfly reins in the ballads, explores an edgier street sound, and offers her most personal lyrics yet. At the MTV Video Music Awards two weeks ago, Carey showed up in quite a different Vera Wang outfit than the one in which she got married: a bandeau top with a skirt provocatively slit, on both sides, to the hip. Recent, she canned her manager, Randy Hoffman, and lawyer Allen Grubman, both of whom are long-standing intimates of Mottola. And now--like Whitney, Janet, and Madonna before her--Mariah hopes to go Hollywood. Since January, she has been studying with a drama coach. "My whole life I've wanted to act," says Carey, who hopes to make her debut sometime next year.
So far, the metamorphosis is taking wing. "Honey" rocket to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in its first week of release. That makes Carey--with her 1995 hits "Fantasy" and "One Sweet day"--responsible for three of only six singles ever to accomplish that feat. And as befits a singer who can so deftly tip the musical scales, she's taking the high road in the split. "I love him. I care about him," Carey says, recalling a quiet dinner she recently shared with Mottola on her chartered boat in the Hamptons. That evening, Mottola dinghied over his boat and cooked pasta. "He made sauce, which is his specialty," she says.
Talkin about the split, Carey chooses her words carefully, as she is prone to do. At once candid and coy, she'll answer "yes," than hedge fro five minutes. On the subject of her marriage, the indirectness is understandable in light of the unflattering attention it received in a Vanity Fair profile of Mottola last December. The article, rife with denials from the rocord mogul, painted him as a controlling, Mafia-connected obsessive who'd turned Cinderella into Rapunzel inside their Bedford estate. The picture was of Carey as a prisoner in her own home. "When you've experienced more than someone else, it's a natural tendency to protect the other person from things that you've gone through," is all she'll say about Mottola's purported behavior. "But now, I have to learn things for myself. I have to experience things for myself. I have to make my own decisions and live by them.
Then why is a controversy of the singer's own creation calling into question the sincerity of her cozy comments? Ever since "Honey" debuted on MTV six weeks ago, media watchers have been astonished by the video's seemingly too-close-to-home scenario. On screen, Carey, portraying a 007 type called Agent M, is handcuffed to a chair inside a magnificent palazzo. GoodFellas actor Frank Sivero, as a rug-haired Italian hood, threatens her with death. Luckily, pluckily, Agent M escapes by Jet Ski.
The parallels between the "Honey" plot and the Vanity Fair piece are eerie. "It's the most incredibly coincidental thing that you could put out," says producer Walter Afanasieff, who's worked with Carey since 1990 but who fell out with the singer last spring over the hip-hop flavor of Butterfly. (As a hitmaker for Sony artists like Streisand and Celine Dion, Afanasieff is an employee of Mottola's.) "Everything in the video is 'F--- you, Tommy,'" he adds.
With "Honey," is Carey presenting her true feelings about Mottola while also perpetuating the Mob talk? Someone who works for Carey butrequested anonymity insists the video is a calculated, sharp-edged lampoon of the record exec, made to elicit sympathy for her alleged mistreatment. "It's like 'poor Mariah,'" the source says, adding "She's very smart."
But should anyone care if Mottola doesn't? In an undoubtedly difficult position as Sony Music's top man and the ex of one of its biggest stars, Mottola not only released the video, but publicly supported it. Mottola declined to be interviewed for this story, but in a New York Post article headlined mariah's video vengeance, a publicist relayed the mogul's enthusiasm. "Tommy loves the video," the flack offered, "and says it's the best yet from Mariah."
The day after her late night on the town, the video's auteur, dressed in a midriff-baring top and blue shorts, is installed in the penthouse of a downtown hotel. Since Carey has moved out of her Bedford mansion but not yet found her own apartment, this is her home for the week. Exhausted and stressed, she wants to talk from bed. Curled up under a pink blanket, she nestles a stuffed puppy close to her side.
"It's not intended to be a dis to Tommy," she says of the video, in her brassy but genial speaking voice. "All this speculation is really kind of crazy--the media hyping it and feeding it." According to Carey, an afternoon of jet skiing in Puerto Rico earlier this year inspired the "Honey" chase scene. "Her idea was just to do a James Bond kind of thing," says the video's director, Paul Hunter. The chief villain, Carey adds, was not conceived as a role for an Italian American. In fact, funnymen Chris Farley and Denis Leary were both approached to play the part but were unavailable.
A frustrated Carey would rather talk about Butterfly, which (as is the case with all her albums) she cowrote and coproduced. As an expression of her lifelong love of R&B and rap music, it's a project that's close to her heart. It's also one that seems intrinsically linked to Carey's ongoing exploration of her mixed-race identity. Her mother, who raised Carey, is Irish; her father is a black Venezuelan. The couple divorced when she was three. "Growing up, it was difficult for me to find people that I connected with," says Carey, "because of all my issues of feeling separate and apart." The R&B world is where, Carey believes, she's found her peers. "I grew up in New York. I grew up on urban music," she says. "It's totally a part of me." Adds Afanasieff: "She gets in her car, puts on her radio stations, and it's always R&B. She knows every song, every word, every rap out there."
The R&B world is where, Carey believes, she's found her peers. "I grew up in New York. I grew up on urban music," she says. "It's totally a part of me." Adds Afanasieff: "She gets in her car, puts on her radio stations, and it's always R&B. She knows every song, every word, every rap out there."
Not naming Mottola specifically, Carey maintains that her label has opposed her interest in the genre. Two years ago, while making Daydream, she hatched the idea of teaming with hardcore rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard of the Wu-Tang Clan on a remix of her song "Fantasy." How dirty is Dirty? Expressing his unrequited feelings for Carey, he says, "I want to tear her a-- up."
According to Carey, Columbia, worried the pairing would damage her crossover appeal, discouraged the experiment. "Everyone was like, What are you, crazy?" she remembers. "They're very nervous about breaking the formula. It works to have me sing a ballad on stage in a long dress with my hair up." Columbia president Don Ienner responds: "I was incredibly positive about ODB. There might have been some [who fought it].... I can only speak for myself."
The remix was ultimately made, boosting her hip quotient. Says Carey, "They started to realize, 'Maybe she does know what she's doing.'" And on Butterfly, she takes her passion further. Combs produced "Honey," Mase and Da Brat rap on remixes, and members of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony guest-star.
According to a source at Sony, Mottola, who gave Carey complete freedom on this project, worries that Butterfly may have flown too far from Carey's fan base. "Tommy's looking at it from a business standpoint, saying 'You know what? We sell about 3 to 13 percent of your sales to [the] black music [market].' He's not saying 'Don't make black music.' He's saying 'Don't go totally left of what you've already built.'"
The concern may be overwrought. For one thing, groups such as Sony's Fugees have proved rap's international appeal. And Carey herself may turn out to be a powerful popularizer.
More important, a quick listen to Butterfly reveals that the ballads are still there--though they don't soar as they used to. "I wanted to do so much more, and she wanted to keep it light and R&B," says Afanasieff. "She was trying to prove herself to be this Mary J. Blige kind of thing: 'Let me show my independence and streetness. Let the conglomerate of Tommy Mottola and Sony Music drop off of me for a while.'"
Still, Carey's rebelliousness didn't overtake common sense: Butterfly is in no danger of requiring a parental advisory sticker. "We can't be cursing and all on the record," says Elliott. "She's still Mariah. You've got to be careful not to change too much."
In all, it's a quiet, even melancholy album, with lyrics that dwell on the acceptance of love gone bad. "For the first time since the first album," Carey says, "it feels like I'm letting a piece of myself go."
She credits her acting lessons as an important tool in discovering herself this year. "People have told her to be so careful about what she says and presents," says her coach, Sheila Gray. "I think a lot of her real voice got lost." Carey has even been revisiting, through drama exercises, some of the difficult terrain of a poor and unhappy childhood. "It's helped me to get in touch with my feelings," she says. (In lighter moments, she's rehearsed Judy Holliday's role in Born Yesterday, the story of a young woman whose thuggish older boyfriend wants to refine her. One day, relates Gray, Tommy "did Born Yesterday with us." A testament, apparently, to Mottola's highly developed sense of irony.)
Still lying in bed at her hotel, the new Mariah wants to make clear she's not disowning the old one. "I realize who I am, who my audience is," she says, her voice tiring. It's 10 p.m. Carey needs sleep. She also needs to rehearse her dancers, with whom she'll appear on London's Top of the Pops. And she wants to stop by a remix session for Butterfly with the rap group Mobb Deep. "Lately, I find myself wanting to cram in everything," says Carey, who stays out for a second night in a row.
SO WHAT DID GO WRONG WITH THE MARRIAGE? While the singer is in London, friends and associates of both Carey and Mottola come forward to tell highly polarized stories. But one theme is central: The couple was undone by a generation gap that became a chasm. "This was doomed from the beginning," says a source close to both.
Friends of Carey's assert they witnessed a pattern of controlling behavior on Mottola's part from the start. According to one, he strove to regulate Carey's desire to dress as she likes. Her tastes are tight and tighter; he wanted her in Armani and Calvin Klein. "He did not like her to look too sexy," the source says.
Another friend claims that Mottola forbade her to even discuss her wish to act. "She wasn't allowed to grow professionally," he says, charging that scripts sent to Carey were never passed on to her. Debbie Allen, of Fame fame and a producer of Steven Spielberg's upcoming Amistad, confirms she called Randy Hoffman's management office a few years ago with a project for Carey. "I was told she wasn't interested in doing any acting or any movies. Point blank. I found that very surprising." Allen, who met Carey just a few weeks ago, relayed the story. "Mariah said, 'I never even knew you called.'" (Hoffman did not return several calls for comment.)
According to the second source, Mottola also pushed away many of Carey's friends, banned cute guys in her videos, listened to her conversations through the intercom system in the mansion, and on occasion hit redial to find out whom she'd been talking to. If Mottola did behave this way, what motivated him? "It was an obsession," says the source, adding hyperbolically, "It was exactly like Sleeping With the Enemy...but without the towels."
Mottola defenders deny that Carey's life in Bedford was harshly circumscribed. "This was the queen's castle; it wasn't, like, his and he put her there," says one. "She loved being there." They concede that Mottola could be overly possessive. But they insist this was in reaction to Carey's behavior. A deep-seated insecurity, they say, prompted her to continually seek attention from other men. "If she knew there'd be guys around, she'd wear really short shorts and get all made up, just to make an entrance.... She didn't realize you got a husband here. You can't be flirtatious just to boost your ego." A year ago, according to these accounts, as problems escalated, Carey started spending much of her time in Manhattan, using a studio there instead of the one in Bedford to begin work on Butterfly.
Soon after, she met 22-year-old New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter at a Nov. 21 benefit for the Fresh Air Fund, a charity the singer has long supported. Recently, the pair--who share a similar mixed-race heritage--have been reported to be an item. But the reputedly on-and-off affair, say sources close to Mottola and Carey, began shortly after their initial meeting--and about six months before the separation announcement. "One of the major reasons this marriage fell apart is because she was seeing this guy," says a Mottola sympathizer, who's galled by the video portrayal of Carey as victim. "The idea of her as this spirit who has broken free is absurd.... Mariah is no innocent." (Jeter's spokesman did not return calls.)
Charges of opportunism fly back to the dawn of the relationship. "Tommy was so much to her that I'm sure, in the beginning, it was her looking for a career," says a Sony staffer. "She was his trophy," counters a friend of Carey's. "Personally, she was this beautiful, incredibly sexy 19-year-old. And professionally, she was his ticket."
Allies of both agree on a few things: that Mottola didn't want the marriage to end; Carey was too young when she married; she felt indebted to him; and she tried to make the marriage work. "She gave it a million percent. Anybody else, it would've been annulled in six months," says a Carey pal.
As in most breakups, a measure of truth seems to reside on both sides. "Mariah, you knew the control freak Tommy is," says Afanasieff. "You knew what he would do for you, what he was planning for you, what he didn't want you to wear--and still you married the guy.
"And Tommy, look at who you're marrying. This girl listens to rap 24 hours a day. All she talks about is acting in movies. Don't you think she's going to want to do this? Why do you guys deny all of this?"
Perhaps they don't have any choice. Recently, Mottola signed a five-year contract with Sony. Carey owes the company four more albums. The exes may be working together into the millennium. So a certain forced public amicability is apparently a necessary fact of life.
ON SEPT. 4, THE DAY OF THE VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS, a more forthcoming Carey shows up for another interview. This time, she's staying at an uptown hotel. At a restaurant downstairs, she orders comfort food--a milk shake--to calm her nerves. "I'm just feeling a little bit vulnerable and wounded by a lot of things," she says.
In the past few weeks, gossip about Carey has been hitting the tabloids almost daily. One item recounts how a co-op board turned her down. In addition to the Jeter rumor, she has been linked romantically to Combs, rapper Q-Tip, and David Fumero, a model in the "Honey" video. "I can't comment on people out there spreading negativity. They don't have my interests at heart," she says.
Confronted with some of the accusations that have surfaced, Carey lets out a sigh. At times, she hyperventilates. Yes, she concedes, Mottola did oppose her acting. The separation, she states, began in December. But no, she insists again, the video is not meant to be a slap. "I'm not trying to be his enemy," she says.
Is she seeing Jeter? "No, nope." Anyone else? "I'm not involved with anybody at this point, now as we sit here." But did another person pull her and Tommy apart? "This didn't happen because of another person," she says. "The other person was myself."
What angers her most are charges of opportunism. "It's like when people used to say, 'If she weren't married to him, she wouldn't have this, she wouldn't have that.' I don't care if you're married to the President of the United States or Houdini! Nobody can make the public buy records.... I've worked my a-- off for years, and contributed as much to the company as the company contributed to me."
Carey just wants the grilling to end. "What's the issue? Is the issue that I shouldn't have left?" she asks. "Who the hell is perfect, and why should I be expected to be perfect?"
It seems clear that a troubled marriage, inextricably tied to a multimillion-dollar recording career, isn't letting go of either party. If charges that Mottola suffocated Carey as an artist are true, she deserves the opportunity to grow on her own. If, indeed, the video is about Mottola, then perhaps Carey isn't moving on at all. The butterfly, now freed from her protective cocoon, may still be learning to use her wings.
"What really matters at the end of the day is not how many records I've sold, who says I was manipulative, who says I was manipulated, who says I was caged, who says I planned the whole thing," she says. "I know who I am." Sounds like the beginning of a compelling solo flight.
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Heroes of Mariah 2000