She's known as a soul legend, a pop phenomenon, and one of the best-selling female artists of all time selling 220 million records. Now coming up in March, Mariah Carey is coming to Grand Rapids to perform with Lionel Richie! Before seeing her live on stage, Todd got the chance to talk to her about the tour, past performances, and more.
Todd: I caught Kimmel recently; I think we officially put your New Year’s Eve performance to bed, because you crushed it! You crushed it on Jimmy Kimmel; tell us a bit more about that new single and your performance.
Mariah: Thank you so much, I had the best time and YG was great! I was so glad he flew out to do the performance with me, and the song is called “I Don’t” featuring YG, it’s one of my favorites. I’m definitely going to perform it on tour, as well as the hits. The fans will probably want to hear some songs I haven’t performed in a while, or maybe have done ever, so I’m going to spice it up. I’m going to have some very special guests. So it’s not so much pressure on me, but it’s a 60 minutes set with some new songs, new hits, and special material.
Todd: We’re really excited about it as well, obviously, you know when you say you’re going to sing the hits. Now when most people, when a musician and a band tours, they’ll play you some of your new music, some of their lesser known hits, and also play some of their bigger hits. You could pack a three hour show with just your number ones. I mean you’ve got so many hits out there. I noticed that you’ve pinned 17 of your songs as number ones that everyone loves. How important is it to you that you are the author and that you write these songs?
Mariah: Well thank you for asking that question because a lot of times people think that because you’re a woman, or whatever it is, they don’t want to give you the credit. They don’t really want to talk about the fact that you write your own songs. I’ve been writing and singing since I was a little girl, so this is a part of something that makes me who I am. It’s been my saving grace and it’s my go-to, it’s music, it’s my favorite thing to do. My favorite thing is writing songs in the studio and making new music. I love performing for the fans and performing new songs.
Todd: When it comes to writing those songs, I mean you have so many number ones, so I’m sure there’s an aspiring song writer out there that asks, “How does she do it?” Do you start out with a melody or does it start with the words?
Mariah: For me it starts with the melody because it’s something that always comes to you. Sometimes I’ll just be sitting around, or whatever, and the melody just comes to me. It’s just something I know I’m going to write, I’ll just say the lyrics then I’ll write them down. Sometimes what I like to do is like if someone’s an incredible piano player, a million times better than me, I’ll want to sit with them and go back and forth to see what we come up with. Or what some people like to do is come up with a beat. I’ll listen to the beat, and I’ll like it, I’ll write a melody to go with it or collaborate with somebody with the melody and the lyrics. I love collaborating.
Todd: You’re in so many people’s ears all the time; you’re on a lot of people’s playlists. We’re always carrying around your music on our ipods. What’s in yours? What do you listen to?
Mariah: Who’s on my playlist right now? Chance the Rapper, pre-grammys, I loved him the very first time I listened to his album. I was listening to him a lot a couple of months ago and I’m really happy for his success. Obviously I’m on the record with YG, so he’s one of my favorites, and he has one of my favorite songs, “Write in Hell.” Honestly, I listen to a lot more Hip Hop and R&B than pop records, so I don’t want to go off on a tangent.
Todd: Speaking of a tangent, I saw a picture of you, and you’ve kind of got a reputation for wearing heels. You’re waking on your tip toes all the time, so you’re always wearing heels. Did I really see you bowling in high heels at the Grammy party? Was that you?
Mariah: You know, somebody was at my house, and we were bowling because there’s a little bowling alley there. I guess they took a video of me bowling, and by the way I got a strike last night, and it was amazing, okay? But that video was not representative, I was wearing high heels and a dress, and the shot was taken from behind. I did not approve it okay? I didn’t approve it, so it wasn’t me!
Todd: Well it was a good shot, it was a good shot. Now Lionel Richie, obviously, is a legend. Lionel Richie is one of those singers that you know by their first name. What is it like to be on tour with Lionel Richie?
Mariah: Well I’m very excited because just like you said, he’s a legend! He’s been making music for so long, he has such a vast catalog of music. I feel very honored to be on this tour and have my 60 minute moment doing my hits, my thing, and doing the best I can.
Todd: I have one follow up question on that though, when I think of Lionel, one of the songs that come to mind is the duet with Shania, “Endless Love.” Is there any chance that we’ll get a duet? Are you going to sing any songs together?
Mariah: Well did you know I did a duet of that song with Luther Vandross? May he rest in peace.
Todd: How about with Lionel? Any chance that you two will be singing together when you come to Grand Rapids?
Mariah: I mean we talked about it, we’re figuring it out, so I think it will be a very nice moment. I guess we’ll see how it works because once I get off stage; it’s really hard for me to get back on there. I’m like, girl we’ve got to keep it together!
Todd: Of course, as always, you sound incredible, and we can’t thank you enough for the time on the Morning Mix and we’re looking forward to seeing you in Grand Rapids when you come here.