Mariah Carey has opened up about her racial identity and the complexities of being a female musician in a male-dominated industry during a recent in an episode of Questlove Supreme’s weekly podcast (January 13). The R&B icon discusses her experience growing up and the challenges she faced as a racially ambiguous child, and later, world-famous pop star.
Mariah Carey is making sure she’s in control of her own narrative.
Chatting with Questlove (né Ahmir Thompson) in an all-new episode of his podcast Questlove Supreme, the five-time Grammy winner, 50, opened up about some of the challenges she faced while growing up as a racially ambiguous child
“When people years from now tell my story — hopefully that happens — they’re gonna have to use that book as a template,” Carey told Questlove, 49, of her memoir The Meaning of Mariah Carey. “This is my actual story. I look at a lot of people that I admired who didn’t get a chance to do that. They may have told their stories through their music and people interpret their stories.”
She continued on the episode, which drops Wednesday: “I know some people, Ahmir, like to have everybody else’s input and their perspective. But what I wanted was to tell my actual story, which doesn’t begin with, ‘Mariah Carey put out Vision of Love in 1990.’ No, it doesn’t begin with that. It begins [with me] coloring in the ‘wrong’ crayon with a brown crayon for my father, so they all freak out at me.”
“It begins with, ‘I don’t understand my hair because I’m [half-black],'” recalled the star. “It begins with all these identity issues, these issues of race, these struggles. Then it goes to the issues of control.”
The “Always Be My Baby” hitmaker told Questlove she did not only deal with identity crises throughout her childhood.
As she began breaking into the music industry, “there’s a thing where there’s a constant theme [with] being a woman in a male-dominated industry. Then [I was] a woman of color with all this ambiguity and [had] people deciding how they’re going to market me [at the time].”
Ahead of her memoir’s release last September, Carey told fans the book was an “improbable and inspiring journey of survival and resilience” documenting her lifelong struggles with “race, identity, class, childhood and family trauma.”
Part one of Carey’s Questlove Supreme episode — which will cover “everything from her catalogue of chart-topping music to her new memoir,” according to a press release — will be released tomorrow; a second portion will drop on Friday.
— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) January 13, 2021
Mariah and Questlove — the interview we didn’t know that we needed!