Mariah Carey had “identity issues” throughout her childhood.
The Hero singer told Questlove on his Questlove Supreme podcast that she’s pleased she had the chance to release her memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey, last year because it meant she got to tell the story of who she is, as she wants to be remembered for more than just her career.
“When people years from now tell my story – hopefully that happens – they’re gonna have to use that book as a template,” she told Questlove, real name Ahmir Thompson. “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.
“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) colouring 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 (biracial). It begins with all these identity issues, these issues of race, these struggles. Then it goes to the issues of control.”
And the Heartbreaker hitmaker also recalled her early days in the music industry, with record company executives unsure how to market an “ambiguous” woman of colour.
She continued: “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 colour with all this ambiguity and (had) people deciding how they’re going to market me (at the time).”