Mariah Carey re-records fan-favorite song "The Roof"

Thursday 14 April 2022

Mariah Carey re-records fan-favorite song The Roof |
If you've ever wanted to sing like Mariah Carey, now's your chance to learn. On Thursday, subscription-based, expert-taught learning service MasterClass debuted the 53-year-old performer's new course on "how to use the voice as an instrument" featuring lessons about singing, songwriting, and production - as well as a brand-new take on one of her fan-favorite tracks featuring R&B singer Brandy.

Carey spoke exclusively to People about the MasterClass, which offers viewers a behind-the-scenes look into the singer's Butterfly Lounge home studio, where they'll learn how to sing, write meaningful lyrics, construct melodies, communicate them to instrumentalists, and curate musical production.

"It's been such an honor to not only engage with my fans in such a unique way, but to be able to invite the world to experience this special part of me has been my private haven," says the 19-time Billboard Hot 100 chart-topper. "When I started in this industry, being a creative young songwriter, vocalist and producer in these spaces that were so male-dominated was incredibly difficult. I wanted to use this opportunity to share my story and teach my audience how to use their voice as a tool for expression."

MasterClass didn't exist when Carey was growing up, but she credits artists including Al Green, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, and Michael Jackson - as well as her musically talented mother, Patricia - with showing her the ropes in the same way she hopes to guide fans.

"Having a mother that went to Juilliard and was a classically trained opera singer who made her debut at Lincoln Center was the closest I had to music lessons when I was a kid. Music was always present at our house and my mother's musician friends often showed up for late-night jam sessions, which I would sit in on and join," she explains. "It was moments like that, as well as my love for and obsession with the radio."

With a five-octave vocal range and impeccable songwriting and production skills to her credit, Carey's long been asked for advice from up-and-coming musicians. Despite her status as one of the music industry's few prominent female producers, the "We Belong Together" musician says she has a hard time offering "technical" tips about music production.

"I've never been a technical person, I don't read music. I can play a little bit of guitar and even less on a piano," she says. "I feel that my creativity and inspiration have always come from a place of having to survive. That's a difficult thing to teach and that's why this MasterClass is different!"

The singer's unique approach to MasterClass sees her coach 43-year-old Grammy winner Brandy through a collaborative, re-recorded version of fan-favorite track "The Roof (Back in Time)", which Carey considers better than the original version from her 1997 album, Butterfly.

"Brandy and I both loved the original background vocals arrangement of 'The Roof' and decided we wanted to update it," she says of the collaboration. "I really believe it's surpassed the original and I can't wait for you all to hear it!"

Speaking further on the choice to feature Brandy in her MasterClass, Carey says it was a "no-brainer" considering their decades-long history as music industry peers. "We've grown up in this industry together and experienced all of its highs and lows basically side-by-side," says the "Fantasy" chanteuse. "To have established a special relationship with an incredible talent, incredible mother and incredible human being, it was a no-brainer to call Brandy."

In a press release sent out with the announcement of Carey's MasterClass, company founder and CEO David Rogier expressed excitement toward subscribers' ability to learn from the superstar. "Mariah is simply a genius. She's one of the greatest artists of all time," he said. "In her class, Mariah is opening up her studio for the first time ever, teaching members how to use their voice throughout the music-making process, including in the studio and while navigating the industry."

Carey may be in the teacher's seat now, but if she were to take a MasterClass from an artist she admires, who would it be? "Stevie Wonder," she dishes. "I wouldn't expect him to teach a class in a traditional way. To me, he is music."


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