NEWS MESSAGEBOARD DISCOGRAPHY

Rooming with Mariah

Sunday 13 June 2004

As soon as she graduated high school, Mariah had her bags packed and was prepared to begin a new life in New York City as a serious musician. But first she needed a place to stay, so she anylized her options and soon found herself sharing a one-bedroom apartment owned by fellow singer Clarissa Dane.
But life wasn't so easy in those early days. Although Mariah was on her own, both money and food were scarce, and because the apartment she lived in was so small, she had to settle for sleeping on a mattress on the living room floor. Obviously things eventually picked up and Mariah turned her dreams of musicality into a wildly successful career.
But her roommate Clarissa Dane (whom Mariah says is full of "talent" and "integrity") turned out to be pretty successful as well. Clarissa has written and worked with major producers like Walter Afanasieff, Gary Cirimelli, and Ed Tuton, and in 1993 she signed a publishing deal with Sony Music. Since then, she did an alternative album and two videos for Epic Records and has continued to work as a songwriter and singer, collaborating with the likes of Amy Grant and Deborah Gibson.
Mariah Daily talked with Clarissa about her personal friendship with Mariah and the times they faced together years ago as two struggling performers.

MD: How did you first meet Mariah?
Clarissa: I first met Mariah through her brother Morgan, who I met working at Studio 54. He told me his "little sister" was a singer and wanted to do some demos and could we work with her. I said sure. When I saw her, there was nothing little about her. She was a strikingly beautiful, tall 16 year old (going on 25). She was really sweet, quiet, and sort of shy at first, and then I got to know her. Very funny and very smart and very talented. Something we had in common was that she didn't really know her father growing up and I was given up for adoption. I found my biological mother 14 years ago. We were friends through all of that.

MD: What did you observe about Mariah and her talents? Did you ever think she would reach this level of stardom?
Clarissa: One thing we always had in common was the determination to "make it". When Mariah and I were roommates, we used to record fake interviews on cassette tapes all the time to rehearse for the "real thing". There were the pessimistic people that we tried to avoid or just ignore. She had such drive and a great work ethic that I knew there would be no stopping her. She had the talent, it was just a matter of the right record company getting behind her and selling it. As soon as I heard the first cuts from her first album, I knew she would be huge or I would have lost faith in the entire music industry. It was awesome, flawless. I was telling everyone, "You watch. She is going to be as big as Michael Jackson." But I think she exceeded everyone's expectations.

MD: Do you remember what it was like for Mariah when she signed her record deal?
Clarissa: It was truly a dream come true and I think more of a fitting reality. It was all she wanted. She was relieved and of course very happy. She was always very professional and a step by step kind of person. She knew how much work it would take, and though it seemed to the world an overnight success, it was really years in the making. Hard, hard work and long, long hours.

MD: What was life like sharing that apartment with Mariah and your other roommate Josefin? We hear at times it was pretty dramatic... complete with fires and floods.
Clarissa: It was nuts. It is always nuts in New York when you're young and following a dream. Before we were living with Josefin on 22nd street, it was bigger drama. We lived on 85th and Columbus Avenue and had like six roommates. All in and out all the time. One had a rat that sat on her shoulder wherever she went. One sliced up our furniture and clothes. We got robbed, wonder who did that, you name it.

MD: Is it true that money was tight and food was almost an afterthought?
Clarissa: Money is tight for everyone starting off. You got food where you worked and that was usually one meal: dinner. But the thing is, you only work toward what you want. People do whatever it takes.

MD: Did you ever collaborate with Mariah on music?
Clarissa: Yes. We wrote a bunch of songs. (One was called "Fade Away".) We wrote it one night, all night, the whole thing. She came up with the first line and melody for "Just another lonely night..." and then we went off on that. It was more of a rock song. I did the music on my home studio and we both sang different verses and background vocals. I still love that song. I haven't heard it in years. We did a more final demo with producer Ed Tuton, before he was known, at his home studio but never did get to do a recorded version.

MD: Tell us about "As Long As I Can Sing".
Clarissa: David Freidman approached me with the idea to write a song for Mariah. I knew she wrote all her own stuff very well, and thought it wouldn't fly with her. To this day I don't know if she ever even heard it. David had a singer do the demo who really did a great job on it. It isn't quite a Mariah Carey song but perhaps someone out there will record it one day to radio.

MD: You attended Mariah's wedding. Was the event as surreal as it looked on the outside?
Clarissa: That wedding was the most unreal thing for all of us. It was the first time we understood how famous Mariah was becoming. There were just tons of people chanting her name. It was wild. I was in the wedding and had to walk down the longest isle you ever saw. I was actually a brides maid. There were four of us all together. Mostly everyone who was invited to the wedding was a celebrity in their own right and to have all these faces you've seen all your life and admired for years watching you was totally surreal. A couple of ushers were huge celebrities. Super talented people. The reality of it is that we are all human. Everyone was very normal and nice and fun to talk to. It put it all into prospective. We all have to do our laundry.

MD: What do you consider to be your most memorable experience with Mariah?
Clarissa: The most memorable and fun experiences with Mariah were when it was just the two of us. It has been years since we just hung out without bodyguards and all of that. Let's see... staying up all night recording the "perfect" answering machine outgoing message, writing notes and getting in trouble at work, sneaking around looking for the guys we had a crush on, writing songs and singing, doing some crazy records together, running away from everyone for ice cream, lunch in Paris, the simple things. (And also hanging out with Josefin. I love Josefin.)

MD: Do you still keep in touch with Mariah?
Clarissa: She sent my baby girl Cadance a beautiful dress, cashmere blanket, and silver rattle for her birth last year. We haven't spoken in a long time. We are leading very different lives and she is the busiest person I know. I barely have time to call my own mom, so I can only imagine what it is like for her to keep up with everyone. She's been through a lot and I think of her often. I know she has good people around her and that's all that matters. I'm always here and she knows that.

MD: Are you interested in Mariah's music? You seem to have a different taste in music than she does.
Clarissa: We do different styles in music but we also both like all styles. She is one of the most versatile people I know, which is something else not many people know. She can sing anything, any style. I have favorite songs of hers for sure. "Anytime You Need A Friend", "Hero", of course "Vision of Love", and "Looking In" is one of my all time favorites of hers. She is as real as ever on that song. It is perfect.

MD: Do you think Mariah has changed as a person since the time you knew her?
Clarissa: If I have a bad day and happen to snap at a cab driver, it goes unnoticed like most of us. The thing about being in the public eye is, if it is "Mariah Carey" or any celebrity, they are pegged as such and it's in some paper the next day. We all have our moments of frustration, just most of us aren't recorded and penalized so harshly for it. It's funny. I don't see her very often and so I can easily be drawn into the "Mariah Carey" image that we all see and she seems like a distant stranger, but the minute I see her and hang out with her, it's right back to how it always was. Just like with any friend you see over time, there is no time. She is just Mariah. She is the same.

Clarissa Dane's song "Silent Lullaby" is available on "The Songs You Love", a compilation album promoting adoption. Her duet with Gary Cirimelli called "We Will Always Survive" is available on "Friends For Life", a compilation album featuring such artists as Aretha Franklin and Elton John for the benefit of breast and prostate cancer research.

(Mariah Daily)

There are not yet comments to this article.
add comment login create account edit account

The Number Ones: Mariah Carey's "I Don't Wanna Cry"
Mariah Carey's self-titled 1990 debut album spun off four singles, and all four of those singles vaulted all the way to the top of the Billboard Hot 100. In the entire history of the Hot 100, only one other act had gone to #1 with their first four singles.
(Monday 29 November 2021)
Mariah Carey teaches twins a happy Hanukkah song
Mariah Carey is best known as the Christmas Queen. The singer who has ruled the holiday season for decades with "All I Want For Christmas is You", mixed things up on Sunday night by teaching her 10-year-old twins one of her favorite Hanukkah songs.
(Monday 29 November 2021)
Mariah Carey rings in the holiday season
She is well known for her infectious 1994 track All I Want for Christmas Is You. And on Saturday, Mariah Carey embraced the holiday season by striking a post by a roaring fireplace adorned with twinkle lights, ornaments and stockings on Instagram.
(Sunday 28 November 2021)
Mariah Carey teases biopic based on her book
There could be a Mariah Carey biopic on the way. "I wrote my memoir last year, and it's only relevant to this conversation because the paperback is now out." She is getting together with Lee Daniels to work on an adaptation of the book.
(Wednesday 24 November 2021)
Mariah Carey jingles back onto Billboard Hot 100
Fresh off earning the No. 1 spot on Billboard's Greatest of All Time Holiday 100 Songs retrospective, Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" adds a new chapter to its chart history. The carol dashes back onto the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 36.
(Tuesday 23 November 2021)
Mariah Carey lobbies for the return of kids' show
Mariah Carey took to social media on Monday to rally support for the return of one of her favorite childhood TV shows. "Please support Carole and Paula! Help bring back Magic Garden," the icon wrote alongside a retweet.
(Tuesday 23 November 2021)
Mariah set to re-enter the Official Singles Chart Top 40
Christmas season has officially started as festive classics by Mariah and Wham! are poised to re-enter the Official Singles Chart Top 40 this week. Mariah's All I Want For Christmas Is You leads the charge of holiday favourites returning to the chart.
(Monday 22 November 2021)
Florida family faces fine for early Christmas lights display
A Florida family has fallen foul of their "grinch" homeowners' association rules by putting up their Christmas lights too early. The Moffa family hired a company to decorate the yard of their Tampa home on 6 November, NBC affiliate WFLA reported.
(Sunday 21 November 2021)
Mariah Carey glitters in trailer for Christmas special
"I can't not celebrate Christmas with the world," says Mariah Carey in the trailer for her forthcoming Christmas special. She has partnered with Apple TV+ for a second year to release a festive concert, titled Mariah's Christmas: The Magic Continues.
(Thursday 18 November 2021)
Mariah Carey tops Billboard's holiday chart
We've made two lists, and we've checked them twice (actually more than twice): Billboard's Greatest of All Time Holiday 100 Songs and Greatest of All Time Top Holiday Albums charts. The song survey is led by Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You".
(Thursday 18 November 2021)
Mariah shares inspiration behind All I Want For Christmas
Mariah Carey's smash Christmas hit "All I Want For Christmas Is You" tops the charts every holiday season, but now the singer is revealing it almost didn't happen. Carey explains that originally, she wasn't sure about doing holiday music.
(Wednesday 17 November 2021)
Mariah Carey seen in bizarre McDonald's ad
McDonald's has announced their partnership with Mariah Carey to bring more younger customers and increase the number of members for their loyalty program. This is not the first time they have announced their partnership with a musical icon.
(Friday 12 November 2021)
Mariah Carey teams up with McDonald's
Mariah Carey continues her reign as the queen of Christmas by spreading holiday cheer with some help from McDonald's. On Wednesday, she revealed a collaboration in the form of an entire menu with goodies for 12 days leading up to Christmas.
(Wednesday 10 November 2021)
Mariah Carey holiday collection
Is it really the holiday season if you haven't blasted "All I Want for Christmas Is You" approximately a million times? This year, to celebrate her essential festive bop, Mariah has partnered with NECA to launch her first collection of official holiday merch.
(Monday 8 November 2021)
Fans choose Mariah as this week's favorite new music
Mariah Carey's holiday season return has topped this week's fan-voted new music release poll. Music fans voted in a poll that was published Friday on Billboard, choosing "Fall in Love at Christmas" as their favorite new music release of the past week.
(Monday 8 November 2021)
Mariah's song wants you to "Fall in Love at Christmas"
The long-awaited holiday single of the year is here, sung by the Christmas Queen herself: Mariah Carey. After teasing the new song on Twitter earlier this week, Carey released "Fall in Love at Christmas" - featuring Khalid and Kirk Franklin - on Friday.
(Friday 5 November 2021)
Mariah Carey's new Christmas single just dropped
Christmas is officially approaching, and overnight we've had confirmation from the Queen of Christmas herself (in the shape of a shiny new song, no less). Mariah Carey just dropped her latest Christmas single and guess what? We're obsessed.
(Friday 5 November 2021)
Guilty Gear fans mistake Mariah joke for DLC tease
If you're not in-the-know about all the latest video game fighters, you might not be familiar with Guilty Gear, but the latest entry in the series, Strive, is quite the sensation in the fighting game community (often called the FGC).
(Thursday 4 November 2021)
Mariah Carey shares snippet of snow-dusted power ballad
That sound you're hearing is the distant patter of perfectly lacquered reindeer hooves. Which means that we're just days away from Christmas Queen Mariah Carey dropping her new holiday classic ballad, "Fall in Love at Christmas".
(Wednesday 3 November 2021)
Mariah Carey teams with Apple for new holiday special
It's only fitting that the Christmas queen is getting her own holiday special. Apple announced on Tuesday (November 2) that Mariah Carey will return to Apple+ next month with a new holiday special, Mariah's Christmas: The Magic Continues.
(Tuesday 2 November 2021)
Mariah Carey announces new festive single with Khalid
Mariah Carey has announced a new festive single with Khalid, "Fall In Love At Christmas". Due to arrive this Friday, the collaborative track also features gospel singer Kirk Franklin. A 30-second preview reveals the song to be a romantic ballad.
(Tuesday 2 November 2021)
Mariah kicks off Christmas season with pumpkin smash
Once the clock struck midnight on Monday, Halloween was over and Mariah Carey officially declared it Christmas season. In a video she shared on social media, the pop icon suited up in red from head to toe and captioned it "Ready? Let's go!"
(Monday 1 November 2021)
Mariah Carey and Luis Miguel's relationship
His voice entertained a generation but now the story of Luis Miguel's life is captivating a whole new audience. The third and final season of Netflix's Spanish-language Luis Miguel: The Series, a biopic on Latin sensation was released on Thursday.
(Saturday 30 October 2021)
A bar bans "All I Want for Christmas Is You"
Mariah isn't afraid to go on a war on Christmas to defend "All I Want for Christmas". She took to social media to respond to a fan who shared a sign next to an establishment's jukebox that banned people from playing her holiday hit before December 1.
(Friday 29 October 2021)
Mariah Carey dumps mom's home
Families are complicated. Just ask Mariah Carey. Earlier this year, both the superstar pop diva's estranged siblings sued her, alleging emotional distress and defamation for statements made about them in "The Meaning of Mariah Carey", her 2020 tell-all memoir.
(Tuesday 26 October 2021)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 626

© The Mariah Carey Archives 1998 - 2021
www.facebook.com/mcarchives
www.mcarchives.com/specials/rssfeed.xml