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Mariah Carey
This April the original super diva returns with a brand new record, her tenth studio album, titled The Emancipation Of Mimi. Who is Mimi and why is Mariah talking about her emancipation? Since there's no way for the average listener to guess, we'll just tell you - Mimi is Mariah's nickname, used so far only by those closest to her. With the new album, everyone gets to share.

Ever since she made her musical debut in 1990, Mariah has commanded the world's attention. Whether it's her multi-octave voice, multiple Mariah-featuring videos, marriage to much-older music mogul Tommy Mottola, divorce from the same, her butterfly fascination, far from glittering acting career or appearances on TV in her typical, dare-to-bear style… the world has always talked about Mariah.
Now, after more than a decade of hits that include a staggering fifteen number 1 singles, Mariah brings you The Emancipation of Mimi. The new album was entirely written and co-produced by Mariah and features collaborations with artists like Nelly, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, the Neptunes, Jermaine Dupri and Twista. Mariah has called this her most revealing album to date and it is an intimate portrayal of both the challenges and successes that she experienced during her rise to unparalleled fame.

The Record brings you an exclusive transcript courtesy Universal Music where Mariah talks about her brand new album, her many nicknames, iconic video moments and why she feels emancipated.

Tell us about your latest album.
Mariah: My latest album is called The Emancipation of Mimi. I'm really excited about it. I have written some of my favorite songs ever, worked with a lot of great producers, and [it features] some of my best vocal performances ever. With this album, I am embracing my independence and celebrating the person that I have become. Over the years, I have evolved into a better person and an even better artist. For the first time in my life, I am proud and unafraid to be who I really am, and that's what the music of this album and its title reflect. By naming it The Emancipation of Mimi and referencing 'Mimi' a nickname only used by those closest to me, I am inviting my fans into my life. I have all different kinds of songs on this album: up-tempo dance records, great collaborations, beautiful ballads, and inspirational songs.

You recorded in the island of Capri. What is it about Capri that inspires you?
Mariah: Capri is just a very special place. It's beautiful. The scenery is amazing. Usually I work starting from the night into the morning. So I see the sunrise and I see this beautiful Mediterranean sea out in front of me while I'm singing. So that's totally inspiring. Plus, the people there really treat me, you know, very well. They really treat me like I was born there. So that's really cool.

Is this your most personal album?
Mariah: I think in some ways this album is my most personal just because of how tangible I feel I am on this record. But I also feel like it's my most fun record. It's my most fun record with obviously touches of really heartfelt ballads and stuff like that. There are certain elements of things that I would never have had the guts to say or put in songs like a couple of years ago because that would be me and my friend's private jokes. But on this record we were just like 'Whatever, we'll just put it in'. It's fun.

Do you think that the songs you've recorded in the last couple of years have led up to this moment?
Mariah: I feel like I'm in a great place. I feel like I made one of the best records of my life. And, you know, everything that has led up to this point has contributed to getting me to this point. I can't ever be like, 'Oh I shouldn't have done this, I shouldn't have done that, I wish I'd done this record three years ago.' Whatever. It happened for a reason. And I'm here now. So it's great.

What do you think will surprise people when they listen to this album?
Mariah: I think that people are gonna be…I don't know if 'surprised' is the right word. But I think people will probably respond well to the approach I took vocally on certain songs. A little more full voice belting on certain tracks, and sometimes I really like to be laid back. That's just an option that I have as a vocalist, as an artist. So that's something that I choose to do. But I think mainly people are gonna enjoy the vibe of the album. It's really upbeat.

You can read the rest of our exclusive with Mariah Carey in the April 2005 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

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