Watch Mariah Carey Tell Stephen Colbert About Her Secret 1995 Grunge Album
Today, Mariah Carey publishes her memoir The Meaning Of Mariah Carey. A few days ago, in the lead-up to publication, Carey tweeted something truly baffling. As it turns out, Carey recorded and released a secret grunge album in 1995. While Carey was working on her diamond-selling LP Daydream, Carey and her band also jammed out a fizzy alt-pop album under the name Chick. The album actually came out, on a major label and everything, but nobody knew that Carey was the force behind the album until this week.
Chick, the Mariah Carey alt-rock band, released the album Somebody’s Ugly Daughter in 1995. Clarissa Dane, Carey’s roommate at the time, sang lead. Carey wrote, produced, and sang backup vocals on the album’s songs, and she also directed a music video and art-directed the packaging. Last night, Carey was on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show to talk about her book, and Colbert wasn’t about to let something like that go.
Carey herself actually brought up the Chick album during the interview. When Colbert asked about it, Carey told the story:
It was for laughs. I did it for laughs and because it was such a popular genre at the time. I was like, “Well, I have a full band here. Let’s just do something, and I’ll just make up some nonsense and sing it.”…
I worked with my friend Clarissa, who came in and did vocals on top of what I had laid out. Because the label was like, “You can’t do this! What are you talking about?” It was a big deal! So she came in and laid her vocals, and then she wrote a song, as well. She had been someone who was really nice to me before I had a record deal. She let me live with her. She was a very sweet, very kind person to me when not many people were…
I did a video, and I wanted it to be released so bad. My plan was I was going to dress up in a costume and make a video and be unrecognizable and just release it and see what happened. But that got stifled by certain people at the label. So I had to abandon the project, but I’m happy that, at this moment, the fans are getting to hear it. Because it’s me doing an accent, doing an imitation of someone who I created who doesn’t actually exist. Again, there’s layered vocals on top of it, so only someone who really knows my voice would be able to hear that and know that it’s me.
You can see Carey tell the whole tale at the 5:48 mark of the video below.
The Meaning Of Mariah Carey is out today. All of this is completely fascinating, and I look forward to the story that Carey also secretly recorded a blog-house album in 2005, or a chillwave album in 2009, or SoundCloud rap album in 2018.