Background Vocals, Part 2

Mariah Carey

Lesson time 13:35 min

Mariah breaks down key elements of her process as she continues her recording session with Brandy. Then she combines the new background vocals with the string quartet session.

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Topics include: Producing Brandy’s Vocals • Building the Outro • Bringing It Together


[MUSIC PLAYING] - I honestly like singing backgrounds better than leads, I really do. I mean, not that I don't like singing lead, it's just that I have-- it's not always fun, but I enjoy doing background vocals. I think that they've been important to specific songs that I've done, because they added texture that can lift you up or it can bring things to, like, an ethereal place, you know? I don't know, I just have fun playing with it. Honestly, I never really get tired of that. Like, that's a fun thing for me to do. Here you go. This is actually the second double, so let's get this one. - Well, you just did a harmony. Are you going to double the harmony? - I'm going to double the harmony, yeah. - Here we go. [MUSIC PLAYING] - (SINGING) Every time I feel the need, I you caressing me, and go back in time, to relive the splendor of you and I on a rooftop that rainy night. - (SINGING) Ahh. MARIAH CAREY: Whoever the singer is, I'm sure I would want them to give their thing to it. But with Brandy, I just love her intonation, and also the way she'll do something sometimes where she sings something and then she has a very specific way she'll trail off at the end. It's her wheelhouse. Everybody has their own wheelhouse. - (SINGING) --and it was definitely. MARIAH CAREY: And if you want to do any of your trills going downward-- - (SINGING) It was definitley. MARIAH CAREY: --whatever, you know. - (SINGING) It was definitely. MARIAH CAREY: Yeah! - (SINGING) It was definitely. MARIAH CAREY: Yes. When I do my part, my plan is not to try and do it like Brandy. My plan is to do it where it's supporting those tracks, and also I'm doing my own little thing on top of it. So I think you just have to play with it. And I really liked the fact that we were able to capture that, and we're going to be able to blend those two things together. - (SINGING) Yeah. It wasn't raining yet-- Yet. --but it was definitely-- --but it was definitely-- --a little misty on a warm November night. And my heart was pounding. Pounding. My inner voice resounding-- Ah. --begging me to turn away, but I just had to see your face to feel alive. - Can I hear that? - That was beautiful. BRANDY: (SINGING) To feel alive. - Brandy, let me ask you a question. BRANDY: Yeah? - You want to double that real quick while you're at-- BRANDY: Want me to? - --that first part? - (SINGING) But it was definitely. MARIAH CAREY: Let's say I'm going (SINGING) time. Right? And I want to do it the same (SINGING) time. But I didn't feel like I did it perfectly together, I'll just keep trying to get it tight. And then sometimes I'll just add something different to the end of it, or add an octave below it. So-- so a double, for me, is when you do something and then you do the same thing on top o...

About the Instructor

With a five-octave range and soaring whistle tones, Mariah Carey reigns as the “Songbird Supreme.” Now, for the first time, she’s opening up her studio to show you her creative process. Learn how she uses her iconic voice to write songs, collaborate, and produce—and discover how some of her biggest hits were made. Draw inspiration from Mariah’s journey and connect with the power of your own voice and vision.

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Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey invites you into her studio to share her process. Learn how she uses her iconic voice to create, collaborate, and express a vision.

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