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Portrait

Portrait

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It’s kind of like a glimpse of a private side of who I am

- Mariah Carey

Written by Mariah Carey & Daniel Moore II
Produced by Mariah Carey & Daniel Moore II

OFFICIAL MIXES

4:01     Album Version

ABOUT THE SONG

  • MC: I like working with people that I feel are just great musicians, like great piano players, so I can articulate something to them. So they can, kind of like, be a vessel that I can work through. Like on this album I worked with Daniel Moore. I know we’re going to get there, but Daniel Moore is my musical director, and he and I wrote a song called “Portrait” for this album. And yeah, I’m looking forward to being able for you guys to hear it ‘cause it’s a very personal song. And, um, we got together - we had never written before - and we got in the studio, and we just sat at the piano because he’s so good that I was just like, I was just pushing, like in terms of the chords and where we were going melodically and just in terms of song structure, just to make it different than things I had done before, but to keep it in the vein of what I was hearing. So it’s like, having that is such a luxury to me, you know what I mean? Because a lot of the stuff when I first started writing was with, maybe with, somebody that wasn’t necessarily a piano player - they might have been a drummer and they second, like, they played keys as a second thing. And then I would kinda like, it would take a long time for me to articulate what I was hearing. Do you know what I’m trying to say? I don’t know if I just went on an unnecessary tangent…

  • Portrait is definitely a song that I’ve very proud of. It’s a extremely personal song, it’s kinda of like a glimpse of a, of a private side of who I am, but I’ve always shared that kind of thing with my fans. Like, even the album Daydream ends with Looking In which is another extremely personal song but, it’s kind of a tradition for me to do stuff like that. I know it’s a little bit different, or very different than the rest of the album, but I think it was important to include because it’s a real reflection of me, and I know that the fans appreciate that.

  • Michael Strahan: What does this album say about where you are in your life right now?

    MC: I think, well I hope, or the reaction that I’ve been getting from the fans is that there’s a lot of feel good records, you know, fun songs and just like, a good place, I’m in a good place. And then there’s some more introspective songs that I think people are responding to as well. So just for me as a songwriter I’m really proud of it.

    MS: Well, you said that your favorite song on the album is “Portrait.”

    MC: It’s the one that I’m the most proud of, probably. 

    MS: And you spent a lot of time writing it, because the the thing about you, you just don’t just get out and just sing lyrics, you write this stuff too. It comes from you.

    MC: Writing is actually my favorite part.

    MS: Which a lot of artists cannot say that. But “Portrait,” you wrote and here are some of the lyrics. I wanna, I wanna, I’m not going to sing them…

    MC: Oh no, It’s too depressing for the morning, I’m lucky I’m awake…

    MS: Not at all! I’m not going to sing it ‘cause I’m not offend you or anybody else.

    But look the other way as a I bottle myself up inside

    I won’t let the teardrops spill tonight

    just conceal myself and hide 

    Portrait of my life

    What inspired those lyrics?

    MC: Oh, just a happy-go-lucky day. Ha ha. You know you can’t, taking it out of context like that, people would be like, “oh my gosh! what’s going on?” But really, it’s any type of song like that I find is like a release of whatever you’re going through emotionally and it’s good to be able to have an outlet to put it in and actually what I’ve noticed is that other people can relate to that and then they are healed by that.

    So it’s process of me, like, healing myself and helping other people as well, hopefully.

    MS: Yeah, and you are definitely doing that.

  • Ryan: We’re back with Mariah Carey, who’s new album is called “Caution.” So, give us a little background on why you decided to name it “Caution.”

    MC: Well, it was going to be called “Portrait” originally, which is another song from the album that’s more of like an introspective - it’s a really good song that I’m very proud of, and kind of like a very sad song, in a way, but it’s also one of those songs that will like help other people going through stuff, or whatever. I try to do that on, you know, various albums that I’ve had. But then I was like, you know, “It’s not fully representative of the whole album.” So the last song that I recorded in the Bahamas in the gorgeous studio called Albany with a hot tub and all this other kinda stuff, I highly recommend it. Anyway…

    Kelly: When we record our album, that’s where we’ll go.

    MC: When you guys, definitely go there, yes.

    Ryan: I’ll eat the water.

    MC: So I recorded this song there and it kinda had a tropical vibe to it, it’s got like a Spanish guitar, kinda, I did it with No I.D. and cowrote it with my friend Prince Charlez - it’s one of my favorites off the album. It was, “proceed with caution” is kinda like the message, so I just thought “Caution” was a cute name. We got creative with the caution tape and a lot of the fans had the caution tape and were like posting stuff with that, it was cute.

  • MC: There’s a line on “Portrait”: “Still the same hopeful child haunted by those severed ties pushing past the parasites.” That’s what it is. There’s a person in me that still needs to be true to that little girl who had so much faith, and hope, and belief, and ambition. A need to remain a kid. And I have to love what I’m doing.

AVAILABILITY

2018.11.16 Released on the Caution album.

LYRICS

Infinity

Infinity

Languishing

Languishing