Touch My Body
The track was inspired by early’90s hip-hop
- Mariah Carey
Written by Mariah Carey, Crystal Johnson, Terius “The-Dream” Nash, Christopher “Tricky” Stewart
Produced by Mariah Carey & Christopher “Tricky” Stewart
3:28 Album Version
4:19 Remix ft Rick Ross & The-Dream (AKA The Love/Hate Remix or Tricky Remix)
3:21 Live at the Pearl Palms Concert Theatre (Unofficial Release on iTunes)
9:56 Craig C Club Remix
7:58 Craig C Dub
4:02 Craig C Radio Edit
9:46 Seamus Haji & Paul Emanuel Club Remix
8:35 Seamus Haji & Paul Emanuel Dub
3:53 Seamus Haji & Paul Emanuel Radio Edit
4:34 Subkulcha Radio Edit
7:00 Subkulcha Remix
ABOUT THE SONG
Mariah Daily Journal: How did Mariah hear of you, and what about your work piqued her interest?
Cri$tyle Johnson: Mariah heard of me from JD. He told Mariah he wanted her to meet/work with his new writer Cri$tyle. My manager and I were hoping he would put me in with her but Jermaine is one of those people who don't believe in handouts. He believes you have to work hard and earn everything in this biz. So I guess he felt like I had earned a shot. But there were no guarantees. He wasn't gonna write the song for me, or make MC like working with me. When we started working, the two of us (MC and I) were singing melodies and joking around with lyrics. The first song we did that night was "Cruise Control." I think the fact that we were both singing similar melodies and having such a fun time coming up with the lyrics made her comfortable working with me. And it made me comfortable with her also.
MDJ: What was the writing process for your songs together?
CJ: The writing process was very relaxed. We would go in this little outside area overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Sometimes we would even take a stroll on the beach. Very much like a vacation. But that really helped us to vibe out and get a consistent "no pressure" atmosphere going. We would work really late some days. All the songs we wrote were straight collaboration. MC would play tracks she had gotten from different producers, and we'd pick the one that hit us at the time. A lot of times we'd come up with melody first, then try to get a concept, then lyrics. But there was no specific method with us. We just hung out and wrote hot records in the process. Ya gotta love that!
MDJ: Who came up with the "YouTube" and "I will hunt you down" lines?
CJ: MC came up with the YouTube line and we were both joking around and came up with "I will hunt you down." I was like, "I bet you won't say that" and she was like, "Whatever, watch! [laughs] Hilarious!
MDJ: Was Mariah open to trying different ideas? Did you feel comfortable telling Mariah when you didn't like a direction she was heading in? How open was she to criticism?
CJ: Mariah was very open to new ideas. She loves to surprise her audience but at the same time she respects her fans enough to still remain the Mariah everybody loves. There was never an intense moment where I felt like I couldn't tell her how I felt about a lyric or melody. She has a suprisingly high level of respect for me and my talent so she was always asking what I thought of a line or note. She really wanted to make sure that the songs were perfect. We would write a verse then move on to the hook, and she may go back like an hour later and say, "Let's change this part." Perfection is a close friend of MC! [laughs]
MDJ: Mariah usually works with big-named writers/producers, were you surprised you got to collaborate on FOUR songs? Were you upset that none of the reviews for "Touch My Body" mentioned you, just Tricky & The-Dream?
CJ: I was very shocked that she requested me after we had done the songs with JD. I got a call one day like, "Mariah wants to fly you in to work on the rest of the album." She treated me like royalty. We actually wrote about 8 or 9 songs together. Over a two-month period I was hanging with the star! Even got to help her pick out the bottle for her "M" fragrance, which is the bomb by the way! I wasn't upset about the reviews for the single not mentioning me. I had hung out with Tricky a few days before the song hit radio, and we were laughing, having a good time with some mutual friends; and I spoke to Dream on the phone the day "Touch My Body" hit. We were both congratulating each other. At the end of the day... I had the opportunity to work and become friends with someone who influenced my music tremendously. I couldn't ask for more. God is good!
MDJ: Were you present when she was laying down her vocals? What was that recording process like?
CJ: I was there when she laid some of her vocals. She don't like to have people around for that process because she takes it very seriously, but I guess she felt comfortable 'round lil ol' me [laughs]. I would record the song first so we could hear it in its entirety and make any changes that we needed to make. Then MC would re-record it and add that special flare that only she can [laughs]. I actually had the opportunity to record a lotta background vocals on the album. We stuck very well together. I've been practicing to Mariah's voice for years, so I guess it's safe to say I was well prepared! The recording process was very relaxed, and simple. She didn't record in a big studio with all kinds of expensive equipment. It was just MC, me and her engineer in a small room at her house. Very low key. But when you have vocals like Mariah... you don't need all that other stuff.
MDJ: What do you think of the 4 songs ("Touch My Body," "Cruise Control," "Heat" and "Lovin' You Long Time") you & Mariah wrote together. Can you describe each, and which is your favorite?
CJ: I think they are all "stone winners" (as Mariah would say), I love them all, I couldn't stop singing them in my head at first [laughs]. "Cruise Control" was the first one we did, I think for both of us, it's a favorite! It's a mid-tempo with a lil' island feel to it. It features Damian Marley. "Heat" is an uptempo that has a little humor to it, but it's so realistic. We wanted to make sure it was very visual, people are gonna love that one! "Touch My Body" came next. We were looking at the beach and the breeze outside was so relaxing. Hence the line "I want you to caress me like a tropical breeze." The sun was setting and it just gave us a chill vibe. So that's how the song came about. "Lovin' You Long Time" was last but not least. The whole time we were recording that one we just kept saying, "this is a huge record!" We spent extra time on that one cuz we wanted it just right. And it came out amazing!
Mariah Daily Journal “MDJ Exclusive Interview with Cri$tyle," February 22, 2008
"It's amazing to feel just how fast 'Touch My Body' is exploding all around the world," Mariah enthused. "I'm just so thankful, because it's a song that I love so much, a song that really does express my personality." In case you missed it on the first listen, the reason Mariah threatens to "hunt you down" isn't to get some action — it's in case you put that action on YouTube. So if you're going to get busy with Mariah, keep it private! "For most of my close friends, that's their favorite song, because it's fun and it's cute and it's not taking itself too seriously, you know what I mean? I love the humor in it." That humor is conveyed more in the video, directed by Brett Ratner. "He had some time because of the writers' strike, and he was really feeling the record," she said of the clip, which co-stars "30 Rock" funnyman Jack McBrayer. "The idea of Jack McBrayer came up, and I was like, 'That's amazing!' Because he is hilarious. Why take this so seriously? They're videos."
MTV “MARIAH CAREY LEADS A TRACK-BY-TRACK TOUR OF E=MC2, WHICH SHE CALLS '100 PERCENT OF ME’ by Jennifer Vineyard, April 11, 2008
“I remember walking into the studio and meeting “The-Dream” and “Tricky” for the first time. Dream just started humming some melodies: “Mmm mmm my body my body mmm mmm my body” …it was very interesting and pretty f#cking hilarious. The track was inspired by early’90s hip-hop; it’s a feel good record. We were all really feeling the same type of vibe with regard to the beat and how the song should evolve. We then finished the lyrics with Crystal Johnson, a fav collaborator of mine. We had so much fun writing this song because there are so many little private jokes and yet such overt ones as well. To all of our surprise, this is the song that broke Elvis’ record for #1 singles on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. I’m still kinda in shock about it. As magical as it is to be a part of history in this way, it is indescribable and extremely humbling as well.”
#1 to Infinity liner notes, 2015
2008 Released on the E=MC2 album.
2015 Included on the #1 to Infinity compilation album.