Christmas is to Carey what reindeers are to Santa, and this year she has doubled down on the festive cheer. The Queen of Christmas, which spawned the smash hit All I Want For Christmas is You, comes with the animated movie The Star, for what she composed the central theme.
Carey, that has the Spanish song My Todo is a very prolific artist able to speak fluently in our language as she has roots in Cuba and Venezuela.
Q: Why are Christmas so important to you?
A: t’s not too hard to get me into a Christmas mood. I love decorating the tree, I love everything about it. We spend it in Aspen and go on a two-horse open sleigh ride through the snow. We have live reindeer come to the house every year, as well as Santa Claus, who always makes an appearance. But it wasn’t always that way. I grew up in New York with my mother and Christmases were very different. My mother would go caroling or have her friends come over to the house and she would play the piano and sing together with friends. When I was growing up, my mother tried to make everything a good experience for me, even if she didn’t have a lot of money. She would wrap up fruit and give it to me because it’s fun just to open presents when you are a kid. It’s part of the whole experience.
Q: How did you compose the song The Star?
A: When Broadway composer Marc Shaiman and I co-wrote the song together, I thought it would be fun for the children to participate on the track with me. It gave it a very Christmas-y and fun type of vibe, while sticking to the message and the spirit of Christmas. I love Christmas obviously and I thought it would be a great opportunity to work with Marc Shaiman again. We have written two other songs, both holiday songs. So, we got together. The greatest thing about that experience for me was learning from him. He’s written and scored so many films. What I really enjoyed was watching the film itself while writing the music together.
Q: What it means the Star of Christmas for you?
A: Marshall tried to bring as much of the narrative while we watch the movie itself and wrote it. We didn’t write the entire song in a sitting, we wrote the song first part watching the film and after we played what we have to all the producers involved in the project and then we were able to continue writing the song about the true meaning of Christmas. I felt the way it was portrayed in the movie was something that we really wanted to make sure that the song reflected the spirit. We tried to really stay on top to make it a message that the kids could relate to because the film is obviously animation. It’s great. We saw the movie and took the kids to the screening.
Q: What is your family tradition in Christmas?
A: I have so many traditions. Everything from live reindeer and Santa Claus comes. This is true. We are in Aspen and there is snow. There is always snow. We have been doing that with my extended family for years. Now I tried to just make sure that the kids have a great experience as well. It’s really about making them happy. Before I had my own kids, I would try to do that for other people’s kids, for my friends and for myself. I want a good holiday too, selfishly I will say it. We do white Christmas every year and we go to Aspen I don’t go there for the celebrity aspect of it, but I go there because we do things behind the scenes like go in the slopes
Q: You are still the Queen of Christmas?
A: I am doing a Christmas tour this year and I have another project called ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ which is inspired by the song. The spirit of Christmas is always with me, I also like traditions and other things. I take it a bit far but is fun, we have Santa Claus coming to the house, live reindeers and my kids wait for it all year long, same as me. Then we did a children’s book as well, too. So, it’s just something that I look forward to all year long. Even if it’s work and it’s the holiday season, I prefer to take time off and do what everybody else does. It’s what I love. I love music. I just want to spend my time having a good time during the holidays, with friends and family.
Q: What do you do when you are not performing?
A: I love cooking. Cooking is fun. I like to have a sous chef. I do that as well, because to be candid, it makes it easier for me. But the truth is, I do most of that around the holiday season. So, I cook for everybody and force them to eat whatever I make.
Q: Do you speak Spanish?
A: Yes, a little. My grandfather’s last name was Nuñez, My grandfather made up the name Carey, when he came to America to be more accepted, I guess. But that was funny, because that’s an Irish name and Irish people were discriminated against at that time.
A: Do you read in Spanish?
A: Not really but I do listen to many songs in Spanish, many Spanish composers
Q: What is your inspiration?
A: Inspiration is everything. I wouldn’t be a song writer if I didn’t have many influences from many places, also from Spanish or my faith. To make a movie based on my faith is an honor to be a part of. Tell to my kids about it is not yet the time but it will come
Q: This is very pure, specially on the times we live
A: It is incredibly important for me to show this movie and this story to my kids. I want to say here, come watch the film it’s an actual story. My kids want to hear about Christmas, and I do have my own animated film that we did for kids and is fun. To be part of the Star and have my kids singing in it and watch the premiere was very important for them.
Q: How do you compare performing in a movie as performing on Stage?
A: Very different for me, because performing in the afternoon or morning is the exact opposite of the typical thing that I do, that it is pretty much sleep through the day rest my voice get up and do it, and in a movie, you depend on the directors, the animators, and is completely the opposite.