With her mother as her vocal coach and support, Mariah went on to spend almost every waking moment dedicated to her craft – music. She took singing lessons, practiced at all hours of the day, and almost replaced all social life with hard work.
Apart from intense vocal lessons, Mariah started writing songs and became more enamored with music every day. It was her only escape from the memories of a traumatic childhood and any problems that might be going on at home. By practicing her five-octave vocal range and unique singing style, she managed to significantly improve week after week.
Understanding Mixed Identity
Mariah Carey, of Venezuelan, Irish, and black descent, grappled with her mixed identity growing up. When shopping with her father, she recalls people would often stare, noticing their different skin color. And this prejudice didn’t only come from strangers - once, while in kindergarten, Mariah drew a family picture using a brown crayon for her dad. Her teacher corrected her, not believing that Mariah’s father could be black.
This event, along with so many others, reflect the challenges Mariah faced in finding her place within society, as she struggled to fully embrace and understand her heritage. On the flip side, overcoming these hurdles undoubtedly contributed to her resilience in her personal life and career.
Discovering Her True Passion
Amidst the chaos of her childhood, Mariah Carey sought solace and found it in music. She quickly realized her extraordinary vocal talent and unique capabilities. It was the moment her voice hit an octave so high that she realized that she had a valuable tool at her disposal. This newfound passion and sense of self-worth motivated her to pursue a career in the music industry.
With her mother, Patricia acting as her vocal coach, Mariah received much-needed support and guidance. Despite her mother's assistance, the journey toward musical success remained challenging for Mariah. Nevertheless, her resilience and determination would eventually lead her to become a global superstar.
Leaving School for Her Dreams
During her eleventh grade, Mariah Carey realized that traditional schooling wasn't the right fit for her. Even her classmates seemed to agree, as her frequent absences earned her the nickname "Mirage." Deciding to abandon conventional education, Mariah left high school and enrolled in beauty school for her junior and senior years.
Despite this change in direction, her passion for music remained unwavering. Throughout her time at beauty school, Mariah continued to hone her voice and develop her skills, setting her sights on the stardom she was destined to achieve. This unconventional path highlights her determination to follow her dreams, regardless of the challenges she faced.
Battling Perfectionism and Self-Doubt
Being the lifelong perfectionist that she is, Mariah faced immense pressure to succeed in her chosen path. When she didn't secure a record deal by her 18th birthday, she was devastated. Rather than celebrating this milestone, the young artist spent her special day at home, overwhelmed by tears and feelings of inadequacy.
This emotional struggle was proof of Mariah's deep commitment to her craft and her high expectations of herself. Despite the setbacks and her self-perceived "failure," she remained determined to pursue her dreams, ultimately overcoming these challenges and making her mark as a legendary artist in the music industry.