Mariah Carey has released her episode of Audible Original’s Portrait of a Portrait: Words + Music, in which she breaks down her 2018 song “Portrait” and announces its new dance remix. The song is one example of her songwriting — a hobby she got into at a young age. 

“I don’t know that I knew that they were lyrics when I was writing them. I thought, ‘OK, I’m writing a poem, I’m writing a story,’” she tells The Hollywood Reporter of penning her first song. “And then I would hum around the house, and that sort of led me to know that I wanted to write my songs.”

As she got older, Mariah came to the realization that “all artists don’t write their own songs.” But by  the time she was in middle school, she’d determined writing songs and exploring melodies was what she wanted to do in life.

“It’s something that … I wouldn’t be happy with my life if I didn’t do,” she tells Billboard. “And I don’t just do it for the credit or anything else. I do it because I love to do it.”

Mariah says she would rather write her own songs than use prewritten lyrics that are “not speaking from my heart,” per THR, but she has no interest in just being a songwriter.

“I do love writing songs and it’s an amazing thing to be able to do, but to say I love writing songs and that’s all I’m going to do right now. That’s just not who I am. I love writing songs and I love combining singing and writing,” she says in her THR interview. 

After years of being praised for her vocals, she tells THR it’s an “amazing gift” to be finally be recognized as a songwriter.

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