Mariah Carey Dishes on Direction of Upcoming Album

Mariah Carey has put hip-hop in the forefront of her music in recent years, but according to the diva herself, her upcoming album is going to feature a “lot more raw ballads than people might expect.” During a conversation with Billboard on her way to meet Jermaine Dupri and Bryan-Michael Cox for a late night studio session, the “Idol” judge spilled the beans of who else she’s working with on the project, and Big Jim Wright, Hit-Boy, The-Dream and Rodney Jerkins were a few of the names dropped. She mentioned working with Q-Tip and DJ Cassidy, but it’s unclear whether or not their talents will make this album.

"It's about making sure I have tons of good music, because at the end of the day, that's the most important thing," she said of her rigorous studio mileage; a studio session with Dupri and Cox had ended that morning at 6am. Other than the ballads, look out for her "signature sounds," as well. "Wherever we go with this project, I've tried to keep the soul and heart in it. One particular song is definitely going to be a huge fan favorite, in my opinion,” she teased.

Overall, Carey is in a zone creatively, and when inspiration calls, you better answer. Seems she’s doing just that. "I was and still am in a very prolific space," she said. “I could say, 'Let's stop now.' But that's not who I am, and that's not what I want this record to be. I really want the fans to love this record."

Carey recently released the single "Almost Home" for the Disney film "Oz the Great and Powerful" hitting theaters on March 8. A video for the song is soon to follow.