By Nicole Hanratty
Posted February 9, 2013
Mariah Carey’s “Almost Home” Is About Believing In Yourself
Disney’s® new movie Oz The Great And Powerful produced by Joe Roth comes to theatres March 8, 2013. The soundtrack to the movie includes Mariah Carey’s “Almost Home” song to be released on Carey’s label Island Def Jam on February 19, 2013. Of the song Carey said, “‘Almost Home’ has a message that works beautifully with the film…it gives you the feeling of reaching your home and being with people that you love.”
“Almost Home,” co-written and sung by the global superstar Mariah Carey is sure to be an instant hit as is the much anticipated Oz The Great and Powerful fantasy adventure film directed by Sam Raimi. Award-winning director and photographer David LaChapelle is set to direct Mariah Carey in the music video for the song in what LaChappelle calls “a duet between Mariah and the movie.”
And while this music and movie entertainment news is eye-catching for all of the obvious “Mariah Carey is a Goddess” reasons, something much tinier yet significant about the Oz The Great And Powerful soundtrack “Almost Home” press release popped right off the page at us. Straight out of Burbank, California on February 6, 2013, the announcement from Disney® included the names of Mariah Carey’s co-writers. The statement read: “’Almost Home’ is performed by Mariah Carey, produced by Mariah Carey and Stargate for 45th & 3rd Music LLC, written by Simone Porter, Justin Gray, Lindsey Ray, Tor Erik Hermansen, Mikkel Eriksen and Mariah Carey. Courtesy of Island Def Jam Music Group/Universal Music Group.”
Did you hear the record scratch? Play that again, please. One rewind and double take later we realized we read it correctly. One of the co-writers on Oz The Great And Powerful’s soundtrack song “Almost Home” is Lindsey Ray, the same sweet young Lindsey Ray we recently caught singing along side Graham Colton at The Hotel Café promoting their Sooner the Sunset EP just a few months ago.
So just how does the 29 year old Lindsey Ray singer songwriter from the small town of Belfast, Maine co-write a song with the biggest pop star in the world? Although we know she has the talent—Lindsey Ray wrote a song for Demi Levato in 2011 and we can’t stop singing “Helium Heart” off of her Sooner the Sunset EP—we still couldn’t believe our eyes. We couldn’t hit the speed dial fast enough to get Lindsey on the line. As it turns out, the humble and beautiful Lindsey Ray was and is still in as much shock as we are.
Editor Nicole Hanratty spoke to Lindsey Ray about the big news and how the collaboration with Disney and the five-time GRAMMY® winner Mariah Carey came to be. And yes, it took them both a while to stop saying how crazy it is!
Mariah Carey’s “Almost Home” Is Lindsey Ray’s Great And Powerful Birthday Wish
Featured artist Lindsey Ray
Interview via Telephone
February 6, 2013
Nicole: This is huge for you.
Lindsey: Right. I know. It’s insane. It’s crazy. This is the biggest cut that I’ve ever had. It’s incredible.
Nicole: How did the whole thing come about?
Lindsey: One of my co-writers, Simone Porter had a meeting with this guy at Disney® last summer. I guess he told her in the meeting that they were looking for songs for this new movie. She called me and asked me if I wanted to write it with her…or try writing something for it with her. I went, “Yes.” I write on the piano but I’m not a producer. I ended up calling Justin Gray who is [another] co-writer. He’s a friend of mine. He and I have worked together a bunch in the past. He’s an amazing producer. …The three of us got together back in July. It was a really long project. We never knew if it would even be used or anything. I’m sure there were lots of other people writing for it as well. Yes, it’s crazy now sitting here in February being like, “Oh my God. Six months ago we were working on that, and now here we are with a song that Stargate and Mariah Carey co-wrote and collaborated on and Mariah Carey is singing it. It’s crazy.”
Nicole: It’s phenomenal. Congratulations.
Lindsey: Thank you so much.
Nicole: I think the biggest thing that to me stands out is the hard work you put in and the time. It seems to me today like so many people see someone become a success overnight yet your story is more about the hard work and the time that goes into it.
Lindsey: Yes. Yes. I’ve been writing since I was 23, like seven years now. For a long time I was only writing for myself as an artist. I was doing the artist thing, like the project that I did with Graham that you know about. About two years ago maybe I started thinking that I wanted to really focus on writing for other people. I got a cut with Demi Lovato September of 2011. At the time that was the biggest thing that had ever happened. I was so excited and I thought, “Yeah, this is going great.” And now here I am two years later with this Mariah cut and it’s just crazy. It’s crazy. This is what I really want to do. I want to do both of these things. I want to be an artist but I also want to write for other people. I never imagined that so shortly after deciding to focus on writing for other artists that I’d end up here with a major cut like this. It’s crazy.
Nicole: It’s fantastic. I mean it’s …
Lindsey: It’s crazy.
Nicole: Like you said, it’s really more like seven years in the making.
Lindsey: Yes. Simone’s been writing for a long time too I think. I know Justin Gray, the other writer, he’s been doing this for even longer than both Simone and I. Yes, it feels like a really good validation. You know what I mean?
Lindsey: It’s really hard being a writer because you never know. There’s so many people trying to do it. It’s hard to get big cuts. A lot of it can be political sometimes or whatever. Sometimes you’re not writing good enough stuff. You really never know when it’s going to hit or when it’s going to happen for you. For all of us, it’s such a big deal. We’re all really excited.
Nicole: When you were writing all this time, did they give you guidelines and parameters to start with?
Lindsey: We read the script. They sent us the screenplay. We did read the script, and we knew that they wanted it to be an uplifting and inspiring song. They wanted it to sound poppy enough that it could be a song that could be a major artist single or be on the radio. They also wanted it to make sense with the storyline as well. We had to toe that line of writing something that would work on the radio but that also works with the story. We did have some guidelines, and of course every time we sent in a version that would give us feedback. It was a long process.
Nicole: Did you feel like any of you were drawing from any personal experiences writing it?
Lindsey: Oh, sure. it’s a song about believing in yourself and going after the greatness in you. All of us could relate to that. Anyone who is in the music business, and struggling and trying to go after a dream can relate to that. It wasn’t a far stretch for us to think about how we wanted to say that.
Nicole: What got you focused on music and knowing you wanted that to be your career?
Lindsey: Oh, gosh. I was singing when I was still in diapers. I always wanted to be a singer. I knew that from a really young age and grew up in a musical family. I signed a small little indie deal back in 2007 and moved out to LA and started doing that, and got a record by myself and an EP as well. I’ve been doing that whole thing for a long time. Like I said, the songwriting part of it, really focusing on it, writing for other artists; that didn’t come into play until a couple of years ago when I started realizing that I didn’t like being put in a box. I didn’t like writing a song and thinking, “If this doesn’t work for me then I can’t use it.” Now when I write, I write whatever comes to me. If it’s country, it’s country. If it’s R&B, it’s R&B. If it doesn’t work for me as an artist, then I figure out who it can work for. I find it to be a lot more liberating really. More fun.
Nicole: When I was trying to verify it was you that co-wrote this song I went to your Twitter and I saw that you had tweeted this announcement of it coming out a day after your 30th birthday. You look no more than 19. I was in shock. Honestly, that was my first thought. She’s little. She’s young. I just saw her!
Lindsey: I’m not 30 yet. The tweet was about the article that I read online today. The song will be released on February 19. My 30th birthday is the 18th. I’m still 29 today. I’m excited because I’m going to have my 30th birthday, and the next day Mariah Carey is going to release a single that I co-wrote. I mean it’s crazy. The 30s I think are going to be pretty good hopefully.
Nicole: Yes, it sounds like you’ve already got your birthday wish.
Lindsey: Right? Come on! I have a feeling the 30s are going to be really good…
LINDSEY RAY ON THE WEB
Lindsey Ray played Hotel Cafe
with The Writer’s Block
March 25, 2013
LINDSEY RAY SUPPORTS
Lindsey: “Kuséwera is an orphanage in Malawi, Africa. My friend goes…I’m hoping that at some point in the future that I will go. She shows me the pictures of some of these kids. These amazing beautiful kids. They’re all orphans. They’re all stuck there. It’s so different obviously, their life there. People going and spending time with them and playing with them and giving them love has such a huge impact on them. They need clothes. They need shoes and things. If anyone wanted to donate.”
WE ASKED LINDSEY RAY
What song title best describes your personality?
Lindsey: I’m trying to think of a song title that’s a positive …. because I’m an eternally optimistic person. I always believe that everything is going to work out the way it should, and that everything is going to be good… “Don’t Stop Believin'” That’s the answer.
What’s the most recent album you downloaded?
Lindsey: The Lumineers