Mariah Carey may have five Grammys weighing down her shelves at home, but she doesn't care if she never wins another one.
She shared these thoughts and more when asked about her creative process for a cover story with V magazine. "In the music business, if you care about the Grammys and submitting your stuff before a certain time frame, you want a single out in the summer, and then you want to have your record [out] before the Grammys [consideration] deadline, which has changed," she said, explaining how her previous albums have been scheduled. "Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn. I mean, I have five Grammys. That’s cute. There’s people that have been doing this half the time that have twice as many [Grammys]. I won two Grammys the first year I started, but after that, [the Grammys] are like, 'We don’t go with the people that are selling a lot of records and are popular; we’re gonna go the opposite way.' So I got screwed out of certain years. I wasn’t bitter about it. I was just like, okay, well, I guess I’m not standing here barefoot onstage singing and trying to go a certain way. I’m just me."
The pop icon isn't the only artist this year to discount the importance of the Grammys, an awards ceremony that once served as a monocultural moment and has splintered in recent memory due to its often white, male, and middle-of-the-road choices. There's also the fact that the Recording Academy president Neil Portnow recently acknowledged this past year's lack of representation by blaming artists instead of looking inward. "[They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome," he said, specifically of female artists, who were scarcely nominated for this past ceremony. Like Carey, SZA—who was this year's most-nominated female artist but took home no awards—dismissed the Grammys, saying, “Perhaps folks place too much importance on the entire situation in general. And place too much importance on the institution.”
Soon, however, Carey will have another shot at the Grammys—unless she chooses not to submit her next album—as she also revealed that she's been hitting the studio hard, working on what she calls "regular music." (Translation: not Christmas music, bless her heart.) "I’m kind of restarting, and I’m working with Roc Nation now, so that’s great. I had a really incredible meeting—just a musical, good meeting of the minds—with Jay Brown, Jay-Z, and Tata [Tyran Smith], who’s an incredible person," she said. "We all just kind of threw some ideas around, so we’re starting from the musical place rather than, like, what’s the hook? It’s gotta be done that way."
As for her thoughts on the lack of female representation in music, Carey also delivered a gem about that: "It’s something that I think a lot of people don’t give women enough credit for, unless they are known visually as someone strumming a guitar, or they’re behind a piano most of the time," she said. "I also have that diva thing attached to me; I mean, I’m sitting here doing an interview in lingerie. But I was just like, you’re totally gonna understand that this is what I’m gonna wear! Why should I wear something uncomfortable? This is what I like."