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Undercover Summer: Always Be My Baby

This summer, I'm starting a new series of cover song videos called "Undercover Summer." I made the first video on my birthday last week and posted it to Facebook. I've been thinking about this series for a while, but this particular video was a last-minute decision, hence the bad cell-phone selfie for the cover photo. (Based on this Mariah Carey album cover). As I post the songs this summer, I'll be sharing a little about why I chose each piece and what it means to me.

Growing up listening to pop radio in the nineties, it was impossible to avoid Mariah Carey. I have a pretty vivid memory of hearing "Emotions" blaring on the school bus, right after the latest Boyz II Men single. But it wasn't until I saw Mariah Carey in a televised concert when I was in the 5th grade that I became a fan. And I became a super fan. I don't know why exactly, but something clicked when I saw Mariah Carey singing for the firs time. Maybe it was that we sort of looked alike -- both Mariah and I sported very curly manes back in the day. Maybe it was just a different take on the gospel and R&B sounds I already loved. Whatever it was, I was hooked, and I immediately learned her hit song, "Hero" for my 5th grade talent show.

When I got my first CD player for Christmas in the 7th grade, my parents bought me three CDs: Jars of Clay's debut album, DC Talk's Jesus Freak, and Mariah Carey's Daydream. I listened non-stop and memorized every word and every vocal run. Two years later I started playing guitar and putting the songs I wrote to music. My choice of instrument pushed me in the folk direction, but it was Mariah who taught me to sing, and I'm still blending those gospel-pop stylings with my folk-rock songs today.

Here's the video. Hope you enjoy!

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