Mariah Carey’s got a new man on her arm — and leg — in her latest music video, which she shot last week in Paris. For “Say Somethin’,” Pharrell Williams plays Carey’s oh-so-patient boyfriend who takes the singer sightseeing and shopping for a romantic day on the town.
“You know what was so great about being in Paris? Usually I’m inside a hotel room and I don’t get to see anything. This time, I finally got to drive around the city, walk around the city and hang out,” Carey said. “I love Paris; I love the electricity this city has. And it gave me a new perspective on this song, which is one of the first songs I recorded for [The Emancipation of Mimi]. It’s got a hot vibe to it, when you’re driving around in the car on a normal, rainy day in Paris, driving around in circles in a Maserati — who doesn’t do that every day?”
Well, just about everyone else — but then again, Carey’s not playing just anyone in her new clip. Carey and Williams are a superstar couple, trying to find romantic interludes when they’re not being chased by the paparazzi in his Maserati — at least, that’s what the video’s treatment called for. But on the first day of the shoot, director Paul Hunter had to contend not just with his fake paparazzi, hired for the scene, but real ones as well, who chased after the pair on scooters.
“That’s just a regular day in the life for Mariah, probably,” Williams said. “I’m a low-key guy, so there’s no paparazzi under the studio console, or in my apartment, or jumping out of my pool. I’m just not into it. So it’s weird when you have these people running up, especially in Paris — they’re on Vespas, doing wheelies, and it’s wild.”
The chase being real, it made it that much easier for Carey and Williams to get into character as a couple looking to get away from it all. For one of their escapes, the two frolic on the Le Pont de Paris bridge overlooking the river Seine.
The next destination point required clearing out Louis Vuitton’s flagship store on the Champs-Elysées, so they could have some private shopping with Carey modeling her favorite outfits while Williams watches and waits. She also tries on a massive amount of shoes, while Williams plays piano on her legs to entertain himself.
“Obviously, being able to take your pick of anything in the store and have the whole store shut down for you is every girl’s dream,” Carey said. “You know, just a pretty standard day in the life of anybody. No, just joking. There was a time in my life I only had one pair of shoes, so that’s my justification for having that little perk on the job.”
Because Vogue fashion guru Andre Leon Talley popped by the store during those scenes, he ended up making a cameo as a shop assistant. “We love him,” Carey said. “He saw me walking around in a bodysuit and he was like, ’Darling, you have to wear that!’ So he convinced me that’s the outfit I should wear [later on], so if anybody’s got a problem with it, call him up.”
After the shopping spree, Williams takes Carey home to his “bachelor pad” (really her hotel suite), where they kick back with a few Dalmatian puppies. “I thought the puppies would add cuteness to it,” she said. “But Paul was like, ’Make it more hot, make it more hot!’ And someone else was going, ’Sit on his lap,’ and I’m like, ’Ask me nicely! Produce a diamond ring or something, for me to sit on a lap!’ No, it was fun. I don’t have a problem sitting on anybody’s lap. I just wanted a better invitation, for the sentiment of the song.”
If Carey needed a better invitation, so did Snoop, who’s featured on the song but not in the Paris scenes. His part in the clip was shot separately on Sunday in Los Angeles.
“If you guys think I’m a diva and I have requirements, Snoop is the next level,” Carey said. “He’s the hip-hop king! So his requirements to get to Paris are, like, beyond platinum editions; they’re, like, beyond ultra-platinum editions; they’re like diamond editions. So we love Snoop and we wish he had been here, but I think shooting him in L.A. will be good because we’ll have more time, more control. He probably would have gotten really mobbed in the streets here anyway.”
While “Say Somethin’ ” will be Carey’s next single for top 40 radio, she’s sending out “Fly Like a Bird” to urban radio at the same time, with both hitting the dial the first week of April. A video for the song will be shot in New York later this month.