Back in 2015, Mariah Carey dropped two casual #surprises on Instagram: A photo of her and French Montana hanging out by the mixing board in the studio, and another of the pair in the same cozy space with Justin Bieber. Rumors of a collaboration featuring the on-the-rise rapper and the two pop greats started swarming, but not even a snippet of that star-powered collaboration was heard until August 26, when Mariah Carey released her remix of French’s undeniable smash, “ Unforgettable.”
Carey and French hit it off immediately when the two met in passing years ago, and their camaraderie eventually led to that session that gave us their “Unforgettable” remix – and hanging out with Bieber.
“[Our conversation] started because my son’s name is Moroccan, and French is Moroccan, and we were just talking,” she tells MTV News. “We did this little remix, and then Justin Bieber came in, and he got on it. The label never really released it, but then like, later on, we did this — so this is cool.”
The lead single off his sophomore album, Jungle Rules, is currently sitting pretty at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in its nineteenth week on the chart, and Carey is one of the millions who’ve fallen head over heels for the steel drum-inflected banger.
“I just love it. It’s the song of the summer, you know what I mean?” she says, one that’s perfect for a “laying on the beach and relaxing” moment. Carey’s remix joins a number of others that change up the sultry R&B-shaped single, with Major Lazer, Tiësto, and a Latin version featuring J. Balvin all leaving their own highly danceable imprints on it. Hers stands out for its romantic acoustic guitar and piano flourishes that pair beautifully with the original beat, though she was excited to lend her voice to a version of a song that’s simple and minimalistic when compared to her grand pop productions.
“I like the verses that are just kind of like the regular version, but I’m on it,” she says. “I thought it was pretty cool to change it up.” (She notes that if you were to make a Lambily-minded playlist inspired by “Unforgettable” that “Cruise Control” off 2008’s E=MC² and “Got A Thing 4 U,” her 2002 collaboration with Da Brat and Elephant Man, make for ideal sonic pairings.)
As for her summer and its soundtrack, Carey's also got Kendrick Lamar's "Humble" on repeat when she and the kids aren't grooving to "Unforgettable." Dem Babies officially approve of mom's latest, it turns out: "They definitely like it. They're very picky. I think they like to dance to it."
Carey's very open to working "Unforgettable" into the set list of her current tour — "I think it's a great idea!" — so here's hoping Lambs will get a chance to hear those cloud-grazing high notes over one of the best beats of 2017 in person and ASAP.