Mariah The Scientist is on the “Beautiful Mind Tour” with Rod Wave and Toosii & Gave us an Exclusive Interview with Young Thug
Written & Edited by: Shirley Reynozo @moyamusic_
Interview Conducted & Transcribed by: JaJuan Malachi @jajuanmalachi
Mariah Buckles didn’t always dream of being your favorite R&B artist. She initially set her sights on pursuing pediatric anesthesiologist at St. John’s University before she was encouraged to change paths to follow her inherent talent for performing. In 2018 she did just that and emerged as Mariah the Scientist. Mariah’s innate ability to articulate the complexities of modern relationships in her catchy, relatable songs has captivated listeners across the globe. Her indelible debut project To Die For was released in January of 2018, followed by her first full length album, Master in 2019 (both released on RCA Records).
In March 2022, she released her acclaimed four-track EP Buckles Laboratories Presents: The Intermission, which has been streamed over 20 million times to date on Spotify alone. Most recently, Mariah released the first new singles “Stone Cold” and “Bout Mine” from her highly anticipated album coming in 2023. This will be the first independent release for her. Mariah is currently on the “Beautiful Mind Tour” with Rod Wave and Toosii, playing to crowds across North America. In 2023, Mariah the Scientist is preparing to open herself up to more people than ever before— and she hopes listeners discover themselves in the process too.
Here at Galore, JaJuan @jajuanmalachi had the pleasure of interviewing Mariah the Scientist on a plethora of subjects. From her Atlanta origins, to her writing process, the “Beautiful Mind Tour” with Rod Wave and Toosii, and her relationship with Young Thug, we really got a deeper understanding of what shapes Mariah’s artistry. Mariah’s candid personality truly reflects her desire to open herself up to her audience.
As a bonus, we were also able to facilitate an interview with Young Thug. Although he is currently in jail, it was imperative for us to include him in the conversation with Mariah. As such we looped in Young Thug on the call to also interview Mariah about their relationship. As these lovebirds kicked it off, we enjoyed the banter; “Who kisses better? Me or you?” Young Thug asked to which Mariah responded, “You’re the best kisser ever in the world.” Their beautiful and quirky dynamic kept us locked in, their comfortability and understanding of each other was evident. We hope their vulnerability and willingness to open their hearts with the public is positively received. Tune in to the full transcription below!
Interview Conducted & Transcribed by: JaJuan Malachi @jajuanmalachi
JaJuan: Hey! Hey! What’s up Mariah! What’s up Thug!
Thug: What’s up bro!
Mariah: How are you doing?
JaJuan: I’m doing well! I can’t complain. You know it’s an honor and a privilege to be interviewing y’all and I’m grateful honestly. So how has being from Atlanta informed your sound?
Mariah: I think that being from ATL mostly influences the content and lyricism. Sonically though, I feel like I gravitate more towards southern sounding production like drum patterns. I like OutKast. I like Three 6 Mafia, Metro Boomin, Project Pat. I love that kind of stuff. I’m trying to incorporate it more without it being classified as one or another genre.
JaJuan: Word up! Those are all legends and I can definitely hear the influence when I’m listening to your music for sure. I think I speak for everyone, when I say we look forward to seeing what this new direction will entail.
Mariah: That makes me feel like I’m doing something good.
JaJuan: Haha, no doubt! So for my next question: Tell us about how you went from pursuing a career in science to launching a full-fledged career in music? I mean, you don’t hear that type of story everyday, so feel free to speak to that. It’s miraculous for real.
Mariah: Thank you! So I made a song as a gift for someone when I was in college. Like, I just randomly went to the studio and then eventually my friends were insisting I put it out to the world, so I put it on SoundCloud. It had a little bit of traction, I didn’t think it was going to go too crazy. A couple A&R’s in New York had heard that I went to school out there. So, I really think it just traveled between like the students there and then them going to the city because I wasn’t really going into the city or socializing much then. I was a recluse. I really feel like the students there and the city itself were what did it for me.
JaJuan: Dope! You went to St. John’s right?
JaJuan: Awesome! I’m a native New Yorker myself. Brooklyn and The Bronx all-day! Mariah: Yeah, I can hear your accent.
JaJuan: Yeah, yeah we’re pretty distinct. So you said it took off right by virtue of the network and by virtue of everything just organically flowing and getting out to people.
Mariah: Right! I think people in New York. They’re just born with the ability to network well, you know?
JaJuan: Yeah, yeah.
Mariah: I think because everything is so close together, it’s easy to run into people. It’s easy to know people. It’s like different in the South when you actually have to pursue meeting people.
JaJuan: Nah, I feel you. It’s a little bit more segregated in the South. You’ve gotta really be tapped in for sure. I feel like in NY, you can go anywhere in the city, chop it up with someone, make a new connection. It’s really organic like that. It’s a blessing. So almost needless to say, I feel like you have a beautiful, melodic, soothing voice. I’m curious to know, what is your song writing process typically like?
Mariah: So, I get the majority of my beats from YouTube. I just stay up through the night literally until the sun comes out or I look at the beats that people have sent me. I prefer YouTube though because I feel like there’s such a vast array of music on there. You can look up any vibe. Maybe today, I’m not feeling a trap vibe from a trap producer, so I’ll look up something more melodic. I just find something I like, I find a beat I like and I just write to it. It’s easier though when I have something on my mind to talk about. If there’s something on my mind or like a pressing issue, it’s easier to make a song about it, otherwise it’s not as meaningful.
JaJuan: Gotchu! I mean YouTube has such a plethora of content on it. I think it’s dope how you utilize it for sourcing beats and instrumentation. That’s not something you hear all the time.
Mariah: Uh huh, I agree!
JaJuan: So what are some of your favorite effects to add to your voice, whether it be reverb, distortion, delay, etc.?
Mariah: I personally love reverb or stacked vocals with different harmonies.
JaJuan: Gotchu! Reverb is super dope! What are three songs or projects you’re currently listening to that you can’t just stop playing for whatever reason? This is something you listen to in the car. You might be in the crib just chilling. What are those tracks or projects at the moment for you?
Mariah: Um, I listen to my new project probably everyday. It’s not concrete what I want to put on it. So I just rearrange like everyday, I’m listening to different songs and different arrangements of what I could make. I do that a lot. As far as listening to other music, I listen to … let’s just look at my Apple Music.
JaJuan: That Apple music be knowing forreal forreal.
Mariah: I can’t really say there’s anything I have on repeat right now. I be listening to old stuff and multiple different genres of stuff. It’s not like any one particular project that I’ve been super into.
JaJuan: I feel that. Do you have any particular genres you’re into that’s typically on the playlist generally speaking?
Mariah: Genres! Um, I listen to a lot of old, alternative music. I listen to some of the new rap like Young Thug, 21 Savage, Gunna. I like to listen to that kind of stuff.
Mariah: If I just made up a playlist of something, it would be like just old alternative music and like newer rap. Maybe like some Kodak too. Some older stuff would be like a little bit of Pink Floyd, Beach House, stuff like that. Some r&b or hip hop from the 90s and 2000s.
JaJuan: That’s dope! You have some heavy hitters in that line up too for sure. So how has your experience been since going independent? I know this is a relatively recent thing, so I wanted to tap in on that.
Mariah: I feel like these days, labels don’t have the same work ethic that they had back in the day when it was like, no internet. Back in the day, they really worked to put an artist everywhere in the world. I think now because we have the internet, it’s easier on them because now the artist can interact and do a lot of the networking, a lot of the marketing on their own. So, I think now it’s not like much of a difference between being with a label and being independent, besides the money they’re spending in the priority with dsps. The difference mainly is paying for your own stuff out of pocket and leveraging your own relationships.
JaJuan: Yeah, I mean the label system has shifted tremendously. You know with the advent of SoundCloud and YouTube, like you could really just do whatever yourself forreal forreal. The middle man is no longer essential or as essential as they used to be.
JaJuan: But also as everyone knows at the moment, you’re currently on the “Beautiful Mind Tour” with Rod Wave and Toosii. I know that you have a day off today between shows, which is blissful. How has your experience been on tour?
Mariah: Um, well it’s an arena tour, which I’ve never done so that’s a new experience. There’s more people. Coming from my own headlining tour, it’s like someone else’s fans. I think it’s more of a collaborative effort between putting on a good show and just really having fun. Going into any of these shows, it’s not about them knowing the music because technically, these are not my fans, these are Rod Wave’s fans. So, I think it’s just about enjoying myself and letting that convey naturally to the crowd and less about “ooh, feeling like they need to know these songs” because I feel like that will kill your vibe. Keeping your vibe is important. I feel like if you’re into the music, they’ll be into the music. That has the basis of my progression this entire tour and just the fact that I know people are acknowledging that I’m having fun and that I sound great. I think they can just feel me, feeling it.
JaJuan: Well, I think it’s super amazing how y’all have been able to collaborate in this way. I think you’ll gain a new set of followers just off of this opportunity alone.
Mariah: Since I’ve been on tour I’ve gone over +1 million followers and I feel like it’s because a lot of his fans like my music. They liked it when they heard me perform and followed up, you know.
JaJuan: They’re picking up on it and getting tapped into, which is amazing. I’m excited myself for what’s to come from that. What inspired you to come up with the concept for the new Galore cover? We hear that you come up with a lot, if not all, of your creative concepts. Is creative directing apart of your everyday life?
Mariah: I feel like when it comes to creativity, I feel like it comes natural in general. I like that kind of thing. I like to create. It’s fun. I like it mostly because everything you do comes from scratch. Sometimes it can be inspired or influenced but for me, it is usually something that I have to come up with from scratch. It’s the same way I feel about procreation, it’s supernatural. I think that it’s really important for me to do that because otherwise I feel like other people or other creatives will be making me someone other than myself, you know? I’m my own muse.
JaJuan: Yeah, nah I feel you.
Mariah: It’s just good to have your input in it otherwise you’re just expressing someone else’s vision.
JaJuan: I understand. I think it’s dope how you are choosing to explore your creativity in different ways but also exercising your agency to truly bring your own visions to life and to not be confined to the visions of others. So you are a Scorpio from what I’ve learned in recent time. Would you happen to know your moon and rising signs?
Mariah: I do. I do know them. I think my moon is Virgo and I think the rising sign is Cancer.
JaJuan: Gotchu! That is super dope! I mean, the whole Virgo wave is on another level. Especially with the emergence of Renaissance and Beyoncé putting that at the forefront of national consciousness… I know you dropped “Spread Thin” this year, which is so chill. That’s actually probably my personal favorite song of yours. So tell us about how “Spread Thin” came to life?
Mariah: There’s this guy named Mikey Alfred. He is a director. He writes films. He is a film writer. I don’t know if that’s the term for it. What is the term for that?
JaJuan: I’d probably say a screenwriter
Mariah: Yeah, he makes movies and he is a director and he invited me to come watch this film that he made named “NoHo.” It’s about North Hollywood. So we watched it and he asked me to make a song about this scenario because he felt like I’d relate. And I could, and I went home and I went on YouTube and found a beat that I like and I made “Spread Thin.” I probably wrote it in the shower like I do a lot of songs. It came out really great! It was originally supposed to be on the soundtrack for a movie though and then I ended up putting it on my project. It’s definitely one of my favorite songs though for sure. It’s one of my favorite songs to perform even before it became so popular.
JaJuan: Yeah, it just has an ultra zen, relaxing vibe to it. You know like after a long day of work, you can throw that on and kick it! It’s really soothing for sure. So your most recent single: “Bout Mine” released in October. Can you tell us the inspiration behind the track and how your experience was co-directing the music video? I actually just tapped into it not too long ago and it was a whole movie. There was a lot going on in that. It was dope to watch. Just tell us how co-directing was for you.
Mariah: Well, that song I made with WondaGurl. A producer from Canada. You had to have heard of her. She’s iconic. And I probably wrote the song in March of this year, maybe February. I had a couple of ideas for the music video and then I just settled on a merging of ideas, sort of. I think people be trying to put two and two together about your shit and they be wrong. A lot of times people don’t realize when you’re making music, or creating anything for that matter it’s like a multitude of endless thoughts, about endless people, about endless situations or experiences. And then things turn into a melting pot of ideas. A culmination of ideas.
I like the record label idea because I’m recently independent. I just thought about all of the times you see people being irate in an office, It’s usually like a guy going into a record label and f**king up a record label asking for his money, so I liked the way that looked. I liked how it was volatile, and then to make it look softer and more feminine, I incorporated traditional film inspirations like Angela Bassett in “Waiting To Exhale” and there was another one that I took from. I can’t remember what it was right now. That’s why I used the baby. To emphasize the significance of family and whatnot. You know, just like classic cinema mixed with modern experiences but it was cool co-directing considering I’ve done it before.
I liked to co-direct with him because he really just let me do exactly what I want, you know? And he was just ready and willing to help me execute whatever I wanted to do. I’ve co-directed with other people before and they’ve given me a lot of pushback on my ideas and I think that’s where the conflict comes in with creatives because somebody also wants their idea to overpower. The issue I have with that is “it’s not your stuff though.” It’s not coming from me. You’re just there to help facilitate. It can become a discrepancy but I liked him because he was just really open to my ideas and he understood them. It wasn’t like he just wanted to collect a check. He was a fan of the idea. And I would definitely like to do that again with him on any other projects.
JaJuan: Gotchu! I mean I could definitely see that there was some concrete synergy there just examining it for the time that I did. Going back to the comment about “Waiting To Exhale,” I didn’t realize that as I was watching it but now that you’re mentioning it, I’m like “ok, I can see that influence there.” For my next question: What do you have in store for 2023? Do you have some EPs coming out? Maybe some more singles? Maybe another tour? Who knows?
Mariah: Well, I wanna put out another single before the year is over with and then I wanna do maybe one more in the new year and I want to put a project out. I definitely wanna go on tour again. I don’t know if I’ll go alone or if I’ll go with someone. I just want a lot of new content. You know, I’ve been hearing that a lot of people want to hear about what I’m like in real life. They want to know more about me now, I guess, so I’m just trying to find an organic way to let people see that.
JaJuan: Yeah, I feel that! Those all sound like exciting prospects for sure.
QUESTIONS FOR YOUNG THUG
JaJuan: I guess first things first, how are you feeling? How are you holding up right now?
Thug: I’m pretty good. Just taking it a day at a time. I’m high spirited.
JaJuan: Well that’s great to hear. You know, us out here we have the utmost support for you and I’m believing that things will get better, you know. On another note, how would you describe your relationship?
Thug: I’ve gone through things in life and I’ve finally slowed down. I feel like she’s therapy for me. You know, she takes her time, she listens, she assists, she allows me to fully be me. I can elaborate on everything. I honor that. I honor her. I feel like a relationship has to be like therapy for both. You know, it’s gotta be like counseling. And I feel like she’s damn near my counselor. She listens. She understands me. And I feel like that’s what our relationship is based on.
JaJuan: Well, I mean that sounds like a healthy relationship for sure. That’s how a lot of the relationship should be. I mean, that’s how relationships should be at the core of it. If y’all not helping one another, if y’all not pushing each other to be the best version of yourselves, then what’s going on.
YOUNG THUG INTERVIEWING MARIAH
Thug: Babe, so how are you doing?
Mariah: I’m fine, how are you?
Thug: I’m fine, I’m fine! What made you choose me? What made you say yes? I will be yours. I always wanted to know that. What was it?
Mariah: You were pretty charming but never overbearing. You are very confident. You stand out amongst all men on planet earth and extraterrestrials. The thing that made me say yes though to be yours, I feel very complimentary with you. I feel like you teach me a lot of things and vice versa. And I feel like the things I lack, you don’t just balance out the areas. You show me how to be balanced and I feel the same in reverse. I feel like I had thrown away the key to the car of my own emotions and you got in the drivers seat and hotwired it.
Thug: Hmmm, what you like most about me?
Mariah: The things I like about you the most are the fact that you are a really huge thinker. Um, you always think outside the box, like me, but sometimes even more elaborate. Your thoughts are always elaborate. I can be a real minimalist and you can be the opposite, it’s a real balance that I appreciate. I like that you are a family-oriented man. I feel lots of support from you. That’s also one of my favorite things about you. I will also say that you’re very understanding of me and my personality, which is something I’ve never found in anyone else, in relationships or friendships even. And you’re understanding of my career because we share a similar professional lifestyle. You share an understanding of what I want in the future because we have a similar moral compass and vision. I would say.
Thug: That was tight! That was good! What would you want most from me if you were unsure or uncertain about something?
Mariah: Probably in any relationship, just like, reassurance and being able to rely on a strong, established trust, which I feel like we have now. We grew into it and It’s fundamental. I honestly don’t know what we were doing before it was so tightly knitted into our relationship. Since you’ve been away, we’ve had to rely on communication and understanding. I’m really proud of your openness to grow with me and learn to be an effective communicator. The ability to accept accountability and say “hey, what can I do to do better in order to maintain and progress in a valued relationship” is really important when anybody is unsure.
Thug: Hmm, let me see! What was the most dopest thing I’ve ever done in my career? Just one thing that you feel like was the most dope?
Mariah: The dopest thing you’ve ever done in your career to me is put everyone around you on. Like, even your entire family and all of your friends. All of your loved ones. You just put everyone on in different ways. You’ve given everyone a platform regardless of whether everyone decided to use it in ways that you had hoped for, you’ve given opportunity to many people.
Thug: Hm! So if I were a book, how many times do you think you would have to read me to understand the book?
Mariah: Um, it depends.
Mariah: Sometimes you have to read between the lines, you know? I feel like everybody is not capable of understanding you at first glance especially because we live in a super judgmental world. Depending on the person. Personally, I feel like I can probably read the book once. Some things I might catch onto later. I can probably read your book once, but I would read it over and over. It’s a beautiful story.
Thug: Why is that?
Mariah: Because I can accept you and I accept your truth and I feel like I give you the space to be yourself no matter what and I feel like you appreciate that most. It’s less about me understanding you and more about the fact that I’m willing to understand you.
Thug: The question I was gonna ask you, you kind of already answered it. Am I understandable to you but you already answered it.
Mariah: Well, I don’t know. You would have to tell me. Do you think I understand you?
Thug: Do you find me understandable? We’re supposed to be questioning you.
Thug: What do you like most about me physically?
Mariah: I love your mustache. I love your dimples.
Mariah. You are so tall, that was unexpected when we met. You have beautiful skin. I love all your tattoos. I love that you don’t overdo the maintenance. Like you get your dreads done and but you’re not really like these new-aged guys that have a really manicured vibe. You’re just like a naturally good looking guy. Naturally handsome. You ain’t gotta do all that.
Thug: Damn! Thank you! Thank you so much!
Mariah: Well, you’re welcome very much.
Thug: I’m gonna actually give you two more questions. Um, let me see.
Mariah: These have been really good.
Thug: What has been my favorite outfit?
Mariah: Your favorite outfit of mine or of yours?
Thug: What’s your favorite outfit of mine? Or both! Because we’ve talked about this before, so I wanna see if you still remember? And if you don’t, I’m definitely gonna say it.
Mariah: Hm, you mean as in exact outfit or pieces?
Thug: It gotta be an outfit but you’ve gotta name the outfit piece by piece.
Mariah: Hmm, you love shorts. You have nice long legs. You also love a good collared shirt, like me. But you really love leather. Honestly, the outfit would be leather. Imma leave it at that. Your favorite outfit will be leather pants.
Thug: You’re right and wrong. Um, my favorite outfit would be a white T-shirt and leather pants. I love shorts but that ain’t my favorite outfit. What’s my favorite outfit of yours?
Mariah: Hm, did you talk about this before?
Thug: Uh, yeah! Of course. If you don’t remember, just say it and I’ll remind you.
Mariah: Let me think real quick. Hm, your favorite outfit of mine? I don’t know, what could it be?
Mariah: Don’t say it like that. Let me think. Give me one hint and then I’ll know.
Mariah: Ummm, the platform Versace boots from that one date? You mean those boots?
Thug: I don’t know.
Mariah: Well tell me what you were thinking?
Thug: You gotta say yes or no first
Mariah: Yes or no what?
Thug: That you know my favorite outfit. Do you know or not?
Mariah: I think I know what boots you’re talking about but I don’t know the whole outfit.
Thug: I don’t know exactly but I think they were Ricks. You’ve got blue jeans-Balenciaga pants. Kind of like ashy red Balenciaga T-shirt.
Mariah: I would’ve never guessed that, those weren’t boots and you ain’t never said that was your favorite outfit.. That was one of my favorite outfits. I ain’t never heard you say that. Wait, maybe I do remember. Those jeans were Margiela.
Thug: It was Valentine’s Day, we done talked about this. Imma ask you three more questions. So the first question: Um, who kisses better? Me or you?
Mariah: You’re the best kisser in the world.
Thug: I’m sorry to hear that.
Mariah: I’ve never kissed myself but you seem to like it.
Thug: You never kissed yourself !?
Mariah: No babe.
Thug: Wow! Ok. Um. Um. Hm.
Mariah: You said you had three more questions left like you were ready to go. What? This your last two?
Thug: Which one are we on now?
Mariah: You said three, so now you have two left?
Thug: Well, however you wanna do it, we can.
Mariah: I know one thing’s for sure. You’re the best interviewer in the world.
Thug: Am, I? Thank you. What is my favorite thing? Like item?
Mariah: Item? Not like a person or anything.
Thug: Like, what’s my favorite thing?
Mariah: I don’t know baby, that’s a broad question.
Thug: Just guess. Take a guess. You can do it.
Mariah: Another hint?
Mariah: This is a hard one.
Thug: What I like the most. What do you feel like I like the most out of everything I own or do.
Mariah: Um, leather is one answer…
Thug: Just give me one answer. You’ve gotta give me one answer.
Mariah: Your favorite thing ever. Your favorite thing that you do the most or the thing you buy the most of?
Thug: The most. There’s a lot of things I love but the most.
Thug: Like, can’t nothing happen to you. You can only be right or wrong.
Mariah: If it’s the answer I’m thinking of, it has to be the right answer. Should I say it? What we talk about everyday… Games.
Mariah: in A good bet. That’s what you love the most.
Thug: I’m so proud of you. Why the f**k did it take you so long to get it.
Mariah: Was that what you were going to say? That’s most definitely the answer.
Thug: I swear to God you were going to say cars.
JaJuan: It’s all good. I loved the wholesome banter back and forth. I can tell that the love is there.
Mariah: Well thank you! We love Galore and we can’t wait to see how it turns out.
Thug: Thank you for letting my girl and myself be a part of this. Thank you for letting my girl do this.
JaJuan: Thank y’all for taking the time out to speak with me. I appreciate it.
Mariah: We appreciate it!
Interview Conducted & Transcribed by: JaJuan Malachi @jajuanmalachi
Written & Edited by: Shirley Reynozo @moyamusic_
Photographer: Canon Carter @younginwithacanon
Cover Art Design: Perrin Johnson @editsbyperry
Makeup: Melissa Ocasio @melibabyyy