Photo: Shhean
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Nicki Minaj’s mom Carol Maraj has an uptempo motivational single out called ‘What Makes You’: Listen

Photo: Shhean
This week in New York City, Richardine met with Nicki Minaj’s mother, Carol Maraj, to talk about her new song ‘What Makes You’, what inspired the music video, and the lyrics of the song.

‘What Makes You’ is all about building self-esteem, loving oneself, and loving the uniqueness of you. You can’t be anyone else. Your flaws make you. That’s what I want people to understand [about] that song. You can be singing it to God. You can be singing it to anyone. It’s an all-around love song slash pop, but you can take this song to mean anything you want it to mean. ‘You love me like no one else’: I think about the Lord when I sing that song.

Photo: Selfie

On what inspired the music video:

“I wanted to show serenity, peace, [and] love. I chose [a garden finish, garden scenes, happy and calm atmospheres. Although, it’s going to be played in the clubs and you will dance to it, but that’s how I felt. I have some dancers in there.” Creative efforts aside, Maraj is also passionate about helping domestic violence survivors.

On the Carol Maraj Foundation

“We advocate for women affected by domestic violence. I also was once a victim; now, I am a survivor, so I carry a burden for women who walk in my shoes. That’s just my passion.”

What she thought about the name GRUNGECAKE when she first heard it


At the Foley Gallery in the Lower East Side, Richardine, her guest, and Maraj’s close friends and family watched the unreleased music video for ‘What Makes You’. Before then, a Harlem-based children’s choir performed an interpretation of her song. We are unsure of its release date, but here’s the audio.

Written by Richardine Bartee

It’s her unprejudiced love for people that’s taken her this far. Join Richardine on her journey as she writes history into existence, one article at a time. Richardine is a member of the Recording Academy/GRAMMYs.

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