Many things have changed for Ariana Grande, once known as just the star of Nickelodeon’s television show Victorious, she now is an international singing sensation with a voice like Mariah Carey to match. Her debut album ‘Yours Truly’ rocketed in at Number 1 in the USA and 30 other countries as well as peaking at Number 2 on the iTunes UK chart. The album features a host of heavy hitters including current beau The Wanted’s Nathan Sykes, Mac Miller and Big Sean – who is on the upcoming UK single ‘Right There’out November 11th. We sat down with the 20 year-old popstar to discuss her album, the new single ‘Right There’ and her future projects.
Your album ‘Yours Truly’ debuted at Number 1 in the US and 2 on the UK iTunes chart, how do you feel about the level of success it has achieved?
I’m very happy and excited! Music means so much to me, so the fact that people are being so nice about it and responding so well to me, makes me the happiest girl in the world.
What is your favourite song on the album?
‘Honeymoon Avenue’ I would say.
So your new single ‘Right There’ featuring Big Sean is out November 11th in the UK and samples Lil Kim’s ‘Crush On You’, were you a fan of Bad Boy back in the day?
I was but I have to give all credit to Harmony Samuels my producer for that one, I completely died when I heard it!
To us your album has that 90’s R&B/soulful feel, is that intentional?
Yeah but the Doo-wop undertones were my doing, that was my part. 50/60’s Doo-wop is my favourite era for music but then the 90’s era of R&B/Pop too! Those are my two favourite eras of music.
You get the Mariah Carey comparisons a lot are you getting annoyed by it or do you still find it flattering?
Of course it’s flattering! She is the greatest singer in the world. I think she is amazing and it is a very flattering comparison but I’m very excited when people listen to my whole album and get to know my sound a little more because it is different.
Is Mariah Carey someone you grew up listening to?
Yeah but I listened to her Christmas music more than anything. But I grew up in a very musical household.
You’re dating a fellow Brit, Nathan Sykes from The Wanted, what about English guys do you like?
It is not about English guys, it’s just about Nathan you know (at this point she looks over to Nathan who is sitting in the room while the interview is taking place). I never dated an English guy but Nathan is a gentleman.
Is there any British artists you’re currently listening to?
Who’s that rapper I like..(asks Nathan, he responds with Tinie Tempah). Yeah I like Tinie Tempah, he’s pretty cool. I like that song he has with 2 Chainz.
Any upcoming shows in the UK that we should be on the lookout for?
It’s being sorted out at the moment and maybe soon…
So what has the highlight been of your career so far?
Having a number one album…debuting at number one on Billboard was the craziest thing in the world. That has been my favourite moment ever. The success with ‘The Way’ was very exciting too! But I didn’t expect anyone to take me seriously as an artist because I was doing kids TV so it was a really big deal for me.
As you said you are a TV star and essentially a child star but you’ve managed to transition into a successful musician – how have you been able to stay so grounded?
My friends and my family and I don’t have any crazy intentions.
What is the best advice you have received so far?
To respect what everybody has to say as far as constructive criticism and guiding me musically but to also follow my heart. So to really do what I want to do as far as music goes. At the end of the day I chose ‘The Way’ as my first single because I had a feeling in my heart that it would be special and I was right! So it’s really about trusting myself..about what I want to do musically and what I want to do next. Of course I have to respect what everyone has to say but I also have to follow my heart.
So what is next for Ariana Grande?
I’m working on a second album and a Christmas EP. On the second album there will be a slightly different sound. But we’ve just started talking about it and working on it. I don’t want it to be an extended version of ‘Yours Truly’ and I do want it to be more mature..capture more of what I’ve been through this past year and even the past two months. Like be about what’s happening now because Jesus knows a lots gone down! I’ve got a lot to write about…
Finally anything you want to tell the Flavourmag readers?
Hi, I hope you like my music and thanks for checking it out! You’re really cool if you do.
For more, follow Ariana Grande on Twitter @ArianaGrande