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Ariana Grande


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Rolling Stone Q&A


You’ve said that "Honeymoon Avenue" is your favorite song on the album. Why?

It strikes a chord with me. It's been a part of my life for three years now and it's come full circle. In the beginning, it sounded like an upbeat, Motown pop song and I was like "This song is really sad and it means a lot to me so we need to make it sound like the lyrical content." Then we made it sound like what the song's about. It's even more special to me now. It gives me this weird, bittersweet feeling that almost makes me want to cry.

It’s an emotional song for you to perform live.

Depending on what’s happening in life, yeah.

Babyface's '90s R&B influence is heard throughout your debut. How was it working with him in the studio?

He watched over the project and supervised. He's iconic and legendary, but I did most of the work with the Rascals. They were responsible for most of it and just did an incredible job and Harmony Samuels as well.

Harmony Samuels is largely responsible for the inclusion of interesting samples like Big Pun's "Still Not a Player" on "The Way" and Lil Kim's "Crush on You" on "Right There." Do you remember the originals at all? It might have been before your time.

Of course! It was before my time a little bit, I was born in '93, but I can still appreciate it. I wouldn’t have let him use the samples if they didn't mean anything to me.

Your vocal style draws parallels often to Mariah Carey. Do you worry that such comparisons will overshadow you?

It's a blessing to get the comparison. When you look at "The Way" it's obvious, but I’m not worried about it. It's a massive compliment; she's the greatest singer in the world, like literally, the Guinness Book of World Records. It's an incredible compliment but it doesn't worry me, because when you listen to my album as a whole, you get to know me.

You have great chemistry with Mac Miller on "The Way." How did that collaboration come about?

Everybody on the record is a very close friend of mine. Mac Miller came about because I heard "The Way" and I was like, "Oh my gosh. This song is amazing. Malcolm, will you come be on this record with me?"  and  he was like, "Absolutely." I went over to his house. I engineered the session. I recorded him rapping, while I was simultaneously baking cookies for him and that was that.

A lot of people probably don't know that you're a sound engineer and producer.

Yeah. I love, love, love just being hands on at all times in the studio. [Mac Miller] taught me how to work Pro Tools real quick. It was really fun.

Do you want to produce for other artists?

I would love to do that. Not yet, because I want to focus on my music for that but yeah.

You recently performed on the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.  I’m sure you caught Miley Cyrus’ infamous twerk performance.

She looked like she was having the time of her life. She’s happy. I’m happy. We’re both doing our different things. There's nothing wrong with having fun. Nothing wrong. I think all the people who are saying mean things about it and who are judging, need to spend less time judging other people and more time worrying about how to have as much fun as she’s having in life right now.

While so many female singers seem to be compelled to live up to a certain provocative image, you seem to be very much grounded. Have you faced any industry pressures to change or fit in?

Thank you! No, I don’t feel much pressure to fit in. I never have. I've always just wanted to do my thing. I have really good friends and good family and if I don’t fit in somewhere else, I fit in at home. I feel like when I try to fit in, it comes across as not genuine and that is not good. I'd rather just do me and have people say, "Oh. That’s interesting" than try to fit in.

You just released Yours Truly but your sophomore album is slated for February. How is it coming along?

I've started working on it. I've come up with a few, two songs already that I want on it. It's an album that I want to do a little bit different. I don't want it to sound like an extension of Yours Truly. I want it to sound like an evolution. I want to explore more sounds and experiment a little bit. I have a bunch of ideas I'm very excited about and a lot of stuff cooking. 

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Wzra Tv: Hi Ariana, How are you? Glad to be chatting with you! 
Ariana: I’m great thank you, happy to be chatting with you too. 

Wzra Tv: You’re an actress, singer and dancer, tell us how you got started in the entertainment industry. 
Ariana: Family theater in South Florida, I always loved singing and playing characters that were fun and different. My first role was Annie and I remember loving the music, but wanting to play Miss Hannigan. I was 8, haha. After a few years of doing community theater and school plays, I started auditioning for Broadway and I got cast in “13” which is where I began my professional career.

Wzra Tv: Has it always been something you wanted to do?
Ariana: Always. When I was a little girl I would put on my Dorothy dress every single day and try to talk and sing like JudyGarland. 

Wzra Tv: What’s an average day like for you on Victorious?
Ariana: A lot of fun and a lot of hard work! We work really long hours, but it’s all completely painless and worth it. I’m so thankful. I love my character and I loveworking with Dan Schneider, I grew up living in front of the TV watching his shows. 

Wzra Tv: How is it working with the cast?
Ariana: Amazing! You would think that putting 7 teenagers in a room together every day, all day long, would be a complete disaster but we actually adore each other and are genuinely happy for each others accomplishments. 

Wzra Tv: Do you have a favorite episode of Victorious that you’ve filmed? 
Ariana: Ice Cream for Ke$ha and Survival of The Hottest and Prome (which hasn’t aired yet). 

Wzra Tv: What can we expect from the new upcoming episode of Iparty with Victorious? 
Ariana: Ahhhhhh! Lots of laughs. I love it so much. I have such a fun little story-line, can’t wait for everyone to see. :) 

Wzra Tv: If you could have anyone guest star on Victorious, who would you like to see on the show and why?
Ariana: Imogen Heap, I think she’d be hilarious,and I think she could teach a really cool music technology class. 

Wzra Tv: Tell us about your amazing covers you do on Youtube! 
Ariana: Thank you! They’re basically a way for me to excite my fans in anticipation for what’s to come. I also do the covers that my fans request. I like having them involved in the song picking process. I think I have a really great,intimate relationship with my fans, I care about them and their opinions regarding my music. We put a lot of hard work into the covers, but I just can’t wait for you all to hear my original songs. If they like what they’re hearing now…. heheheheh. I just can’t wait. 

Wzra Tv: What can we expect from you musically in the near future? 
Ariana: I’m working on my album right now, and it’s very fun and uplifting. I love what I do and I hope to be making records forever.

Wzra Tv: What type of music do you listen to on a regular basis? 
Ariana: I have the most bizarre, eclectic musical cocktail in my itunes ever. It basically consists of Imogen Heap, Connie Francis’s 8 million songs haha, the current radio hits, Fiona Apple, Rihanna, Donna Summer, and the Black Eyed Peas. I listen to everything. Current, old, super old. You name it, I probably love it. 

Wzra Tv: Your trademark is your red hair, when did you decide to dye your hair that color? (We love it by the way!) 
Ariana: Thank you! It actually wasn’t my decision at all. Dan Schneider, executive producer of VicTORIous, chose it for my character, but I’m very happy with his choice. I think it suits my character perfectly. 

Wzra Tv: How do you like using twitter? 
Ariana: I love using Twitter. It allows entertainers to have a real friendship with their fans which until these past few years we were never really able to do. I’m so excited to be alive during this time of epic technology. 

Wzra Tv: Do you have a favorite tweet either that either you’ve tweeted or that someone has tweeted to you? 
Ariana: It changes every single day. I love too many things to just pick one!

Wzra Tv: Tell us one thing we may not know about you.
Ariana: I’m a complete nerd. I love Science, video games, comic books and Lord of The Rings. 

Wzra Tv: Do you have a prized possession or something you can’t live without?
Ariana: My phone. It’s how I communicate with my family and stay in contact with the world. I need it! 

Wzra Tv: Who’s your Celebrity Crush? 
Ariana: Leonardo DiCaprio. 

Wzra Tv: Do you have anything you’d like to say to your fans? 
 I love you. Thank you!

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Marie Claire Q&A


Marie Claire: So let’s talk about your debut album. Why is it called "Yours Truly?"
Ariana Grande: I felt like the album was a love letter that was written over the span of three years, so I wanted to sign it like a love letter. A lot happened and I grew as a person: Things changed—relationships, heartbreak, and then new love.

MC: Heartbreak for you? You’re only twenty!
AG: It can happen. Yeah, it was bad!

MC: Do you remember the first time you decided you wanted to become a singer?
AG: You know, there was no moment where I was like, "Oh I want to be a singer." For as far back as I can remember I just knew it was what I wanted to do. When I was a little girl, I would dress up and sing around the house in costumes. I just thought it was what I was meant to do.

MC: Who was that one person who inspired you musically?
AG: India Arie and Imogen Heap are two of my favorite artists. They’re like goddesses. I love them so much.

MC: Who’s your style icon?
AG: Audrey Hepburn.

MC: You played the character of Cat Valentine on Nickelodeon’s Victorious, and now on Sam & Cat. What’s the difference between being a TV actress versus being a singer?
AG: I love [acting for the fans] who watch the show—that means so much to me. But music is where my heart is--it feels natural, as opposed to acting, which feels like a challenge.

MC: What do you want your fans to take away from this record?
AG: I want them to get to know me as Ariana. I love my fans. I have a very intimate relationship with them—they feel like friends to me. I think it's an exciting moment because I get to be me now. I don't have to be a character, which is scary at the same time, because if they don't like [my music], it's me they don't like. But it's honest and real and it's who I am. I'm proud of it. I feel very blessed. 

MC: What’s your goal for your music career?
AG: It’s not about numbers or breaking records. I guess for me it's about making music you want to listen to the whole way through. Each song means something. I want [my fans] to love it, and I want it to mean something to them. I want it to be relatable.

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