Ari­ana Grande

On love, life in the lime­light, and her Next Big Year

CLEO (Malaysia) - - FRONT PAGE -

She’s gone from Broad­way to TV star, and on to one of the big­gest names in mu­sic – Ari­ana Grande proves that she gets big­ger and brighter from strength to strength. Both her al­bums – Yours Truly and

My Ev­ery­thing – de­buted at num­ber one on the Bill­board 200 chart, she had four songs in the Bill­board Top 10 si­mul­ta­ne­ously, spent seven weeks at the num­ber one spot of the Bill­board So­cial 50 charts, and won some 30-some­thing in­dus­try awards for her songs like “Bang Bang”, “Prob­lem”, and “One Last Time”. With a ru­moured third al­bum on the way, she’s cur­rently star­ring in an all-new TV se­ries Scream Queens along­side Emma Roberts and Kiki Palmer. A self-pro­fessed “sailor mouth” (she cusses a lot), Ari­ana ad­mits to still be­ing a lit­tle shy. The soft-spo­ken artist is pas­sion­ate about be­ing a pos­i­tive in­flu­ence on her fans. She in­ter­acts with them through so­cial me­dia, and has been nom­i­nated and won awards for her so­cial me­dia ac­tiv­ity. Hailed as one of pop cul­ture’s favourite style icons, Ari­ana main­tains that al­though she loves fash­ion, it isn’t some­thing she pays much at­ten­tion to. “I don’t feel con­fi­dent in my sex­u­al­ity or my fash­ion; it’s just not on my mind – I think of mu­sic first.” In a sit-down with #teamCLEO, Ari­ana talks about liv­ing in the lime­light, go­ing head to head with Michael Jack­son on the mu­sic charts, and her idea of ro­mance.

Give us a short his­tory – who is Ari­ana Grande?

I’m from Boca Raton, Florida. I love the beach, an­i­mals, mu­si­cal theatre, R&B and pop mu­sic. I love my friends and fam­ily, and I’m mildly so­cially awk­ward but slowly get­ting bet­ter. I en­joy life, and live for the mo­ment.

You seem to have taken the mu­sic world by storm. Is there a mas­ter plan be­hind this? Do you have a big team or are you on your own?

Thank you, I have a very in­ti­mate team. I don’t have too many peo­ple that I trust with ev­ery­thing ... I like to make sure the peo­ple I work with are very trust­wor­thy and very fun, with the purest of in­ten­tions and ev­ery­thing like that.

How do you feel about be­ing the only per­son since Michael Jack­son to have three songs in the US Top 6 si­mul­ta­ne­ously?

It’s in­sane – just hear­ing that is bizarre. Ob­vi­ously it’s more than a dream come true – be­cause I never dreamt that I would be ca­pa­ble of mak­ing mu­sic that would be re­ceived like this. I’m very ap­pre­cia­tive and grate­ful, and can’t wait to do more.

When was the mo­ment as a girl you said “I want to be a singer. I want to be world fa­mous”?

I al­ways loved mu­sic, per­form­ing, and mak­ing peo­ple laugh, but I love singing first and fore­most. My grandma was

the one who ac­tu­ally told me, “You have a gift; you need to start au­di­tion­ing for things and make a life out of this.”

What do you like most about the mu­sic busi­ness?

What I like the most about it is just mak­ing mu­sic. I’m very grate­ful to be at a point in my ca­reer where I have free­dom and work with artists that I’ve ad­mired for many years.

What was it like work­ing with Jessie J?

Work­ing with her and Nicki (Mi­naj) on “Bang Bang” was mind-blow­ing! I’m a hu­mungous fan of both of them. There are videos on­line of me singing and rap­ping along to their songs. It’s so em­bar­rass­ing but still hi­lar­i­ous.

How do you deal with your Face­book and Twit­ter con­nec­tions with your fans?

I def­i­nitely take a lot of time out of my day to go on Twit­ter, sort of talk to my loves and say hi. I’ll go through my DMs and talk to my fans for a bit. I have a close re­la­tion­ship with my fans – they’re like my friends. I know them very well, and they know me very well.

Are there any down­sides to your fame, like trolls or stalk­ers?

There have been a few trolls on­line but I try not to pay too much mind. I don’t like to ac­knowl­edge neg­a­tiv­ity. As far as the whole stalker thing – some­body jumped my fence and was in my back­yard. I wasn’t home but it was a kind of scary to hear about it.

Has fame changed how you han­dle your life­style?

No, un­for­tu­nately not – I wish! I don’t have a fil­ter, and I al­ways try to keep it as real as pos­si­ble. Some­times I for­get and go out­side in my py­ja­mas, only to see a bunch of pho­tos of me at the gro­cery store the next day. It’s weird, but I have to get used to it.

Do you keep fit?

Well, I eat care­fully – I’ve been ve­gan for al­most a year. Also, I dance a lot. I’m con­stantly per­form­ing – it never stops! That be­ing said, I do eat a lot, so it’s kind of sur­pris­ing that it doesn’t add on to me.

What’s ro­man­tic to you?

For a hope­less ro­man­tic like me, it’s go­ing to the beach at night, hav­ing late-night ad­ven­tures, snug­gling up and watch­ing movies, mak­ing mu­sic, or hav­ing a glass of wine.

Do you ever worry about things you’ve done in the past?

I did so many em­bar­rass­ing videos when I was younger, mostly ones I filmed at home – we had a Youtube tele­vi­sion se­ries, called Freaky For­ever, which we took re­ally se­ri­ously. That was like our whole pre-teen life – that was ev­ery­thing. Some of them are just so em­bar­rass­ing but, you know, you have to em­brace your past.

Were your par­ents al­ways sup­port­ive of you?

Yeah! When I first told my mum that I wanted to au­di­tion for Broad­way shows, she thought I was crazy. But I pushed for it, and she was like “Okay, if that’s what you want, then I’ll do my best to sup­port you. But don’t say I didn’t warn you when sh*t gets crazy.”

What’s the best ad­vice you’ve ever re­ceived from your fam­ily or friends?

I think the most im­por­tant thing is some­thing that my grandpa told me be­fore he passed away.

He said, “Baby doll, there’s go­ing to be a point in your ca­reer when you’re do­ing your best and peo­ple will want to make you look bad, or fight with you. All I can tell you is don’t fight back. You just say ‘okay’, shake their hands, and keep your head held high. Don’t let neg­a­tiv­ity de­rail you, ever, be­cause then they would’ve won. You just need to keep do­ing your best.”

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