Ariana Grande appears on the cover of Marie Claire’s October issue (on newsstands September 23). Even as a little girl singing in the car, Ariana Grande had a big voice. At 14, ready for the music world that wasn’t quite ready for her, she took a detour with a Nickelodeon show or two. Now 21, with a hit second album, she’s gone from small screen to mega pop star — which, as we discover, was her plan all along.
Check out the highlights from the interview via Marie Claire:
On early ambitions: “I was 14 years old and ready to make an R&B album. I was like, ‘Where is that Mary J. Blige collab? Where is that Natasha Bedingfield writing session? Where is my session with India.Arie? I’m ready. Let’s go.’ I wrote this song called ‘Higher,’ and the lyrics were too sexual, too mature. And my mom was like, ‘This is a great song, but damn, you’re too young for this.’”
On hiding behind her Nickelodeon character: “People liked her and they accepted her and they thought that I was like her. So I used to pretend to be a little more like her than I actually was.”
On her first single, “Put Your Hearts Up,” tanking: “I was like, ‘Guys, there has to be a really distinct difference between me and my character.’ And we did that with ‘The Way.’ I dyed my hair back to brown. I made out with a rapper in the video. I made the point I wanted to make. And I was excited to do so after so many years of pretending to be somebody else in front of a lot of people.”
Photos via Tesh/Marie Claire