Ariana Grande was named Billboard‘s 2018 “Woman of the Year.” In writing the backstory for the award, Billboard spends a lot of time discussing some pretty well known stories about Ariana’s road to success. But Ariana provided some very interesting insights into the empowerment that she wants to have over her own career since Sweetener came out.
We have some photos from Ariana’s pictorial in a gallery below.
Basically, Ariana says that she does not just want to have a hand in her studio production work. She actually wants to be have the freedom and influence that many young rappers have over their musical output.
She wants to do more than dictate the concepts behind her work. She also wants to control the schedule and timing of release for her music. That is a freedom just assumed by many rappers who can drop mix tapes, SoundCloud songs or diss tracks based on when they feel that there’s an appetite among fans.
Ariana told Billboard –
My dream has always been to be — obviously not a rapper, but, like, to put out music in the way that a rapper does. I feel like there are certain standards that pop women are held to that men aren’t. We have to do the teaser before the single, then do the single, and wait to do the preorder, and radio has to impact before the video, and we have to do the discount on this day, and all this s**t. It’s just like, ‘Bruh, I just want to f**king talk to my fans and sing and write music and drop it the way these boys do. Why do they get to make records like that and I don’t?’ So I do and I did and I am, and I will continue to.”
Obviously, Ariana took much more control of the entire process with Sweetener. But it seems like her decision to write, record and push out “Thank U, Next” on her own terms and timing seemed to validate for her the need for more flexibility … and more personal control. “Thank U, Next” was the first single of Ariana’s career to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and the song’s big-budget video has also been a record-breaking sensation.
Normally, though, a record label would not approve the release of a second, new big budget video so soon after the release of Ariana’s previous big budget video for “Breathin.” So, again, Ariana’s wanting to break the rules in terms of timing seems to have paid off. What might concern label executives, however, is Ariana’s willingness to put out something based on her own preferences regardless of how it works out in the market.
And if it doesn’t work out the way ‘Thank U, Next’ did, that’s fine too! It is so exciting to see something be received well. That’s a beautiful thing. But it’s even more beautiful to be honest and just do something … To drop a record on a Saturday night because you feel like it, and because your heart’s going to explode if you don’t — to take back your narrative.”
And it seems like Ariana is not willing to wait to break the rules — or own more of her own narrative. She told Billboard that she wants to deliver a second album very soon, and tour to support both albums at once.
I don’t want to do what people tell me to do, I don’t want to conform to the pop star agenda. I want to do it on my own terms from now on. If I want to tour two albums at once, I’m going to tour two albums at once. If I want to drop a third album while I’m on tour [in 2019], I’ll do that too!”
So Ariana’s fans should get ready for a hectic next few months. Ariana sounds like she has a lot of ambitious plans for the beginning of 2019.
You can read the full Billboard article here.
(Image sources: Billboard and Ariana Grande’s Instagram accounts)
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