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Ariana Grande: I’ve loved every minute of making this album ‘Eternal Sunshine’

Written by on March 8, 2024

Ariana Grande sits down with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 to talk about her upcoming album eternal sunshine. She talks about how her time away from music was healing, learning to coexist with her anxieties and that hiding from her success impacted her ability to love what she did. She also talks about how the album was influenced by the film ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,’ her love for Jim Carrey, and she shares how her song “ordinary things” was inspired by a voice note of her Nonna.

Ariana Grande talks to Apple Music about the support she received from her mom and how doing ‘Wicked’ is a full circle moment for her…

Ariana Grande: Even from such a young age, she would fly me in from Boca to audition for Broadway shows. I believed in it, so she supported me and she never pushed me. She always was just kind of very supportive.

Zane Lowe: It’s really happening right now. I mean, that must be extra specially sweet for you to have done so much work and completed this era with Wicked to be able to kind of trace it back to that moment. Because I’m sure she’s super proud of everything that you’ve achieved and the music is a big part of that, but for her to know that those trips to New York and those trips to Broadway and those matinees kind of led you back to that place in a strange way.

Ariana Grande: It’s nice. It’s strange, but also not. It feels so full circle. It feels like home. It feels like pieces of the puzzle that have always been there finding their way back again. Just a nice balance of everything. It’s beautiful. I hope you love it. I’m excited for you to see it.

Ariana Grande talks to Apple Music about the freedom she finds in art…

I think there’s such a freedom within art in general because you really can pull from anywhere. You can pull from your truth, you can pull from a concept, you can pull from a film, from a story you’re telling. From a story about a relationship that a friend told you. Art is really, it can come from anywhere. Finding a home in eternal sunshine was a lovely costume to wear, I think, for this project

Ariana Grande talks to Apple Music about her song “ordinary things” being inspired by a voice note of her Nonna…

Zane Lowe: That’s when it clicked for me and I was listening to it and I thought, “Okay, it starts with a question and it ends with an answer.” The question is, how do I know if I’m in the right relationship, if I found the right person? And it ends with the most timeless piece of advice that anyone with any wisdom will give you, which is, don’t forget about the little things. When did you realise that the album had that start, that question, but you also had the answer at the end?

Ariana Grande: Honestly, I didn’t realise it until I found the voice note. I knew “ordinary things” was the end of the album. I was like, “This is the last song, but I wonder how I can put that button on it and have it land emotionally the way that I feel it can, and how can I answer the question?” I always record my Nonna when I’m with her because you never know what she’s going to say, and she’s the most hilarious person in the world. I had this 30-minute voice note of her and her friend, Shirley, talking. It was just right smack in the middle of it, and I said, “Oh my God, that’s the answer.”

Ariana Grande talks to Apple Music about her time away from music being healing…

I had a very interesting relationship to music before I left for Wicked. I think that the time away was really healing. It’s so interesting because I came back and I’ve loved every minute of making this album, the videos, rehearsing, putting the roll-out together, doing the photo shoots, every single part of it. More than ever before in my life, I’ve been able to be so much more present and enjoy it and savour it this time in a way that I don’t think I was able to before.

Ariana Grande talks to Apple Music about recording with Max Martin and feeling vulnerable…

It was very vulnerable. I had this amazing trip in September that was just me and Max and we started these little seedling ideas. We had a collection of beats that we liked and we wanted to expand upon, and he left me with a big folder. I would come in and try things and FaceTime when I was done and be like, “What do you think?” Or, “Is this fine? I don’t know,” and it was a very vulnerable but really fun experience. I don’t know. It was really special.

Ariana Grande talks to Apple Music about learning to co-exist with her anxieties…

Ariana Grande: I try not to catastrophise. I try to stay present. I think that’s a lot of our work as human beings is to not live in the past or in the future, but to try and just be right here and focus on the present. But of course, there’s that hovering dread of what could happen, I think-

Zane Lowe: I think anxiety is just the byproduct of being alive. I actually think it’s not something that you get afflicted with. I think it’s something you learn to live with and/or acknowledge.

Ariana Grande: You have to learn to live with it. You have to learn what tools work for you and how to befriend it, how to shine a light on all your little monsters and see them and look at them and say, “Okay, I see you. How can we live together? How can we survive together? How can we get through what we need to get through and work on this together?”

Ariana Grande Talks to Apple Music about how hiding from her success impacted her ability to love what she did…

This is our first time that we’ve done this, that it’s felt this way for me, and also that I’ve been able to give my all to it this way, even to do interviews and stuff. I don’t really think that kind of stuff, but I’m excited to. Does that make sense? I’m excited. I’m proud and grateful, and I feel like, oh, my goodness, what a gift to be able to make this art. For so long I think I was in hiding from it, hiding from my success or from what comes with it, and it was really impacting my ability to be able to love what I do for a long time. Oh, my God, I don’t want to get choked up. But yeah, it was really making me resentful, I think, for a little bit of time, and I don’t feel that way anymore. I feel like I’m able to let go of that and enjoy it. And I feel really proud and grateful for that. Sorry to go there, but it feels very different.

Ariana Grande talks to Apple Music about learning to listen to herself…

Zane Lowe: You don’t have to go into specifics, but from a personal level, how did you grow?

Ariana Grande: In all seriousness, I think I learned that I wasn’t really listening to myself in a lot of areas where I could have been. It’s like my nervous system was screaming at me to make certain changes for a long time, but I think I was kind of a person who wasn’t listening. I don’t know, I tried to listen to it more.

Zane Lowe: It’s an interesting time in your life. Because it applies itself to every aspect, and I think we make a lot of it about relationships and a lot of it about self.

Ariana Grande: Oh no, it’s so much about your relationship to yourself. That’s mainly what I mean. For me, I was like, oh, I’m not listening to myself, I need to start listening to my … Why am I doing this? It’s not protective to ignore these feelings. It’s actually counterproductive. It’s actually more harmful to not.

Ariana Grande talks to Apple Music about her album being inspired by the movie ‘Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind’ and her love for Jim Carrey…

Ariana Grande: I think the movie is so beloved because so many people can relate to knowing that something isn’t right, but loving so much, and wanting to stay, and wanting to figure it out, and that cycle that can happen in the film. I think that’s why the film is so beloved. It’s because so many people can relate to it, and I think it kind of fell into place that these songs had little tidbits of that theme. I just felt really inspired by it.

Zane Lowe: Do you remember the first time you watched it?

Ariana Grande: I was really young. I’m a massive Jim Carrey fan. I don’t know if you know this, but my first screen name was JimCarreyFan42. So I was definitely very young. It’s always been a favourite of mine.

Zane Lowe: What’s it being like meeting him?

Ariana Grande: Thrilling. He’s even better. You know how sometimes you get nervous to meet your people, because you never know how they’re going to be, and it’s very scary? He couldn’t be better. I love him so much more after meeting him, and working with him on Kidding.

Ariana Grande talks to Apple Music about her upcoming touring plans…

I miss doing shows. I really do. If there’s a chance to in between the Wickeds or right after the Wickeds, I will of course do my best to do it. I think I just have to sort of like my relationship to music, I have to redefine my relationship to doing shows because I think that’s something that suffered a lot as well because of my own trauma, my own sort of lack of boundaries when I was younger I think allowed for me to sort of have an anxious association with it. But I think that was where I was. So being here now and kind of I look forward to it. I’m excited to redefine my relationship to touring and to doing shows when time allows, but it is something that I’m like, yes, I would love to. I just don’t know when.

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