Ariana Grande was an old soul from a young age. The “Problem” singer knew early on that she wanted to make music — but as she reveals in the new issue of Marie Claire, the kind of music she wanted to make was a little too mature for her then-14-year-old self.
“I was 14 years old and ready to make an R&B album,” Grande, now 21, told the magazine. “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.'”
In fact, the “Bang Bang” hitmaker was so eager to be one of the girls that she jumped forward a few years in her songwriting. “I wrote this song called ‘Higher,’ and the lyrics were too sexual, too mature,” she recalled. “And my mom was like, ‘This is a great song, but damn, you’re too young for this.'”
While she waited to grow up, Grande nurtured her fan base as the star of Nickelodeon’s Sam & Cat. (She played the latter, opposite Jennette McCurdy‘s Sam.)
“People liked her and they accepted her and they thought that I was like her,” the actress explained to Marie Claire of how she used to hide behind her character. “So I used to pretend to be a little more like her than I actually was.”
As time passed, however, Grande became eager to establish an identity away from Cat. “I was like, ‘Guys, there has to be a really distinct difference between me and my character,'” she said of her transition from TV to music.
“We did that with ‘The Way,'” she continued. “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.”
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