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Thursday October 17, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday October 17, 2013 MYT 1:38:06 PM
by gordon kho
Real talent: While some of her peers rely on auto-tune to enhance their vocal delivery, Ariana Grande is the real deal. Her voice has been likened to Mariah Carey’s.
Sweet disposition? Check.
Girl-next-door image? Check. Triple threat? Check, check and check! Say hello to
new It girl Ariana Grande.
WHEN you look at photos of Ariana Grande, you’d think the 20-year-old singer-actress was a good girl in school – the sort who scored good grades and never got into trouble. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“I was the sort of student who got into trouble for the wrong reasons,” Grande reveals during a video conference from London recently.
To further prove her point, she relates a story: “I had low sugar level. Actually, I still have low sugar level. I have to eat every few hours to keep myself alive and functioning. But back in school one time, I told a teacher I had to eat an apple in class cos my sugar level was low.
“I told her, ‘I’d die if you don’t let me eat this apple.’ And she was like, ‘There’s no eating in class’. And I was like, ‘I’m literally going to pass out in T-minus 30 seconds. Can I have this apple?’ And she was like, ‘That’s against the honour code.’
“Ok, I don’t get the honour code. I mean, how is wearing my shirt tucked in going to help me understand Maths or Physics? Can you just let me wear my Juicy sweater, please? Anyway, I was trying to eat the apple and she took it away from me and I fainted in class and she was like, ‘You are doing that for attention’.”
Grande doesn’t have to worry about all these problems any more. If she wants attention, she can just reach out to more than 10 million fans who follow her on Twitter.
And to keep her sugar level at optimum level, she has a troupe of publicists attending to her every need.
Grande is Nickelodeon’s It girl and the music industry’s next big thing.
She currently stars in Sam & Cat, a spinoff from two series, iCarly and Victorious. Initially, Sam & Cat was supposed to feature 20 episodes for its first season, but overwhelming response has made Nickelodeon order another 20 episodes.
Grande’s first studio album, Yours Truly, which was released last month, debuted at No 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.
An amazing achievement, true, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise. The young lady is talented; Her voice has been likened to Mariah Carey’s, a comparison that thrills Grande.
“It’s a massive compliment,” she says of the comparison to Carey. “She’s the greatest singer in the world, like literally, the Guinness Book Of Records.”
Born Ariana Grande-Butera in Florida, United States, the singer-actress got her break when she starred in the musical 13 on Broadway. She moved from stage to television when she was cast as Cat Valentine in Nickelodoen’s Victorious.
Like a true over-achiever, Grande says both her singing and acting career are of equal importance to her, though she does admit one comes to her more naturally than the other.
“Well, singing comes more naturally to me. Music is like a form of self expression, whereas acting is more of a challenge,” she says, but quickly adds, “But I do like to challenge myself. I feel like I get to put on another hat when I’m acting, I get to become someone else for awhile. It’s fun!”
Fun for Grande is working more than 15 hours a day. She gets to the set of Sam & Cat at 6am and works right up to 8pm. And then, she has dinner in the car while being ferried to the studio for her recording sessions (a Christmas EP is on the way and she’s targeting to release her second album early next year).
She knows she has to strike while the iron is hot. At the moment, showbiz is in need of a young role model since Miley is busy twerking and Bieber is getting into all sorts of trouble.
Grande, with her sweet disposition and girl-next-door image, is the perfect candidate and she is using that to her advantage.
“If I wanna do what I am doing right now, then I have to set a good example for my fans, but at the same time, I would never pretend to be something I am not. If I didn’t feel like I was role model material, I don’t think I’d be doing a kids’ show,” Grande says matter-of-factly.
While Sam & Cat appeals to her younger fans, Grande has tailored her album to capture older listeners. With Babyface as producer, Yours Truly sounds more 1990s R&B than bubblegum pop.
The album also features duets with Mika, Big Sean, Mac Miller and The Wanted’s Nathan Sykes (whom Grande is dating at the moment).
“I’d love to work with some dope female artistes on my next album, since I’ve done a lot of collaborations with amazing boy singers,” she says.
And she has one name on her wish list. “I’d love to work with Imogen Heap. I’d probably pass out and die if she’d agree to sing with me.”
If that ever happens, Heap should just hand the drama queen an apple; that should help with her sugar levels.
> Sam & Cat airs at 4.30pm from Mondays to Thursdays on Nickelodeon (Astro Ch 612).
Tags / Keywords:
Entertainment, Ariana Grande, Singer, Actress, Sam & Cat, Victorious, Nickelodeon, Yours Truly, Popular Song, Imogen Heap, Mariah Carey
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