Ariana Grande is ready to release music on her own terms. After dropping one of the biggest pop albums of the year, going through a public breakup, and trying to cope with the death of her ex Mac Miller, Grande’s mind is focused on new music, which she’s been slowly working on as she privately and publicly faced adversity.
But she’s also sick of the old pop star mold and model. In her new cover story with Billboard—she was named the magazine's Woman of the Year—Grande talks about wanting 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 shit,” she explained. “It’s just like, ‘Bruh, I just want to fucking 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?’"
The “Thank U, Next” singer previously hinted at dropping her new project while she tours Sweetener next year, and addresses that possibility again. “I don’t want to do what people tell me to do, I don’t want to conform to the pop star agenda,” she said. “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, I’ll do that too!”
Even though she might decide to release and tour her next project alongside Sweetener, fans shouldn’t expect it to be as, well, sweet as her No. 1 album. "This [album’s] not particularly uplifting,” she told Billboard. “A lot of it sounds really upbeat, but it’s actually a super sad chapter.”
Grande reportedly played some of the new music for journalist Natalie Weiner, who writes, “Just before this interview, she was working on a new song, which, when she plays it for me later, I realize is about Miller.”
Grande has posted several tributes to her late ex boyfriend. The two dated from 2016 to 2018, when they broke up back in May. She referenced Miller in her latest single (“Wish I could say thank you to Malcolm/Cause he was an angel”), but it sounds like her new album will feature an entire track dedicated to the late rapper.
The album is currently in its “polishing phase,” and Weiner described it as “deep, bass-driven bangers with trap beats alternating with airy, sad ballads” and “more adventurous than anything she has ever released.”
There’s no telling when the album will actually drop. With this attitude it could be next week or it could be five months from now. Ari kicks off her tour on March 19, 2019.
Read her entire interview with Billboard here.