Ariana Grande set to rap haters' knuckle
ANONYMOUS social media commentators, you have been warned - Ariana Grande is watching you.
The 21-year-old American singer with the four-octave vocal range is gearing up for the release of her second album My Everything, which, if all goes to plan, will be one of the biggest pop records of 2014.
Yet she's still got time to follow her brother Frankie on the American version of Big Brother. And also to police her Instagram feed, after someone referred to Frankie as a "homo" on a photo Grande posted.
"That 'homo' is the fiercest, most incredible, funniest, most intelligent, kind hearted and most LOVED person on the face of the planet!," Grande replied.
"He is incredible and I am SO proud. Oh and also 'that homo' gets more ass than you'll ever get in your life."
When we catch up with Grande on a "s----y" mobile phone connection, she's surprised her slapdown has made global news.
"If you talk s--- about me, that's OK, I don't care," Grande says. "But if you talk
s--- about my brother or my mother or my best friend I will shut it down! "
It's a smart lesson Grande picked up very early on. She has a good pedigree - she started her career with a role in a Broadway musical at 13 and was then cast in the Nickelodeon show Victorious in 2010. Her character Cat was upgraded to a key role in the spin-off Sam and Cat in 2012.
She launched her R&B-heavy debut Yours Truly in September last year, hitting No. 1 in the US.
This year's single Problem (with guest rap from Australia's Iggy Azalea) moved her in a more pop direction and became her biggest global hit so far.
When we speak, she's literally just "dropped" the video for the follow-up Break Free. It sees Grande channelling Jane Fonda in Barbarella, with a deliberately B-grade sci-fi themed clip that lets her humour shine through when she fires missiles from her bra.
"I love a rocket tits moment," Grande laughs.
"Having the light sabre lipstick was my idea. I got to work with people who let me take creative control."
Just as she's happy to call out Instagram haters, Grande is savvy enough to not read a single YouTube comment; understanding it is a place where only bad things live.
Grande's debut album featured R&B producer Babyface and recalled the '90s vibe of Mariah Carey, an artist to whom Grande was endlessly compared.
My Everything is filled with honest, personal songs about love and heartbreak as Grande makes her first steps as a songwriter.
"I didn't want to make Yours Truly 2.0," she says. "I wanted to do something new that represented where I am in my life and my personal growth. I think that's what we nailed down."
She picks Best Mistake as "the favourite thing I've ever done" - the song contains the telling lines 'Maybe I'm the sinner, and you're the saint, gotta stop pretending, what we ain't ... you're the best mistake I've ever made'.
Her other favourite is Break Your Heart Right Back, which features a sample of Diana Ross's I'm Coming Out.
That song's adoption by the gay and lesbian community inspired the lyrical twist, where Grande sings of a boyfriend leaving her for another man.
Grande was hooked up with near-guaranteed hitmakers Max Martin, David Guetta, Ryan Tedder and Rodney Jerkins for her second album. Martin wrote Problem for Grande.
"He's literally the king of pop music forever," Grande says.
"And he was open to my lyrics and ideas.
"You'd think someone that accomplished would be cockier or have a bigger ego."
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