Ariana Grande: 'Music Is Where My Heart Is'

The 20 year-old singer, whose debut album "Yours Truly" climbed to the top of the charts last fall, spills about heartbreak, her style icon, and why she's obsessed with her fans.

Ariana Grande
(Image credit: Republic/Universal Records)

Marie Claire: So let's talk about your debut album. Why is it called "Yours Truly?"

Ariana Grande: I felt like the album was a love letter that was written over the span of three years, so I wanted to sign it like a love letter. A lot happened and I grew as a person: Things changed—relationships, heartbreak, and then new love.

MC: Heartbreak for you? You're only twenty!

AG: It can happen. Yeah, it was bad!

MC: Do you remember the first time you decided you wanted to become a singer?

AG: You know, there was no moment where I was like, "Oh I want to be a singer." For as far back as I can remember I just knew it was what I wanted to do. When I was a little girl, I would dress up and sing around the house in costumes. I just thought it was what I was meant to do.

MC: Who was that one person who inspired you musically?

AG: India Arie and Imogen Heap are two of my favorite artists. They're like goddesses. I love them so much.

MC: Who's your style icon?

AG: Audrey Hepburn.

MC: You played the character of Cat Valentine on Nickelodeon's Victorious, and now on Sam & Cat. What's the difference between being a TV actress versus being a singer?

AG: I love [acting for the fans] who watch the show—that means so much to me. But music is where my heart is--it feels natural, as opposed to acting, which feels like a challenge.

MC: What do you want your fans to take away from this record?

AG: I want them to get to know me as Ariana. I love my fans. I have a very intimate relationship with them—they feel like friends to me. I think it's an exciting moment because I get to be me now. I don't have to be a character, which is scary at the same time, because if they don't like [my music], it's me they don't like. But it's honest and real and it's who I am. I'm proud of it. I feel very blessed.

MC: What's your goal for your music career?

AG: It's not about numbers or breaking records. I guess for me it's about making music you want to listen to the whole way through. Each song means something. I want [my fans] to love it, and I want it to mean something to them. I want it to be relatable.

Check out Grande's most recent music video and cover of "Last Christmas" below!

Sergio Kletnoy