How Ariana Grande widened her fan base with ‘Dangerous Woman’
I’LL ADMIT IT: I am one of those naysayers who didn’t really take Ariana Grande seriously in the beginning. Not that I hate her, it’s just that most pop stars who started their careers as teen stars don’t normally transition well as dependable musicians. Either they lip sync to save their lives, get involved in a number of controversies that can ruin their careers or simply don’t give a damn about their loyal fan base. Although Ariana Grande had a number of hits that time and her collaborations with artists that I admire like Jessie J, Nicki Minaj, Iggy Azalea, The Weeknd among others did well in the charts, I felt that she is still a little girl. Yes, they’re saying that she’s the new generation’s Mariah Carey or Christina Aguilera, but something was lacking. Yah know, like when Britney Spears said in one of her songs that ‘she’s not a girl, not yet a woman’. But guuurl, Ariana Grande proved that she’s ready to dominate the world and dominate the hearts of many by releasing Dangerous Woman in 2016.
DANGEROUS WOMAN: PROCEED WITH CAUTION – YOU MIGHT LOVE HER!
When I first heard “Dangerous Woman”, I thought to myself that this is the type of song my favorite Christina Aguilera can perform to. When I found out that Ariana Grande is the voice behind the song, I got intrigued. I listened to the album while my friend and I were on a road trip and we instantly fell in love with it. This particular song shows how a young woman is now ready to explore her sexuality thus it can be ‘dangerous’. I was more than happy when I saw her perform with Christina Aguilera in The Voice to promote the single. Ariana was vocal about the fact that Christina is one of her inspirations and honestly, it shows in this album. Both women are petite but their voices are so powerful and they’re not afraid to show the world that they are in-charge of their image and sexuality.
NOW I’M SO INTO YOU, ARIANA GRANDE!
I was about to cross to my 30’s when this album came out. The music video of “Into You” made an impression because it reminded me on how the female superstars of the 90’s made an effort in their music videos. I was rooting for Ariana and her leading man in the video up to the point that I ended up mentally writing a possible story line for the two. When I reunited with my mom and my special brother in the UK, we bonded over Ariana’s album in the lazy afternoons after tea time. Yes, we enjoyed dancing and sweatin’ over Zumba routines we could find for the song. I consider Into You as one of the songs that grows into you the more you listen to it. It was my LSS for a month and I am not ashamed to confess that. I guess this song was a hit for my mom because it has some disco vibe to it.
THE ROYAL REUNION WITH THE NICKI MINAJ
When the current Princess of Pop collaborates with the Queen of Rap of the decade, expectations are high. The friendship of royalties Ariana and Nicki flourished after they collaborated on the hit song of 2014 – “Bang Bang”. In fact, the two collaborated in more songs in 2018. With “Side to Side”, the two showed their playful side. They were able to make a sexually-charged reggae-pop song into something that kids can dance or sing too (yes, that sounds weird, I know.). The colorful music video features Ariana Grande in a spin class as a metaphor of the song’s real meaning. My friends and I can’t help but laugh with how the music video features a lot of physical activities. Adults do know the meaning behind ‘side to side’. When this song was released, this was often played in clubs. I remember dancing in the island of Boracay with some hostel mates with this song! That gave new meaning to ‘I’ve been here all night, I’ve been here all day’
COLLABORATIONS THAT WORKED IN ARIANA’S FAVOR
For this album, Ariana Grande had a number of collaborations. The first one is with Lil Wayne in R&B track “Let Me Love You.” The hip-hop beat of this song made it stand out and one of the LSS-worthy tracks from the album. Like one of my gal pals said, this is the perfect ‘lazy Sunday song’. The type that you play if you just want to stay at home and bop your head to. This song pertains to a woman who broke up with her ex and is now willing to be in the arms of someone new. In short, this girl has some dependency issues, huh! Just kidding! The next collaboration is with Future in “Everyday” which I believe is the ultimate grinding/sexy time song in the album. The music video is a shocker and it might have discouraged some viewers to take a second look so they just settle with the lyric video version, where the cutey Ariana is dancing innocently and simply having fun. If you wish to flirt with someone yet you do not know how to tell your prospect how, you can play this song and let’s see if it works. Just kidding. But hey, it might work. Last but not the least is Ariana’s collaboration with the talented Macy Gray in the hair-raising “Leave Me Lonely”, where the voices of these two divas blended well. It’s like going to church even if you don’t really go there to attend a mass. It’s that powerful!
THE SWEETER SIDE: Prelude to Sweetener?
I’m not sure if the ultimate throwback vibes dance song “Greedy” is officially released as a single, but it was featured din Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 9. It reminded me of Emma Bunton’s Free Me album. “Sometimes”, “Be Alright”, “Moonlight”, “Bad Decisions” and “Thinking Bout You” are worth listening to. It felt like it was a prelude to Ariana’s next album Sweetener. To summarize, Dangerous Woman is one of my favorite albums of 2016. Even my mom and my brother agrees to this! I guess taking the risk in buying this album is not a Bad Decision after all, eh?