Ariana Grande's songwriting sheets were stained with tears as she penned the lyrics for her new album's songs, because she couldn't stop sobbing.
The singer admits she was deeply affected by the bomb attack that cost 22 fans their lives as they left her concert at the Manchester Arena in England a year ago (May17), and she couldn't get the tragedy out of her mind as she started work on her new album, Sweetener.
"I've always just been, like, a shiny, singing, 5-6-7- 8, sexy-dance... sexy thing (sic)," the 24-year-old pop star tells Fader, "but now it’s like, 'OK... is a bop - but is a message. Is a bop - but also has chunks of my soul in it. Here you go. I cried 10 hundred (sic) times in the session writing it for you. Here is my bleeding heart, and here is a trap beat behind it'.
"There’s definitely some crying-on-the-dance-floor stuff on this one (album)."
Ariana admits she has never been so raw and "vulnerable" in the recording studio: "I feel like I graduated almost. I feel like for a long time the songs were great, but they weren’t songs that made me feel something the way these songs do."
She's still struggling with the bomb blast tragedy, admitting it's difficult to find the words to explain how she feels to loved ones.
"I guess I thought with time, and therapy, and writing, and pouring my heart out, and talking to my friends and family that it would be easier to talk about," she tells the publication, noting the fan support she has received - especially at the One Love Manchester benefit she helped organise last summer (Jun17) - has helped.
"The fact that all of those people were able to turn something that represented the most heinous of humanity into something beautiful and unifying and loving is just wild," she adds.