Ariana Grande wanted to make an “India.Arie record”.
The 21-year-old singer is set to release her second album, entitled My Everything, on August 22. The star, who collaborated with Nicki Minaj and Jessie J for the hit Bang Bang and whose latest album has a track with Iggy Azalea, has some surprising role models.
"When I was 14, I wanted to make a straight-up, like, India.Arie record," she explained to Billboard. "Something really soulful.”
The singer has performed covers of songs by songstresses such as Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. Ariana’s is known for The Way from her debut album.
One of the star’s other major influences is Madonna, who she says is “strength”, “freedom” and “wisdom beyond anybody’s comprehension”.
The performer also has an “obsession” with the vintage and classics, including “everything from Marlene Dietrich to Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons to Connie Francis”.
The star derives inspiration from actress Helena Bonham Carter, who is known for Fight Club, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Alice in Wonderland.
"I was like a mini-Helena Bonham Carter,” Ariana explained to the publication, adding she was “a very weird little girl”.
When the singer was five she had a Jaws-themed birthday party and apparently all her friends “left crying”. Additionally, growing up she always wanted to “have face paint on or be wearing a Freddy Krueger mask”. She would even carry a hockey stick around.