WeKnowTheDJ Spotlight: Ariana Grande

June 12, 2017
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Ariana Grande has been in the news a lot lately, and for rather terrible reasons beyond her control. After the attack in Manchester, the world has struggled to find light among the darkness. Though nothing can truly make such an awful tragedy “better,” Grande handled things with grace and love, putting on a benefit concert in the city.

A post shared by Ariana Grande (@arianagrande) on

I am highlighting her as an artist, but I also felt the need to highlight just how beautiful (inside and out) Grande really is. Call this an ode to her…or just a long, extremely fangirl-y article from the most fangirl-y person alive. Either way, she’s someone with both a big voice and even bigger heart, and she deserves to be recognized. In a time of heartbreak and horror, she remained strong and put all her energy into connecting the world through music, something that can never be taken away.

Now, let’s recap her rise to fame:

Grande, originally from Boca Raton, Florida, loved to sing from an early age and eventually found herself in New York City involved in the Broadway production known as 13. This combination of acting and singing later led her to playing a redhead named Cat Valentine on the Nickelodeon shows Victorious and Sam & Cat. She was quirky, cute and lovable, but her voice is what always stood out, at least to me.

Her music career began to take off as she took a break from acting (aside from her role in Hairspray Live years later). Before the release of her début album Yours Truly, Grande embarked on a tour known as The Listening Sessions, during which fans had the chance to hear the songs before they were released. She went on to join Justin Bieber for three shows on his Believe Tour.

This was actually the first time I ever heard her live, and I was utterly blown away by how a voice that large could come from someone so small. She was a ball of sunshine on the stage, sporting a sparkly red dress and singing with a smile though no one knew the words to her songs yet. The Yours Truly era was, for lack of a better word, wholesome.

Fast forward to her second album, My Everything, and her sound and look are progressively maturing. With this album came her first big tour; she jumped right into arenas, and suddenly seats were filled with wide-eyed young people with cat ears and all of her lyrics memorized. I remember my amazement at how famous she was suddenly, a feeling that my little secret was no longer a secret.

Her current album, Dangerous Woman, is definitely her most entertaining and transformative era thus far. Cat ears turned to bunny ears. On stage outfits became tight and latex. Song lyrics became much more sexual. Grande had all the confidence in the world, and you could almost feel her radiating girl-power and self-love as she owned her sexuality and exhibited pride in her new music.

Her concerts always have been, and will continue to be, a place of love, unity and togetherness. As cheesy as it sounds, she provides a sense of home within an arena. As a fan of many, many years, it’s amazing to see Grande continue to shine as both an extremely talented artist and kindhearted, genuine person.

Stream her charity single cover of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal.

-Nisa Ayral (@nisaayral)

Feature Image by Leslie Crow

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