Ariana Grande is being called “the new Mariah Carey,” and the “Baby I” singer couldn’t be more flattered.
“It’s a blessing to get the comparison. When you look at ‘The Way‘ it’s obvious, but I’m not worried about it,” the 20-year-old told Rolling Stone. “It’s a massive compliment; she’s the greatest singer in the world, like literally, the Guinness Book of World Records.”
The Victorious star added, “It’s an incredible compliment but it doesn’t worry me, because when you listen to my album as a whole, you get to know me.”
The man behind the sound, Harmony Samuels, told You Know I Got Soul that Grande played her songs for him, and that they “weren’t bad.” However, he felt her voice was bigger than her records. Samuels said she needed a “big song” to highlight her voice. “The Way,” which was originally meant for Jordin Sparks, was that song.
“And ‘The Way’ was perfect and I was like ‘Let me play you this.’ Sometimes we just pay attention to a person’s behavior or the way they speak. For some reason, it just works for Ariana because she’s not really from an urban scene at all, but her voice worked perfectly with that type of R&B,” Samuels said.
“I say that type of R&B because it’s not like urban R&B which is what you would hear Sevyn, Eric Bellinger or Ciara do. It’s more of a Pop R&B like Justin Timberlake. There’s still a difference in sound,” he added.
Samuels also said that “The Way” and “Right There” matched the throwback R&B sound he wanted for Grande.
“What we realized was that she had an amazing voice and yeah, ‘The Way’ and ‘Right There’ are throwback records. But the other songs we’ve done are not as throwback. In fact, one is quite new,” he said. “I just felt her voice made sense with that type of sound. Remember when I said I wanted to bring R&B back? She was the perfect element to bringing R&B back because of her voice. It just worked.”
As for what’s next for Ariana Grande, she is already working on her sophomore album, which is set to be released in February. Her debut album, Yours Truly, was just released on August 30.
“I’ve started working on it. I’ve come up with a few, two songs already that I want on it. It’s an album that I want to do a little bit different. I don’t want it to sound like an extension of Yours Truly,” she said. “I want it to sound like an evolution. I want to explore more sounds and experiment a little bit. I have a bunch of ideas I’m very excited about and a lot of stuff cooking.”