Ariana Grande recently sat down with the Fader to talk about her upcoming album Sweetener, and how the music will reflect her recent experiences and hardships. Interviewer Myles Tanzer notes how "at the first mention of the word Manchester during our chat, she begins to tear up and at several points breaks down into sobbing." 

As a result, this latest song cycle is being touted as her most message-driven, with the singer noting how "I’ve always just been like a shiny, singing, 5-6-7- 8, sexy-dance…sexy thing. But now it’s like, ‘OK … issa bop—but issa message. Issa bop but also has chunks of my soul in it. Here you go. Also, I cried 10 hundred times in the session writing it for you. Here is my bleeding heart, and here is a trap beat behind it."

Comparing the material on Sweetener to her previous albums, Grande admits that "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." The interview also highlights how her forthcoming musical endeavour will directly address a "hard time that [Ariana has] been dealing with for the past year-and-a-half," that her fans "deserve to know about." 

Pharrell also took part in the interview, who is credited with elevating the "No Tears Left to Cry" hitmaker's sound into newer, unexplored terrain. The two began working together in 2016, and described his role as "part listener, part therapist, part stenographer." The beloved musical producer reveals how he feels like "[after Manchester] was when different people from the record company actually started to understand what we were trying to do. It’s unfortunate that that situation is what gave it context, but they were able to really see it then. And that’s the truth."