Ariana Grande strikes a pose for the new issue of Complex magazine.
Check out what she had to say below. For the complete interview, visit http://www.complex.com.
Let’s talk about growing up in Boca Raton. Do you know an Asian grill restaurant called “Stir Crazy?”
That’s my favorite! That’s the best restaurant ever. What do you get?
How often do you go back to Boca?
I barely get to go back home anymore. I miss my grandparents the most, and the beach.
What was your family like growing up?
My family was the stereotypical poker-playing, loud, friendly, food-shoving, loving, Italian family.
Growing up Italian, did you ever fake having Mafia ties to appear tougher?
I didn’t have to fake anything…I’m kidding. We didn’t have any Mafia ties. I feel like we knew some of the Mafia but were not involved for sure. I do know somewhere down the line there were some friendships. No Mafia ties though. It wasn’t something I bragged about.
You sound kinda domesticated for a 20-year-old. Where do you get that from?
Myself. No one in my family is like me, nobody. My mom is a CEO and owns a company that manufactures communications equipment for the Marines and the Navy, so she’s not really the housewife type, if you get what I’m saying. She’s the most badass, independent woman you’ll ever meet—not the cookies-in-the-oven type.
You’re also obsessed with Harry Potter.
I’m a big nerd. I love Lord of the Rings. I love Harry Potter. I love scary movies. I love dinosaurs, science, aliens, ghosts.
So there’s a nerdy part of you. What about the gangsta rap part?
I like rapping. I don’t take myself seriously but it feels good to learn the words to an entire song and rap.
Are you annoyed when people compare you to Mariah Carey?
At first impression I think it’s an obvious comparison to draw because of the range and style of throwback R&B. But as you listen to the whole album, Yours Truly, you get to know my sound. You get to know Ariana. If I complained about being compared to the greatest vocalist who ever lived, I would be a very dumb, ungrateful person. So I can’t complain. It’s a massive compliment.
You think she’s the greatest vocalist?
For sure. Her voice is something that’s untouched: her range, her control, and her ability. I take it as a compliment but I’m very excited when people listen to my whole album and get to know my sound.
If you had to choose between music and acting, which would it be?
Music, no question. I started in musicals because I wanted to sing. I never liked acting. I auditioned for TV to get a platform to get a record deal and then I fell in love with acting because it was fun. After I’m done playing Cat Valentine I don’t see myself doing much acting, but I would do a scary movie or a musical, at any moment.