Ariana Grande has long been a favorite artist for the legion of tween and teen fans who know her from her work on Nickelodeon. But earlier this spring, the actress became one of the hottest new voices in pop when she dropped her debut single, “The Way,” a flirty love jam featuring pal Mac Miller.
As she preps the August release of her debut album, Daydreamin’, MTV News spoke to her manager, Scooter Braun, about why he wanted to add the “Sam & Cat” actress to his roster of A-list musical talents. “She reminds me of both Mariah [Carey] and Christina [Aguilera]. Christina was this young, petite girl with this gigantic voice and Ariana kind of has the same thing,” he explained about the 20-year-old actress/singer. “And her tone and her range remind me of Mariah.”
Braun, who manages Justin Bieber, Psy, The Wanted and Carly Rae Jepsen, knew he wanted to work with her as soon as he heard that signature voice.
“I kept seeing this girl online. And I knew she had a show that she was involved in on Nickelodeon, ['Victorious,'] and I would see her at different award shows and there was something very charismatic about her,” he explained. “I started watching videos and I started getting blown away by what an incredible voice she had. There’s kind of a natural beauty about her and this charisma that make you gravitate towards her. She kind of has this warmth that makes you want to root for her, and that’s what you want with an artist. The fact that she has ridiculous vocal range, it was incredible and that she can do it live. She’s so little and petite when she opens her mouth it’s kind of unbelievable that it’s coming from this little person.”
Along with being able to hit high notes “pretty effortlessly,” Ariana can also dance, and Braun teased that as she continues to reveal more sides of herself, fans will see more dancing as well. “The thing about Ariana is she has that charisma and star [power]. The one thing about her, if you don’t know, is she can really dance. And she hasn’t shown that side yet,” he shared, noting that the first time he saw her dance it “really blew me away in rehearsal one time. But the thing that’s exciting is the voice and what she can do with it. With a voice like that you can have a very long career because you can always sing.”
Braun notes that as summer chugs along, he knows why everyone will be listening. “The voice. Not many girls can sing like that girl. Not many people can sing like that girl,” he said.