I haven't been able to get this song out of my head. I'm officially an Ariana Grande fan now. After watching her performance of this song at the MTV awards show, I was hooked. All of the strong, female, goddess imagery shook me right to my core. A black, female Jesus?! Hell yes, Ari, you've got a new fan.
Her vocals were one hundred percent live, which isn't as common as people would like to believe. I'm like a Basset hound for sniffing out whether or not a vocalist is singing live. What gives it away is the tone, and if you can hear them breathing. Her vocals were amazing; silky smooth, with no tension in the upper ranges.
Ariana's vocal flexibility also had me hooked. She has no weight or tension in her upper registers, which allows for her greater ease of movement. Vocal flexibility is something that I've always needed to work more on.
She inspired me to practice more, which I've been falling out of lately. I recorded a cover of her song, as a way to practice rich tone production and flexibility. This was such a fun song to learn.