Ariana Grande is the August cover star of Vogue, and the very personal profile story from the magazine is live digitally today. The piece also features the exclusive premiere of a new video for “In My Head” from Grande’s February album thank u, next. The video features Grande singing into the camera a brightly lit room, clad in a puffy ensemble recalling the style of late-’90s music videos in the stylistic wheelhouse of Hype Williams; there are also moments where her feet and ponytail become disembodied and take on a life of their own.
The Vogue story spans Grande’s career, and features interviews with Miley Cyrus, Pharrell Williams, Patti LaBelle, producer Tommy Brown, as well as Grande herself. In her interview, Grande tearfully discusses both the terror attack at her 2017 concert in Manchester and the death of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller. Discussing Manchester and the ensuing benefit concert that helped support the families of the victims, Grande said:
It’s not my trauma…It’s those families’. It’s their losses, and so it’s hard to just let it all out without thinking about them reading this and reopening the memory for them. I’m proud that we were able to raise a lot of money with the intention of giving people a feeling of love or unity, but at the end of the day, it didn’t bring anyone back. Everyone was like, Wow, look at this amazing thing, and I was like, What the fuck are you guys talking about? We did the best we could, but on a totally real level we did nothing.
She continued, speaking about trying to move on from the tragedy: “I kind of just wanted to bury myself in work and not focus on the real stuff, because I couldn’t believe it was real. I loved going back into the studio with Pharrell because he just has this magical outlook on everything. He truly believes that the light is coming. And I’m like, Bruh, is it, though?”
She also delved into the period of her life following the death of Miller, which also included her short-lived engagement to Pete Davidson, and during which she recorded the thank u, next album. “I don’t remember those months of my life because I was (a) so drunk and (b) so sad. I don’t really remember how it started or how it finished, or how all of a sudden there were 10 songs on the board.”
She continued: “I’ve been boo’d up my entire adult life. I’ve always had someone to say goodnight to. So thank u, next was this moment of self-realization. It was this scary moment of ‘Wow, you have to face all this stuff now. No more distractions. You have to heal all this shit.’”
Of her relationship with Miller, Grande discussed both its positive and negative elements, remembering years of “work and fighting and trying, or the love and exhaustion” while recalling their relationship fondly. “By no means was what we had perfect, but, like, fuck,” she said. “He was the best person ever, and he didn’t deserve the demons he had. I was the glue for such a long time, and I found myself becoming…less and less sticky. The pieces just started to float away.”
She devoted fewer words to her fling with Davidson last year, which she said occurred when she decided to spend the summer in NYC. “I met Pete, and it was an amazing distraction,” she explained. “It was frivolous and fun and insane and highly unrealistic, and I loved him, and I didn’t know him.”
Grande also discussed being open about her hatred of Donald Trump (“I would rather sell fewer records and be outspoken about what I think is some fuckery than sell more records and be…Switzerland”) and her volatile relationship with social media. Grande is also writing and producing the soundtrack for the upcoming Charlie’s Angels reboot. Read the full Vogue piece here, and watch the video for “In My Head” below.