NEW YORK (AP) — Ariana Grande's "Problem" was an insta-smash, but the singer acknowledges that she wasn't sure how people would receive the song, which has become one of the year's biggest hits.
The 21-year-old powerhouse vocalist dishes on creating "Problem," her budding acting career and collaborating with Justin Bieber and Iggy Azalea.
WAS 'PROBLEM' PROBLEMATIC?
The saxophone-laced "Problem" is a contender for song of the summer, but Grande says she was somewhat afraid of the track.
"Once we wrote it and recorded it, I was like, 'Hmm, I'm kind of scared of this.' It started to intimidate me a little because it felt different for me and it was such a risk with the whispers," she said. "It took me a lot of time. I had to separate myself from it for a while. For a couple months I didn't even listen to it."
Grande says taking a break from the song, which has peaked at No. 2 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, gave her a new perspective.
"I heard it again when it was finally mixed and done and I was like, 'Oh, wow. Hmm, maybe I am completely wrong,'" she said, laughing. "I was like, 'Damn, maybe I should have taken the time to really appreciate it' and now I finally hear it."
ARIANA'S A BELIEBER
Her upcoming album, "My Everything," features collaborations with the Weeknd and One Direction's Harry Styles, but it almost included Justin Bieber.
Bieber posted a photo of the singers — who share the same manager — in the studio earlier this year, but Grande said they never completed the track.
"We were working on it. We were in the studio together ... we were going to do it, but then we both got busy," she said. "I had to focus on my stuff and he was focusing on his, and it just sort of didn't really get done."
Grande says the collaboration will eventually happen.
"We feel like we owe it to our fans to do something one day. We will finish it and put it out one day, but it just wasn't the right time."
Grande appeared in the Nickelodeon series "Sam & Cat" and "Victorious," and said she's received a number of other scripts.
"There were a couple things I really wanted to do, but I had to turn down because of the music and what's going on right now in my music career," she said. "It disappointed me so much because they were horror-related and horror is like my favorite thing in the world. But hopefully down the line I'll be able to work with those people again."
Iggy Azalea's recent breakthrough with the No. 1 smash "Fancy" got a boost thanks to Grande's "Problem," which was released about the same time.
Grande said she's happy she decided to work with the Australian rapper before she became a white-hot success.
"I really wanted Iggy from the start. I said, 'This is going to be a girl power record and we should absolutely have Iggy on it.'"
Follow Mesfin Fekadu at twitter.com/MusicMesfin