Ariana Grande Spoke About Writing "Bad Girl" Songs And Why One Of Her New Songs Is Called "The Boy Is Mine"

    "It's kind of like, 'I'll play the bad girl, now here's your bad girl anthem.'"

    Ahead of the imminent release of her album Eternal Sunshine, Ariana Grande sat down with Zane Lowe to discuss one of the most hotly-anticipated — and somewhat controversial — tracks called, "The Boy Is Mine."

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    Of course, "The Boy Is Mine" is a 1998 song by Brandy and Monica about two women claiming that the titular boy is theirs, with lyrics like, "I'm sorry that you / Seem to be confused / He belongs to me / The boy is mine."

    Brandy on the left and Monica on the right singing in a scene from the music video

    Ariana addressed similar themes with her 2021 song "Fantasize," which included lyrics like, "Thought you were solo / But you got a girl though" and " I fantasize about it all the time / If you were mine." However, the song was never released — instead it was recently leaked, and gained some popularity on TikTok.

    Closeup of Ariana Grande signing autographs

    “It was like a parody of this girl group vibe. But [the fans] love it… It’s so corny, but it’s okay. I took the note, and I kind of gave them Ariana’s version of that on the album,” Ariana said of the song in a recent interview. “They’re completely different now. So although you’ve heard them — because you stole them — they’re very different now.”

    Ariana in a strapless dress and gloves, waving, with bright lipstick

    But it was undeniably Ariana's personal life that led the track title "The Boy Is Mine" to garner attention, given the timing of her relationship with Ethan Slater and the announcement of his separation from his wife.

    Ariana in a sweater and cap, holding a drink & watching a tennis match

    So, in the new interview, Zane asked Ariana about the song that precedes "The Boy Is Mine," called "True Story." She replied, "It's an untrue story based on all untrue events. It sets up 'The Boy Is Mine,' obviously. It's kind of like, 'I'll play the bad girl, now here's your bad girl anthem.'"

    Closeup of Ariana Grande

    Ariana confirmed that "The Boy Is Mine" is a "reimagining" of the Brandy and Monica song that she had long wanted to do. She further said that her "fans' reaction" to "Fantasize" was what led her to include it on the album.

    Closeup of Ariana Grande

    When asked if it was an "extension" of "Fantasize," she replied, "In a way. I think I kind of was like, 'This is a very bad idea, I think.' But there is a large group of my fans that do love a bad girl anthem, and this is, I think, an elevated version of that."

    Closeup of Ariana Grande

    Zane then said it was "pop's job" to be provocative to a certain extent, to which Ariana replied, "Right. And to be an escape, in some way." She further said that "The Boy Is Mine" was the second song that she worked with Max Martin on for the record.

    Closeup of Ariana Grande

    Elsewhere, Ariana said of working with Max, "Usually, I'll go too far. I like to write like no one's ever going to hear it, ever, and sometimes I want to dial it back or change things or redo things. He's got such an amazing ability to ride that balance and know what people need to hear and what I need to say, too. He'll stand up for me and say, 'No, you deserve to say that.'"

    Ariana on stage in a strapless dress, raising her arms while sucking on a candy cane

    You can listen to the full interview here.