To the depression-busting recent trend of joyful dance-pop, add Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s “Rain On Me,” which premiered at midnight ET Friday morning, exactly one week before Gaga’s full-length “Chromatica” hits. When it rains, it’s about to pour.
As the single hit digital services in the late-night hours — with a music video promised for release Friday at 1 p.m. ET on YouTube — Apple Music released excerpts from separate interviews Zane Lowe did with the two singers that will air in full later Friday.
“It feels so fun to be part of something so upbeat and straight pop again,” Grande told Lowe, “because I do feel like it’s been a minute since I’ve done something that poppy, really. And that’s funny because I am a pop person, but it’s just, everyone knows that my heart is kind of rooted in the R&B influence music that I make, and that’s where my heart is. But it just felt so good and fun and happy to dip a toe into her world a little bit, and to try this on for size… You make your music and you do your thing, and then when an artist like Lady Gaga, who has such a magnificent point of view, and such an articulate message to send, (invites you onto a project). you kind of are completely giving yourself over to her.”
As for the video that is coming mid-day Friday: “You know, the video is so Gaga and so fun,” Grande said. “I was like, ‘I’ve never dressed like this in my life. I’m just having the best time.’”
Grande elaborated on their newfound friendship: “Well, I find that that’s what I discovered with every single woman that I’ve met, who has had the BDE, the Big Diva Energy thing, thrown around and the horrible rumors started about them, and the narrative has been so weirdly skewed and whatever… I’ve found that everyone that I’ve met has this beautiful human bleeding heart. It’s just so refreshing. I feel like it’s just such a weird position to be in, because you’re an artist and you want people to hear you everywhere, and you want people to blast your music, and you want to see yourself and hear your music everywhere. And then it goes left, and then people don’t understand you. And then you feel completely overtaken by the world. And then you take it back at some point.”
Grande continued, “And I feel like she has done such an incredible job of doing that, and healing herself … And she’s just a beautiful person” — albeit a beautiful person who is “also like, ‘I’m going to give you a f—ing show, and I’m going to pick every color that’s on the screen. Every lighting, every shot, every wig that every dancer is wearing. Every everything. I’m going to pick. I’m going to help Ari with picking her makeup and her hair. But now she’s so uncomfortable’… It’s awesome. I really love seeing her have the point of view, and such gentleness at the same time, and respect for another artist at the same time.”
In a separate interview with Lowe, Gaga said, “(She) and I connected right away and she was so wonderful. And I think maybe she assumed that it’d be that she came in and I (would be) like, ‘Here, just sing this and thank you so much for your time.’ Right? But instead I asked her what she needed, how she wanted to do things. When we were vocally producing her, I was sitting there… and I remember I said to her, ‘Okay, now everything that you care about while you sing, I want you to forget it and just sing. And by the way, while you’re doing that, I’m going to dance in front of you.’ Because we had this huge big window. I was like, ‘I’m going to dance in front of you.’ And she was like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God, I can’t, I can’t. I don’t know. Oh my God. Okay, okay.’ And then I did it and she sang, and she started to do things with her voice that (were) different. And it was the joy of two artists going, ‘I see you.’”
Said Gaga, “You haven’t seen the video yet, but she was so open to trying things that she hasn’t done before. She was, ‘I’m going to just trust you.’”
Of the “Rain on Me” song itself, Gaga said, “The lyrics that I wrote right here in this studio, ‘I’d rather be dry, but at least I’m alive. Rain on me.’ This is about an analog of tears being the rain. And you know what it’s also a metaphor for, is the amount of drinking that I was doing to numb myself. I’d rather be dry. I’d rather not be drinking, but I haven’t died yet. I’m still alive. Rain on me. Okay, I’m going to keep on drinking.’ This song has many layers.”