Ariana Grande Says New Album Had the ‘Most Emotional Writing Process’

A new chapter of Ariana Grande’s life is dawning with Eternal Sunshine.

“I think it is very different in a lot of ways,” said Grande, 30, when she joined The Zach Sang Show on the Amazon Music channel on Twitch. During the first part of the interview, published on Tuesday, February 27, Grande told Sang, 30, that she doesn’t like to “do the same exact thing twice” and that her new album showcases “different pieces of me. It’s very me, but it is my favorite rendition of it — does that make sense?”

Eternal Sunshine marks Grande’s first album since 2020’s Positions and is the first since her divorce from Dalton Gomez. Grande and Gomez, 28, tied the knot in May 2021 after a year of dating. In July 2023, amid reports of a breakup, Us Weekly confirmed that the two had been separated for months. In October, Grande filed for divorce.

At the same time, the public learned about Grande’s split from Gomez, news broke about her romance with her Wicked costar Ethan Slater. Slater, 31, filed for divorce from his estranged wife, Lilly Jay, shortly after he and Grande’s relationship made headlines, though an insider told Us that he and Grande were separated from their respective partners when they first started dating.

Ariana Grande Details Her 'Most Emotional Writing Process' Yet for New Album ‘Eternal Sunshine’
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With the drama leading into this new album, Grande explained that this new album is one of her most “emotional” and personal pieces of work — while also “saying everything and nothing at the same time.”

Scroll down to read Grande’s the biggest revelations to Sang about Eternal Sunshine:

‘Eternal Sunshine’ Is a Concept Album

Grande said her album is “incredibly human” in that it is tied to her life and the “heartbreak” of her divorce from Gomez after two years of marriage. “But,” she added, “it’s also touching on Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, so it’s kind of a concept album, which I also haven’t done before. That’s also kind of why I don’t want to put out a second single before the album because I would like for it to be heard in one piece.”

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‘Eternal Sunshine’ Came From Ariana Grande’s Heart — And It’s Super ‘Emotional’

“It says everything and nothing at the same time. It’s very vague and very specific — all at once,” she said during the interview, telling Sang that making Eternal Sunshine involved “the most emotional writing process, for sure. For sure.”

Ariana Grande Knows People Are Reading Between the Lines

When making the songs on Eternal Sunshine, Grande said she did “several passes” on them “to be kind of protective” because she wrote some of them when she was “very emotional. And then, some of them were more, you know, there are bops that are more fun — but actually, even [making] some of the Bops, I cried writing.”

“The thing that was beautiful about it was, when I was writing [Eternal Sunshine], it was with no intention for the world to hear it,” said Grande. “I was just kind of [like], ‘Let’s just go. Let’s see what comes out.” And then, when I was done, I remembered that people will hear it and sometimes, people will sensationalize things and assign meaning to certain things. And I wanted to make sure that — I combed through, just to make sure that it was what I intended.”

Ariana Grande Details Her 'Most Emotional Writing Process' Yet for New Album ‘Eternal Sunshine’
Ariana Grande. Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Red Is the Color of Grande’s ‘Eternal Sunshine’ Era

The color red “looks like the music to me,” said Grande, noting that she also tied into the color of Clemintine’s (Kate Winslet) hair in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Grande also credited the “emotional tone” of the “bold” red, which is the color of her emotions right now.

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Why Did She Embrace ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’?

Grande noted how the phrase “eternal sunshine of the spotless mind” is taken as “so optimistic” but noted that “that is the irony of what it means. ‘Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind’ is ‘ignorance is bliss.’ I’m going to erase all of the bad to enter this eternal bliss.”

“But, it’s really sad,” she noted about “selectively erasing” certain things. “I loved it because it is beautiful, and it’s like ‘Eternal Sunshine,’ it is what we wish for everyone. We want to experience eternal sunshine, but it’s also — the irony of it was what drew me to it.” Though the album is full of “bops,” Grande said that “there’s a lot of pain on the album.”

‘Eternal Sunshine’ Is Not a ‘F—k You’ Album

“Even at my most heartbroken or most pained moments of the past few years, there was so much kindness. There was so much love. There was so much honesty and transparency and respect. So, even at the hardest moments of the loss and the grief that you year on the album, some of the heartbreak stuff, there was so much love and transparency. That was something I really wanted to make sure was captured. It wasn’t like a ‘f—k you,’ at all.”
Grande told Sang, who got an early preview of Eternal Sunshine, that “even with track number two [“bye”], I tried to make sure it was kind and giving credit for trying and for the goodness that there was.”

She admitted that trying to maintain the emotional rawness of what she felt and having a perspective was “a tricky balance” because many of the songs on her new album came from sessions where she was writing “more emotionally and reactively.” However, she credited that those reactions are also “very human. So I didn’t want to erase all of it.”

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Don’t Expect Any A.I. on ‘Eternal Sunshine’

Speaking of being “human,” Grande said she finds hearing A.I. versions of herself to be “terrifying.” When asked about how people have used programs to replicate her voice, Grande asked, “What are we doing? What? Why? I hate it!”

“It’s terrifying,” she added at the idea of being replicated and manipulated by a machine. Expect only the real thing on her new LP.

Eternal Sunshine arrives on March 8 via Republic Records.