Ariana Grande discusses life after Manchester and using her platform to take a stand in a deeply personal interview for Elle magazine's August issue, published on July 11.
After the tragic attack, getting back on the stage became a hurdle for Grande. No matter what she was doing or how she was feeling, it always came back to Manchester.
“When I got home from tour, I had really wild dizzy spells, this feeling like I couldn’t breathe,” she tells Elle. “I would be in a good mood, fine and happy, and they would hit me out of nowhere. I’ve always had anxiety, but it had never been physical before. There were a couple of months straight where I felt so upside down.”
These days, the pop star still struggles to step onto the stage from time to time. However, it's the support of her fans that give her the courage to keep performing live.
“You hear about these things,” she says. “You see it on the news, you tweet the hashtag. It’s happened before, and it’ll happen again. It makes you sad, you think about it for a little, and then people move on. But experiencing something like that firsthand, you think of everything differently…it’s the most inspiring thing in the world that these kids pack the venue.”
Understandably, the attack brought a new perspective to her artistry and the privilege of her role in the world. If she won't stand up on the pedestal that her fans have built her, who will?
“There’s a lot of noise when you say anything about anything,” she says. “But if I’m not going to say it, what’s the fucking point of being here? Not everyone is going to agree with you, but that doesn’t mean I’m just going to shut up and sing my songs. I’m also going to be a human being who cares about other human beings; to be an ally and use my privilege to help educate people.” For her, the role of the artist is to “not only help people and comfort them, but also push people to think differently, raise questions, and push their boundaries mentally.”