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‘Before Every Concert I Promise My Vocal Chords I’ll Swallow A $15 Bill’: 5 Questions With Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande might be only 24 years old, but with three platinum albums and two TV shows under her belt, she’s already done more in her career than people twice her age. The superstar was kind enough to take time out of her day and answer five questions about her life in the limelight.

1. What inspired you to begin singing when you were growing up?

Well, I had always loved performing, but when I was around 5, my dad bought a soggy beanbag chair that sounded and smelled like a wheezing goblin every time I sat down in it. Eventually my dad shot it because he thought it was coming to life, but I really missed that perfect combination of sound and smell. I actually started singing in an effort to conjure up that odoriferous croak, but unfortunately my singing was beautiful and smelled great.

2. How do you keep your vocal chords in good shape?

Before every show, I spend 20-30 minutes backstage convincing my vocal chords that I will swallow a $15 bill that they get to keep if they do a good job. Honestly, I’m surprised that they can make me sound that good every time I’m on stage when they’re so damn stupid. $15 bills don’t even exist.

3. You are known for your philanthropy. What organization would you recommend people donate to?

There’s this really great organization that always takes my trash away on Tuesday. I’m not sure if they do this for anyone else, but I try to donate money to them whenever I can. They are out there, fighting the good fight.

4. Today, you’re a singer, but you started in show business by acting on Nickelodeon. Were you ever worried that starring in kids’ shows would make it hard to get your music taken seriously?

I was worried about that a little, but ultimately I figured that if Kurt Cobain could start out on Nickelodeon and still make it big in music, then I could, too. There were definitely times when I was doing something embarrassing on Victorious or Sam & Cat where I’d think, “What am I doing? I should be focusing on writing songs.” But then I’d remember those old Kenan & Kel episodes where Kurt Cobain played Kenan’s illiterate boss at the grocery store, and would always spew his dipshit catchphrase “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End,” and I’d know that there was still plenty of time to be taken seriously as a musician.

5. What’s next for Ariana Grande? Is there anything exciting on the horizon?

I’m going to record an album with my hand cupped next to my mouth so my singing is louder than ever before. Then, I’m going to go to bed.