Let’s talk about Ariana Grande. Last year, this young songbird released a cover of Mariah Carey’s “Emotions” and the footage went viral across the web, making her an instant sensation on the blogosphere. However, is Grande truly a vocal prodigy or is she yet another overhyped imitation of the diva?
When Grande took over the web her “Emotions” rendition, people immediately drew parallels between her and Carey, particular because of her use of the whistle register. Indeed, in a time when serious music fans await the arrival of a striking new talent, Grande’s ability to exactly emulate her idol’s phrasing, runs and range was nothing short of a wonder.
Yet, when challenged with the task of performing “Emotions” live, Grande was unable to replicate the most difficult notes. In fact, she avoided the upper register completely and has since admitted that she has little skill regarding the control of her vocal range, which has lead many people to believe that she is just another Christina Aguilera – 13 years later and she still hasn’t hit her highest recorded notes live.
Now, I made it very clear that Grande wouldn’t be featured on The Lava Lizard until she proved that she wasn’t just another studio-generated fraud. However, there comes a time in every Pokemon master’s life when he has to look at the bigger picture and learn choose his battles wisely.
Frankly, the 19-year old Grande has the skill to replicate some of Carey’s complex vocal lines and deserves recognition. Additionally, she is a talented singer with the potential to grow in this industry, and with the right guidance, she could develop her own identity.
Remember when Natalie Cole blatantly ripped off Aretha Franklin’s sound in her younger years? Imagine if she wasn’t given a chance to become her own artist. It would have been such a loss to the music industry and generations of music fans who appreciated her later contributions to Jazz, Soul and R&B.
Watch the video for Grande’s “The Way (F. Mac Miller)” below: