Ariana Grande Unveals “yes, and”: A Refreshing Return with a Tough Edge
Ariana Grande, the pop sensation, is back in the limelight with her latest single, “yes, and,” marking her first release under her own name in over three years. The track is a vibrant, feel-good anthem with a bouncy melody that immediately catches the listener’s attention. However, beneath the catchy exterior lies a message that goes beyond the surface, delivering a positive and empowering “I am who I am” vibe with a dose of assertiveness, complete with some strategically placed expletives.
The influence of iconic pop figures is evident in “yes, and,” with clear inspirations drawn from Madonna’s “Vogue” and a touch of mid-’90s Janet Jackson. The song even features a slightly robotic spoken middle section reminiscent of Madonna’s signature style. Interestingly, while the Madonna influence is palpable, there’s no direct sampling from “Vogue.” The credit for this infectious track goes to Ariana Grande herself, who collaborated with long-time partners Max Martin and ILYA aka Ilya Salmanzadeh (Taylor Swift, Sam Smith, Kim Petras, Tove Lo) in both writing and producing the song.
Max Martin, recognized as one of the most successful songwriter-producers of the last 25 years, has a storied history working with artists ranging from Britney Spears to the Weeknd. This collaboration adds a layer of expertise to “yes, and,” ensuring its radio and dancefloor appeal. The track’s blend of a radio-friendly sound with a tough edge sets the stage for Ariana Grande’s highly anticipated seventh album.
While Grande has been a featured artist on several hit singles in recent years, including remixes of the Weeknd‘s “Save Your Tears” and “Die for You,” fans have eagerly awaited new material under her solo banner since the release of her sixth album, “positions,” in October 2020. During this hiatus, the artist has been immersed in various projects, notably working on Universal’s big-screen adaptation of the hit Broadway musical “Wicked,” scheduled for release in November 2024.
Behind the scenes, Grande also experienced significant changes, parting ways with longtime manager Scooter Braun and now being represented by Brandon Creed, known for handling artists like Demi Lovato, Troye Sivan, Charli XCX, and Mark Ronson.
The road to her upcoming album, rumored to be titled “Eternal Sunshine,” has been teased through a series of Instagram posts. Fans got glimpses of Grande’s studio sessions, showcasing her dedication to the creative process. In a post on December 27, 2023, she confirmed the album’s impending release, possibly sooner than expected, judging by her collaborations with video director Christian Breslauer and various dancers.
The latest single, “yes, and,” not only serves as a strong reintroduction for Ariana Grande but also provides a taste of what’s to come with her next project. As the pop star continues to evolve and showcase different facets of her artistry, fans can anticipate a dynamic and compelling musical journey when the full album arrives later this year.
The official music video to the song has also just had its premiere, directed by Christian Breslauer who is the mastermind behind Doja Cat‘s “Demons”, SZA‘s “Kill Bill”, and Lis Nas X‘s “Industry Baby”.