meta-scriptVictoria Monét On 'Jaguar', Working With Brandy & Having GRAMMY Dreams | GRAMMY.com

Victoria Monét 

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Victoria Monét On 'Jaguar', Working With Brandy & Having GRAMMY Dreams

After years of songwriting for marquee music names—Ariana Grande, Fifth Harmony and Nas, just to name a few—the singer/songwriter is ready to step into the spotlight on her debut project

GRAMMYs/Aug 5, 2020 - 07:46 pm

Victoria Monét didn’t realize her connection to the jaguar until after she recorded the titular song for her new project. A powerful, rosetted cat, the jaguar camouflages itself well. And, although it’s a present, integral part of the jungle, it’s seldom seen or registered. Monét, who's been a requisite part of the music industry for the past decade, having worked as a songwriter for Nas, Fifth Harmony, and most famously, Ariana Grande (for which she received two GRAMMY nominations), is finally getting her opportunity to be seen. This is, as she sings on Jaguar, her motherf**king moment.

On August 7, she releases part one of the Jaguar trilogy, with part one and two due to follow sometime in the near-ish future. This introduction to the new, uncamouflaged Monét, is a melting pot of sounds from the ‘70s and ‘90s, which she sops up and repackages into a sexy, kaleidoscopic trip. It’s filled with natural highs (the psychedelia of seeing your dreams come true) and boasts some of the year’s tersest and most dynamic songwriting. GRAMMY.com spoke to Monét about her anti-ego approach to music, her love of Beyoncé, and her future GRAMMY dreams.

You've been promoting for a while now. When was the project itself completed?

The album was pretty much done in February 2019, so I've had a majority of the music for a really long time. With some songs, I'd go back and add harmonies, but the vocal bit has been done for a minute. Only one song and one interlude were new this year, and I think that’s just me trying to finish the parts that follow part one, part two and part three—to be prepared for the next wave and have new music. But also, since I’ve gotten so used to these songs, I’ve gone back to them and added some things to keep them fresh.

So did the Khalid feature come after the project's initial completion?

Yeah, that was something that was recent. He joined maybe three or four weeks before we put it out, but I also had that song done in 2019, so he just added his verse. He was such a great feature and a perfect vocal for the song.

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Did your team put any pressure on you to add a feature?

No, I actually planned to put this album out without features, but I also just looked at this as an introduction to a new version of me—giving people a chance to just hear me was fine with me—but Khalid ended up being the perfect fit, and became the only feature on the project.

Since you completed the project, has your time mostly been spent trying to figure out how you're actually going to present this project and the "new version of you" to the world?

Yeah, I’ve been just giving myself time to develop and go through different ideas creatively. I started filming things for the project in September of last year, so I had a lot of time to live with the music and see what it would mean visually, and to kind of rebrand. I know I was still doing the same color scheme—I've been wearing brown for the past two or three years, so it was just really easy for me to incorporate more '70s elements to match the music and really fall in love with that era. I've really been going into the style and the rhythm of it—how people were feeling and dressing [in those decades]. 

The project feels really psychedelic. I'm curious to know whether you ever took psychedelics to help with the creative process?

"Psychedelic" was one of the words I used to describe the music I wanted to make before I even made it, so I'm really pleased that comes across. I wanted to make something trippy that would take people into this other world. But I haven't experimented with any psychedelics myself. The furthest I've gone is weed, so some of the songs are marijiuana-enhanced. It's a really cool way to just relax and have some sort of freedom, to just release anxieties and be honest. If people are listening to this album on psychedelics, I wonder how it will sound to them. And also I hope sober people can listen to this and get that same feeling

Why did the date keep getting pushed back?

Initially, the album was supposed to be released on my birthday—May 1. When we were talking about that date it was mid-March, and we'd just entered the pandemic and believed that we'd probably be out of lockdown by then—we could do the release party, we could travel to New York and London by then. But seeing how the world was playing out, we thought it seemed a little insensitive and premature to release an album then, so we decided to take our time. And I'm glad we did that because that allowed us to release "Experience" with Khalid. And this most recent pushback from July 31st to August 7 is just me being a real Beyoncé fan and realizing that the internet is going to want to give her her flowers, just like I do. [Editor's note: Beyoncé's visual album Black Is King was released on July 31.] I want to be able to enjoy that day too. It's just a Beyhive respect move. I was also thinking about how Beyoncé’s album is animal-themed because of the lion king, and mine's called Jaguar. Plus, I also have releases as a songwriter on [July 31]. I have a song on Brandy's project. Then mine will come out the following week.

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Something I love so much about your songwriting is how ambiguous it is. The songs on this project could either be about sexual and romantic success or your specific success as a musician. Do you see a link between the two?

Yeah, I do. I think it all comes into manifesting something for yourself. When something you've dreamed of comes true, there’s nothing but positive vibes. I think developing success and envisioning who you want to be, and being unapologetic in that process, while getting to put something out there that influences people and has an affect on them—makes me feel really, really good.

Did you write poetry before you started writing songs?

Yeah, I did. It was really brief, but that's how I got into writing. I used to love reading out loud in class, I think that was early proof of my love of performance—performing the lyrics, performing words that mean things. I definitely carried that into the songwriting.

I ask because there are millions of songs about sex, but I've never heard it being described the way you describe it on this project.

I feel that might be because I'm an only child and have a really big imagination, just being able to compare certain things—that's where it comes from. It’s not a planned thing, I just say whatever I’m thinking, then i realize that it’s something interesting after people listen.

How do you know when you've written a great song?

It takes a long time, after listening to the song over and over. If i really can’t stop listening to it then I think it’s a good song. But I also have a hard time deciding, because I’m really hard on myself too. I’m my worst critic. It’s hard for me to know when a song is done and if it’s better than I think it is. Maybe that’s a good thing, that I’ll never get big-headed about it. I just have the urge to make things better, and to always keep working.

As someone who writes songs for other people, you must be used to bringing out people's best and most interesting assets. Can you do that with your own music?

Yeah, and I think maybe even a little harder. I'm in my own brain so I'm thinking about my own thoughts—processing those thoughts. That's a part of art—figuring out what you love and what you don’t love, and making the best art from both of those places. I critique myself and try to make myself better, but I also give myself self-love and affirmation. You don't have to speak to yourself a certain way. All of it is about developing and becoming a better human.

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Does asserting yourself come naturally to you?

I think, growing up I was more passive. If other people wanted to do a certain thing, even if I wanted to do something else, I’d be the one to sacrifice my own desires. But now, I've become firmer and more assertive with what I say. I'm strong and outwardly opinionated, but also willing to listen and to change my perspective. I'm more willing now to just be honest and say what I feel.

Do you know what your purpose is as an artist?

I feel like there's purpose in being an artist. Just having your experiences as an individual become something that the world can see and relate to, I feel like that's a purpose. Just giving people the opportunity to learn from your own experiences, or be inspired by them, or even join you in the feelings that you have through music. Music really has a certain influence over people that we don't even realize, from the slang we use to how we feel. We listen and it makes us wanna move. It's a language of its own. That's a way that musicians and artists and songwriters have purpose, just by communicating that language to people through song—the things that you can’t really express with words or actions.

When and how did you learn about songwriting, and all the technicalities therein?

I really just learned through trial and error. I didn't go to a music school. I mean, I took piano lessons for a really short amount of time when I was young, and at a point I could read music a little bit, but then I forgot all that and started out from scratch. I guess I just learned by listening and collaborating with other people. I've been watching and learning through touching. I could have gone to school and heard about the ways in which music is made, but I think I went to school in life instead—going through it and making things happen.

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How does it feel to now work with your influences, like Brandy?

I didn’t go into the studio with her to make the song, I recorded the song at home and sent it to a friend of mine who is a producer who was working on the project. Then when she cut the song, she had me come to the studio to help record. It was a really beautiful full-circle experience, because when i first moved to L.A. I was in this girl group that was being produced by LaShawn Daniels, and he wrote all the songs for us, as well as "Full Moon" by Brandy, so just to hear her now recording something that I've written feels really beautiful. I'm so thankful because she has one of my favorite voices.

I love your mix of influences on Jaguar. You've got the wide space and textures of '70s soul couching those ‘90s Janet harmonics. How did you bring those two sounds together?

I brought some of my influences to the producer—specifically ‘70s influences—and was like, let's try and dig into this sound, by suggesting horn lines and string melodies and stuff. But i don't really have a classic ‘70s voice so i think that's where the ‘90s, the era I grew up in, is most prominent. You can hear my direct influences. I heard Janet growing up, I heard Beyoncé all the time. Not that i didn't hear ‘60s and ‘70s music too, because that's what my grandmother was listening to, but as far as vocalists and performers, ‘90s artists were the ones I was gravitating towards. I try to explore through melody choices as well, but I think that's where the combination of influences comes in. I like that. I don't think I’ve ever heard that combo either—a really on the nose ‘70s reference with a classic ‘90s R&B sound.

Is that how you assert yourself as an artist in your own right, by taking a little bit from all your influences?

It’s not something I even think about. I think of those artists as my parents. They’re in my DNA, because I’ve been so absorbed in what they’ve done throughout my entire life. It feels like a natural thing. Even when I just think I’m being myself, people are like, "You sound like Janet, you speak like Janet." I’m really not thinking about the mathematics of how to put stuff together, it just flows out that way because it’s what made me. I just want to be myself and let other people decide what they hear that’s familiar, because I think that lets people relate. I'm fine with all the comparisons, but in the studio, I'm not calculating what I'm going to bring to the table.

Are you going to take a backseat from writing songs for others to focus more on your own art and more projects like Jaguar?

I'm always in the middle of writing stuff for other people, while keeping my mind open for myself too. I already have a Jaguar part II and Jaguar III. The tracklist is already there but I'll probably be adding or changing things, because for me, nothing is finished until it comes out. So now I'm thinking about and working on the projects to follow that, so I just wanna be extra prepared, and really advance the timeframe so i can always have the next thing ready, while putting out new releases, so that there won't be a huge lull.

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Do you ever take breaks from music at all?

Oh yeah. This pandemic has been the break for me. It's really forced me to sit down. People aren't making as much music and there isn't as much studio time, so there's a lot more in between time to just be a human, which I appreciate. I’m taking this as a refresher, then I’ll be back when the world comes back, although i don't think the world will ever be quite the same.

Do you feel hope for the future and your success as an artist in your own right?

Yeah, I do, and I feel really excited to just be able to share these parts of myself with the world, while not trying to put too much pressure on expectations, but of course I do want the accolades. I have GRAMMY dreams, I have award show performance dreams, I have world tour dreams. But really just being able to make music a career, and doing what I love—it’s a privilege. I think I’m just trying to keep that perspective, because you can really become wrapped up in this.

If your expectations fall short, is there a chance you might become cynical?

No, I dont think I’ll feel any kind of spite. This already feels like a dream and an opportunity to celebrate, considering where I’ve come from and how long it’s taken for me to get to where I am today. I’m not taking any of the current success for granted and I’m definitely not comparing my artist career to anybody that I’ve written for. It wouldn't be fair to me. I'm just really happy to be where I am. That's the kind of fulfillment that I want—not constantly comparing myself to others, and looking at where I am on the charts. If I get that kind of success I’ll be happy of course, but I won’t define my success on those things. I'm just trying to find the success in happiness.

You're clearly a very nice person, but have people in the music industry treated you as kindly in return?

Well, I try to surround myself with people who I really feel connected to, so I think I’ve been pretty good at protecting myself from any of the darker energies. As a person, I run from that—whether that’s friendships or professional relationships. I separate myself from that darkness quite naturally. So I think that everyone I do surround myself with is very nice, but I’m also very aware that I am in the music industry, which is kind of like a mafia, with the contracts and how things work. You know, contractually speaking, I've definitely been through the wire and have had hard times getting myself into certain deals, just because I love to do this. So, I've learned my lessons and I think on a day-to-day basis, I’m surrounded by a really great team. I love that most of them are women, by the way, but every single person on my team is someone that I really love. I feel surrounded by light, and maybe other people can’t say the same, but this is after years of trial and error. Now, I think I have the perfect group of women around me to take this thing where I want it to go. We’re all good people, so it makes me really excited to do this with them.

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Ludwig Goransson holds his Oscar award for Best Original Score for Oppenheimer.
Ludwig Göransson holds his Oscar award for Best Original Score for Oppenheimer at the 2024 Oscars in Hollywood, CA.

 Photo: John Shearer/ WireImage/ Getty Images

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2024 Oscars: Ludwig Goransson's Masterful Composition for 'Oppenheimer' Wins Best Original Score

The 'Oppenheimer' win by one of the youngest composers to ever receive the award for Best Original Score, marks a second Oscar victory for Ludwig Goransson.

GRAMMYs/Mar 11, 2024 - 03:52 am

Ludwig Göransson's captivating composition for Oppenheimer has triumphed in the Best Original Score category at the 2024 Oscars.

Göransson's victory represents his exceptional talent and innovative approach to film scoring, as one of the youngest composers to ever receive the Best Original Score Oscar. It marks his second win in the category — he took home his first Oscar in 2019 for Black Panther. Göransson's work on Oppenheimer also won at the 2024 GRAMMYs for Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media (Includes Film And Television).

Göransson's work stood out among the competition, going up against the scores of American Fiction, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Killers of the Flower Moon, and Poor Things. His ability to convey deep emotional narratives and complex historical contexts through his scores has established him as one of the most innovative and sought-after composers in Hollywood.

2024 Oscars: Watch Performances & Highlights

Göransson's composition for Oppenheimer serves as the heartbeat of the movie, underpinning the film's exploration of the moral complexities and monumental impact of J. Robert Oppenheimer's work on the atomic bomb. Through his music, Göransson invites audiences into the internal and external conflicts faced by the "father of the atomic bomb," providing a sonic backdrop that is as thought-provoking as it is visceral.

Read more: Watch: Ludwig Göransson Discusses His GRAMMY Win For 'Oppenheimer' At The 2024 GRAMMYs 

The award was presented by fellow GRAMMY winners, Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo, who will star together in the Wizard of Oz big screen adaptation of the musical Wicked as Glinda and Elphaba respectively, premiering on the silver screen later this year. Speaking to the power of music to leave an indelible mark on the viewer through film, Grande said, "a great film score can leave a handprint on our hearts forever. It can ignite wonder and astonishment, make us feel sadness and longing and even transport us to new worlds." 

Göransson achieved just that. In his acceptance speech, Göransson thanked his colleagues,  and stars of the film for contributions to his distinctive vision. "Christopher Nolan, it was your idea to use a violin in the score and it allowed me to work and collaborate with my wonderful wife and acclaimed violinist, Serena Göransson," he said.

Göransson ended his speech by acknowledging his parents, "Thank you for giving me guitars and drum machines and not buying me video games." 

2024 Oscars: Billie Eilish And FINNEAS Perform A Heartrending Version Of "What Was I Made For?" From The 'Barbie' Soundtrack

Billie Eilish and FINNEAS
Finneas O'Connell and Billie Eilish show off their Oscar awards for Best Original Song for 'What Was I Made For?' from 'Barbie'' at the 96th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood.

Photo: Arturo Holmes/Getty Images

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2024 Oscars: Billie Eilish and FINNEAS Win Best Original Song For "What Was I Made For?" From The Motion Picture 'Barbie'

The duo's win for "What Was I Made For?" [From The Motion Picture 'Barbie'] marks the second Oscar win for Billie Eilish and FINNEAS, making Eilish the youngest two-time Oscar winner ever.

GRAMMYs/Mar 11, 2024 - 02:23 am

Sibling duo Billie Eilish and FINNEAS are taking home more awards "What Was I Made For" [From The Motion Picture *Barbie*], this time at the 2024 Oscars, winning the prestigious Best Original Song award for their heartfelt ballad.

Once again, they've proven their unparalleled talent crosses effortlessly between the realms of music and film. Billie Eilish and Finneas won their first Oscar in 2022 for Best Original Song with "No Time to Die," the theme for the James Bond film of the same name.

Fittingly, the award was presented by two GRAMMY-winning musical performers, Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo, who star as Glinda and Elphaba in the Wizard of Oz big screen adaptation of the musical Wicked, premiering on the silver screen later this year. 

2024 Oscars: Watch Performances & Highlights

Eilish, who admitted to having a nightmare the night before receiving the award, burst into laughs before thanking the Academy and Barbie director Greta Gerwig, "Thank you to Greta, where did you go? I love you. Thank you for this. I'm so grateful for this song and this movie and the way that it made me feel."

The pair contended for the award against a diverse group of nominees: Diane Warren with "The Fire Inside" from "Flamin' Hot," Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt for "I'm Just Ken" also from Barbie, Jon Batiste and Dan Wilson with "It Never Went Away" from American Symphony, and Scott George for "Wahzhazhe (A Song for My People)" from Killers of the Flower Moon.

Ahead of the win, Eilish and O'Connell gave a stirring paired back performance that highlighted their power as a pair.

Read more: 2024 Oscars: Billie Eilish And FINNEAS Perform A Heartrending Version Of "What Was I Made For?" From The 'Barbie' Soundtrack

"What Was I Made For?" captivated audiences and critics alike with its poignant lyrics and emotive composition, underscoring the siblings' ability to tap into universal feelings of identity and purpose.

This Oscar win is a significant milestone for both artists, reinforcing their status as multifaceted talents capable of storytelling that resonates across different mediums. At the 2024 GRAMMYs, they had already made waves with the same song, winning Song Of The Year and Best Song Written For Visual Media.

Eilish and Finneas's journey from the music studios to the glitz of the Oscar stage is a testament to their hard work, creativity, and the deep connection they share as siblings. Their ability to collaborate and push the boundaries of music, now recognized by both the Recording Academy and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, sets a high bar for artists striving to make their mark across multiple industries.

Eilish and FINNEAS are not just a powerful duo in music but also formidable talents in film music composition. Their Oscar victory tonight is not just a win for them but a win for the incredible synergy between music and storytelling in cinema.

2024 Oscars: Watch Ryan Gosling And Mark Ronson Perform A Soaring, Hilarious Version Of "I'm Just Ken" From The 'Barbie' Soundtrack


Ariana Grande Press Photo 2024
Ariana Grande

Photo: Katia Temkin

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5 Takeaways From Ariana Grande's New Album 'Eternal Sunshine'

On her latest LP, Ariana Grande feels more self-assured than ever before — and 'eternal sunshine' details all of the life lessons and revelations that led to her most confident album yet.

GRAMMYs/Mar 8, 2024 - 09:47 pm

Ariana Grande's seventh album, eternal sunshine, begins with a single question: "How can I tell if I'm in the right relationship?"

The superstar has always been known for wearing her heart on her sleeve in her music — just look to 2018's Sweetener and especially 2019's thank you, next for a catalog of examples — and eternal sunshine is a mature evolution of that same level of transparency.

Grande's life has turned upside down since she released 2020's woozy, lovestruck Positions. She divorced husband Dalton Gomez after two years of marriage, and seemed to quickly move on to a new relationship with her Wicked co-star Ethan Slater. The huge changes created a firestorm of drama in the tabloids and across social media with fans left confused about timelines and even accusations of downright infidelity leveled against the singer.

Though she stayed largely quiet at the time, when Grande released "yes, and?" as her first new single in three years, the pop star was standing in her truth. "Now I'm so done with caring/ What you think, no, I won't hide/ Underneath your own projections/ Or change my most authentic life," she sings on the second verse.

While cleverly positioning the project as a concept album inspired by the 2004 drama Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Grande uses the rest of eternal sunshine to add to the unapologetic statements of "yes, and?", affirming through the music that there's much more to her story than tabloid headlines and internet rumors. 

In a multitude of ways, eternal sunshine showcases immense growth on Grande's part as a pop star, musician, and songwriter — but most of all, as a human being. Below, take a look at five takeaways from Ari's most self-actualized album to date.

She's Learned That Ignorance Isn't Bliss

Grande chose not to release a second single ahead of the album's March 8 unveiling, telling fans she wanted them to experience eternal sunshine in its entirety as a full body of work. Instead, she dropped second single "we can't be friends (wait for your love)" and its accompanying music video in tandem with the LP's release, and the ethereal banger perfectly encapsulates the themes of love lost — and the pain of moving on — that tie eternal sunshine to its cinematic source material starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet.

In the "we can't be friends" video, Grande elects to have her memories of a past relationship erased, much like Joel and Clementine in the beloved Oscar winner. "I don't wanna tiptoe, but I don't want to hide/ But I don't wanna feed this monstrous fire/ Just wanna let this story die/ And I'll be alright," she intones on the opening verse. 

However, by video's end, she, too, learns that it's better to live with the memories (and boundaries!) than to forget the love ever existed. 

Grande explores the same theme even more acutely on the album's title track, directly referencing the plot of the film as she tries "to wipe my mind/ Just so I feel less insane." (Though unlike Joel and Clementine's story, the pop star and her ex have both clearly moved on, as evidenced by the eyebrow-raising refrain: "Hope you feel alright when you're in her/ I found a good boy and he's on my side/ You're just my eternal sunshine, sunshine.")

Glinda The Good Witch Has Transformed Her

In numerous interviews ahead of the album's release, Grande spoke at length about the ways playing Glinda in the upcoming Wicked movies impacted her internally, recentered her priorities and healed her relationship with music. She had been adamant about not releasing new music while spending all her energy in the Good Witch of the North's magic bubble, but the impact the character's assured and confident nature had on her is evident throughout the entire body of work.

"Something that Glinda has is this very sure sense of self," Grande said in late February on The Zach Sang Show. "And she's not very apologetic. She's very good, she's very kind, but she's very certain. She takes up a lot of space unapologetically. And I think I, maybe before knowing Glinda and spending a lot of time with her, would cram myself into tiny little spaces and be kind of apologetic about what I come with and who I am." 

That same unapologetic kindness runs through virtually every song on the album, from the self-assured confidence of "yes, and?" to the disco-tinged heartbreak fantasia of "bye."

She's Just Fine Being Labeled The Villain

Being a concept album, eternal sunshine allows Grande to inhabit new roles and toy with perceptions of her pop star persona, and nowhere is that more evident than on "true story" and "the boy is mine," a one-two punch filled with '90s-inflected R&B and lyrical sass.

"I'll play the bad girl if you need me to…and I'll be good in it too," she pronounces on the former, clapping back at the media narrative swirling around the timeline of her split and new relationship with Wicked costar Ethan Slater. On the latter, as its title suggests, Grande taps into the feisty vibe of Brandy and Monica's 1998 smash while making it crystal clear she isn't competing with anyone for her new love's affections. 

Taken together, the two tracks affirm that Ari really is feeling more resolute in her truth than ever — regardless of what the masses have to say or what other narratives may be running rampant. 

She Remains A Master Of Vocal Production

Whether she's layering harmonies over a melody line or vocal arranging an entire bridge on the fly, the superstar's mastery over her instrument only continues to grow with each new album — evolving from a singer with a once-in-a-generation voice into a powerhouse who can ably execute her own vision from behind the mic.

eternal sunshine proves that point again and again, from the sumptuous extended whistle tone intro on "yes, and?" and the transcendence of the floating harmonies on "don't wanna break up again" to the ways she punctuates her dreamy, staccato vocal delivery on "i wish i hated you."

She Knows Love Is "Imperfect"

After making peace with the end of her marriage, Grande spends the tail end of eternal sunshine giving listeners valuable insight into where her head is at these days, relationship with Slater included. She addresses the unexpected start to this new love story head-on in the off-kilter melody of "imperfect for you" as she coos, "My love, they don't understand/ But I'll hold your heart in the box here beside me/ How could we know we'd arrange all the cosmos?/ We crashed and we burned/ Now I just can't go where you don't go."

And by the album's end, she finally finds the answer she's been searching for since the first track — in a nugget of wisdom from her beloved Nonna, who serves as the only guest credited on the album's 13-song tracklist. "Never go to bed without kissin' goodnight, it's the worst thing to do, don't ever, ever do that," the Italian matriarch advises. "And if you can't and if you don't feel comfortable doing it, you're in the wrong place, get out."

Not only does Nonna's advice wrap eternal sunshine up in a bow, it also speaks to the hard-earned lessons Ari has learned over the past few years — but also that she's come out on the other side stronger, wiser and more unapologetic than ever.

Ariana Grande's Musical Growth In 15 Tracks, From "The Way" To "Positions"

Women's History Month 2024 Playlist Hero
(Clockwise, from top left): Jennie, Janelle Monáe, Anitta, Taylor Swift, Victoria Monét, Ariana Grande, Lainey Wilson

Photos (clockwise, from top left): Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Coachella, Paras Griffin/Getty Images, Lufre, MATT WINKELMEYER/GETTY IMAGES FOR THE RECORDING ACADEMY, Paras Griffin/Getty Images, JOHN SHEARER/GETTY IMAGES FOR THE RECORDING ACADEMY, Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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Listen: GRAMMY.com's Women's History Month 2024 Playlist: Female Empowerment Anthems From Beyoncé, Ariana Grande, Jennie & More

This March, the Recording Academy celebrates Women's History Month with pride and joy. Press play on this official playlist that highlights uplifting songs from Taylor Swift, Victoria Monét, Anitta and more.

GRAMMYs/Mar 8, 2024 - 04:44 pm

From commanding stages to blasting through stereos, countless women have globally graced the music industry with their creativity. And though they've long been underrepresented, tides are changing: in just the last few years, female musicians have been smashing records left and right, conquering top song and album charts and selling sold-out massive tours.

This year, Women's History Month follows a particularly historic 66th GRAMMY Awards, which reflected the upward swing of female musicians dominating music across the board. Along with spearheading the majority of the ceremony's performances, women scored bigtime in the General Field awards — with wins including Best New Artist, Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, and Album Of The Year.

Female empowerment anthems, in particular, took home major GRAMMY gold. Miley Cyrus' "Flowers" took home two awards, while Victoria Monét was crowned Best New Artist thanks to the success of her album Jaguar II and its hit single "On My Mama." As those two songs alone indicate, female empowerment takes many different shapes in music — whether it's moving on from a relationship by celebrating self-love or rediscovering identity through motherhood.

The recent successes of women in music is a testament to the trailblazing artists who have made space for themselves in a male-dominated industry — from the liberating female jazz revolution of the '20s to the riot grrl movement of the '90s. Across genres and decades, the classic female empowerment anthem has strikingly metamorphosed into diverse forms of defiance, confidence and resilience.

No matter how Women's History Month is celebrated, it's about women expressing themselves, wholeheartedly and artistically, and having the arena to do so. And in the month of March and beyond, women in the music industry deserve to be recognized not only for their talent, but ambition and perseverance — whether they're working behind the stage or front-and-center behind the mic.

From Aretha Franklin's "RESPECT" to Beyoncé's "Run the World (Girls)," there's no shortage of female empowerment anthems to celebrate women's accomplishments in the music industry. Listen to GRAMMY.com's 2024 Women's History Month playlist on streaming services below.