Ariana Grande is really taking advantage of the promotional opportunities with her new album campaign and beyond while showing the music world that she’s not just another disposable pop singer. The 25-year-old recording artist took the national stage when she performed Aretha Franklin’s “You Make Me Feel (Like a Natural Woman)” not once, but twice since the soul icon’s passing last month. More recently, Grande had the chance to strut some of her more contemporary performance abilities when she covered Thundercat’s “Them Changes” off the space-jazz bassist’s Drunk album during her recent appearance on BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge.
As per tradition on the show, Grande performed some of her own new material, but the real fun comes when the guests choose to cover a song from one of their colleagues, even if that means picking a style from the completely other end of the musical spectrum. As seen in the BBC video above, Grande’s cover of the funky jazz tune from Thundercat’s 2017 album is not only a bold choice for someone who has stuck to a strict pop sound throughout her career, but her vocals give the track a new identity as she slips into a lower singing range to match the song’s punchy bass and key lines.
The audio for the cover had arrived earlier this week, but the video gives Grande and her relaxed performance style a much cooler edge as she can be seen casually sitting on a stool in a sweatshirt and jeans while surrounded by her band. How west coast jazz of you Ariana. For comparison to how Grande’s cover holds up against its original composer, fans can check out Thundercat’s performance of the song in another live studio video seen below.
Grande has been in full promo mode over the past month since her Sweetener album arrived back on Aug. 17. The album would go on to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album sales chart in the U.S., while also earning the largest streaming week for a pop album by a female artist.