It seems Ariana Grande still doesn’t really like her, Jessie J and Nicki Minaj’s 2014 smash hit “Bang Bang.”
Jessie J recently spoke to Glamour about the possibility of collaborating with Grande on another song. During her interview, she revealed that the Grande is open to another collaboration… so long as it’s “better” than “Bang Bang.”
“Me and Ari just spoke the other day, and I was like, ‘We should definitely do something together,'” Jessie J shared. “And she was like, ‘If we do, it has to be better than ‘Bang Bang.” And I was like, ‘Well…’ She was like, ‘I don’t know,’ and I was like, ‘I don’t know.’ Because it’s just one of those songs that just caught and went.”
But this isn’t the first time Grande has expressed her lukewarm (at best) feelings toward the song.
In 2018, Grande tweeted about her outright dislike for the single. She suggested that a Sweetener and AG5 tour combined “sounds really nice. lots of new material + oldies (the oldies we like). I mean unless y’all wanna hear bang bang again.”
When a fan responded, “GIRL I NEVER WANNA HEAR THAT S— AGAIN,” Grande made a point to reply, “thank God. Can’t wait to show this to my team.”
During a 2016 Billboard discussion, Wendy Goldstein, the Executive VP/Head of Urban A&R of Republic Records revealed that Grande even passed on the song after her first listen. It wasn’t until years later that she listened to the song again and heard Jessie J’s vocals on it that she agreed to record it.
“It’s very rare that you sit on something for a long time — two, three, four years — and pull it back out again,” Goldstein said. “If I think a song is strong, I try to flip it really quick. The best example of that was ‘Bang Bang.’ It was written for Ariana [Grande]. She cut it, and she hated it.”
Speaking to Glamour, Jessie J also shared the story behind her and Minaj’s collaboration with the “7 rings” singer, which went 8x RIAA-certified Platinum and reached No. 3 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart.
Initially, Grande and Jessie J were both pitched the song, which was written by producer-songwriter mastermind Max Martin, so they suggested that they do it together. Then, Minaj jumped on the track.
“So Ariana stayed on the second verse, I recorded the first verse, and then Nicki played it in the studio and was like, ‘I’ve got to jump on this.’ We didn’t go to her and ask; she wanted to do it. I’ll never forget: I was in my bedroom in my flat in London, and I got sent the version with Nicki on it. I just sat at the end of my bed holding my phone, staring at the floor, going, ‘How the f— did I land this?’ I literally felt like I’d won a competition,” Jessie J told the magazine.
Jessie J admitted that she doesn’t believe that the song would have reached such critical success without the two other women, who all met for the first time at the video shoot the very same day the song reached No. 1.
“We were just so giddy, all of us. I remember all of us being on set, and I remember us taking a selfie. I remember going, ‘I literally feel like I’m a fan in the back of the picture.’ I just remember laughing. Ariana’s one of the funniest people ever. Our personalities and humor are super dry. We also were big-ing each other up! It was such a celebratory moment. All of us were just giggling and enjoying being around each other. It was great.”