Hard to imagine that epic 2014 hit Bang, Bang without Ariana Grande’s stellar vocals, but that was almost the case coz it turns out she hated the song when she first heard it.
According to Wendy Goldstein, Executive VP/Head of Urban A&R of Republic Records (Ari's label), babes initially passed on the song coz she thought it would be a flop.
“Bang Bang […] was written for Ariana [Grande]. She cut it [recorded it], and she hated it.”
This is how it wound up in the hands of Jesse J, and ended up being the lead single off her album “Sweet Talker”, and also how Nicki Minaj ended up being involved.
“So I sent it to [Republic Executive VP] Rob Stevenson, got Jessie J on it and then sent it to Nicki Minaj. I made them finish the record anyway,” she said. “And then I was scared to send it to Ari. So I sent it to [Republic Records Chairman/CEO] Monte Lipman and said, ‘Play this for Ariana.’ When she heard it, she was like, ‘I want it back.'”
Ariana actually dropped a clue that she wasn’t too keen on the track – until she heard the version with Jesse with Nicki - back in 2014. In an interview with Revolt she said: “I didn’t know what to do with that song. I had a meeting with my label and I went to Monte’s office and he was like, ‘Sit down, I wanna play you something.’
He played her the new, collab version.
"Bang Bang started playing and it was Jessie and I was like, ‘No way'. And then I heard Nicki come in and I was on the floor. It was a surprise to me. Three powerful women, and I was like ‘This is insane.’”
That is how the collab was born and we were gifted with one of the biggest bloody hits of 2014.
Thanks insistent label execs, from the bottom of our heart, thank you.