You’re going to be underestimated, you know. That’s how this goes, especially when you start young. Underestimated because you’re a girl, for one thing. Because you’re short and cute. Because you’re a child actor. Because you’re on Nickelodeon. Because you’re a white girl who wants to sing R&B. Because you wear cat ears and lingerie. Because you’re dating an actor, dating a boy-band singer, dating a rapper. You’re going to be underestimated.
But once you get used to that, once that becomes your daily bread, you recognize it as a weapon. It’s fuel. It’s oxygen. Because you know that no matter how much you are underestimated—by your peers, by casting directors, by your label, by the media, by your 39 million Twitter followers—you are going to open your mouth and that unbelievable sound is going to come out. That extraordinary, versatile, limitless instrument that allows you to shut down every objection and every obstacle. That voice—powered by nothing but your remarkable empathy, your ravenous intelligence, your cool discipline and your voracious ambition. They’re going to underestimate you, and you, my beautiful friend, are going to make music.
Brown is a composer and playwright whose musical 13 gave Grande her breakthrough role
- 2022 Time100 NEXT: TIME’s List Of Emerging Leaders Who Are Shaping the Future
- Industrial Farming Causes Climate Change. The ‘Slow Food’ Movement Wants to Stop It
- What Reading 220 History Textbooks Taught One Scholar About Racism in America
- Artist Oliver Jeffers Wants to Paint the World Out of a Corner
- A Vibrant North Korean Community in London Finds Its Days Are Numbered
- COVID-19 Vaccines Can Make Periods Longer, Study Says
- Column: What Happened When My Entire Family Came Out
- How DeSantis Handles Hurricane Ian Will Shape His Political Future
- 6 Groups Making Mental Health Care More Accessible to People of Color