"I was kinda terrified to do what I actually wanted and make the music that I actually wanted to make — and have my brown hair, wear thigh high boots [and be] what I wanted to be," Grande told Eric Vetro

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Ariana Grande
| Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty

It's hard to imagine Ariana Grande without her signature thigh high boots and high ponytail — but she now says there was a time she was afraid to channel that side of herself.

In conversation with Eric Vetro on his new podcast Backstage Pass with Eric Vetro on Wednesday, Grande, 28, opened up about the transition from being a Nickelodeon star on Victorious and Sam & Cat — to growing into a recording artist with her own style.

"In the way beginning, putting out 'The Way' was very freeing and terrifying for me because I was so convinced that I had to be one thing — because people knew me from my show that I was doing from Nickelodeon and I was playing a character that a lot of  people knew me as." the "34+35" singer explained.

She continued, "I was kinda terrified to do what I actually wanted and make the music that I actually wanted to make — and have my brown hair, wear thigh high boots [and be] what I wanted to be."

2018 MTV Video Music Awards - Red Carpet
Ariana Grande
| Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage

When she did decide to release the single and ditch the red hair, however, it was a huge turning point for the singer.

"That was a really big moment for me, putting out my first single on my first album and taking that risk from the way beginning too," Grande said. "It was a really incredible turning point for me."

The "Thank U, Next" singer is currently a first-time coach on this season of The Voice alongside Blake Shelton, John Legend and Kelly Clarkson.

On Tuesday, Kristin Chenoweth joined Grande's team as an advisor for Battle Grounds — and in a peek at Monday's episode, Grande shared the advice Chenoweth once bestowed upon her.

"I learned everything I know from watching this woman," Grande said in the clip. "When we were doing Hairspray Live, you would pitch a joke, or like, a melody change here and there, and ask, 'Does this add value?' As a performer, to me, that changed my life entirely."

She continued, "Now, when I'm writing songs, or performing songs, if I'm gonna do a run, I want to make sure that it adds value and that it has intention. That changed my entire life. I've never looked at anything the same way again. I swear to god. I'm literally eating my breakfast, like, 'Does this add value?'"

Meanwhile, Grande is also gearing up to launch her very own makeup line, r.e.m. beauty, and she told Allure for the magazine's October 2021 issue that it was difficult to keep her behind-the-scenes work for the brand a secret for two years.

"Coveting the secret for the past two years and having testers and samplers in my purse, and people asking me, 'Oh, I love your highlight, what are you wearing?' And me being like, 'I don't know,' sweating. It was so hard to keep a secret for this long," she said.

An official release date for the launch is not set but the r.e.m. beauty Instagram wrote in September "r.e.m. beauty coming this fall."