How Ariana Grande and Saturn collided on her album

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Ariana Grande, a woman looking at the camera with a tilted neck. She is wearing a necklace with the background blurred of pink flowers.Image source, Getty Images

Getting yourself sampled by one of the biggest pop stars on the planet is a dream for many aspiring singers.

But one guest star on Ariana Grande’s long-awaited latest album says she’d never listened to her music when the request to use her voice came in.

One of the 13 tracks on Eternal Sunshine, which shot to the top of the UK and US charts when it was released, is a 42-second spoken-word segment called Saturn Returns Interlude.

“Saturn comes along and hits you over the head, hits you over the head, hits you over the head and says,’Wake up’. It’s time for you to get real about life and sort out who you really are.”

It’s taken from a YouTube clip uploaded by Diana Garland, an astrologer who recorded the video 10 years ago.

Diana tells BBC Newsbeat she initially ignored the message asking for permission to use her clip.

“I’m retired now, but as you can imagine, it was like… who are these people? Because there’s a lot of strange stuff going on in the internet now,” she says.

But the music licensing company kept trying, and eventually she asked her son to reply and ask for proof it was all real – which it was.

The video, she says, was “off the top of my head… just a little clip taken from me answering a question, so it wasn’t even written down”.

“I suppose maybe my little clip was picked, because certain people were familiar with me from all that time ago,” she says.

Saturn is having a bit of a moment with singers right now, with Deeper Well by Kacey Musgraves and Saturn by SZA also mentioning the ringed planet.

So why is there a sudden surge in Saturn?

SZA, a woman wearing a black outfit, standing on stage behind a microphone, accepting an award. She is smiling. The background is dark and light blue and pink.

Image source, Getty Images

Diana says astrologers believe there’s a “horoscope wheel” that changes according to people’s year of birth, and Saturn takes “28, 29 years to go round this circle” and end up in the same spot again.

This is known, of course, as “the Saturn Return”.

Diana suggests “the Saturn Return” can help people make sense of life events, and think about personal growth.

And Ariana, Kacey and SZA are all in their early-to-mid thirties – the perfect age for self-reflection, in Diana’s view.

It’s also something Adele and Emma Watson have previously spoken about.

“Each time Saturn makes that return, it’s sort of an opportunity to go through a kind of upgrade, if you have gotten to a level of awareness within yourself,” Diana says.

“Or you have the appetite for new learning through building. It’s to do with new structures, a new framework.

“I always see Saturn as building and expanding through the parameters of certain limitations you’ve got going on at the moment,” she says.

Diana, a woman smiling at the camera. She has a patterned scarf around her neck and is wearing a brown top. The background is the inside of a house, with brown wooden doors, and an open door.

Image source, Diana Garland

While there are people who believe in horoscopes and astrology, there are also many who don’t.

Diana describes them as “an art, not a science”, and says scepticism doesn’t bother her personally.

“We’re all here to express our originality,” she says.

“Everybody is unique, so if you’re somebody who’s sceptical, who doesn’t get the feeling of energy… that’s fine.”

Being part of an Ariana Grande album could be potentially overwhelming, but Diana feels her relation to it is “very tenuous”.

And while she hasn’t heard it yet, she is keen to give it a listen.

“It’s not because I’m not interested in it, because I think she’s very talented,” she says.

“We’ve been [travelling] a lot… so I haven’t really had a chance, but I will do.”


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