Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande / REX/Shutterstock

More than one year after her concert in Manchester was bombed by terrorists, Ariana Grande is still struggling to cope with the tragedy. She discussed the heartbreak in a new interview released May 30.

Even with time, it hasn’t gotten any easier for Ariana Grande to process what she and her fans went through on May 22, 2017, when bombs were detonated outside her concert at Manchester Arena. “I guess I thought with time, and therapy, and writing, and pouring my heart out, and talking to my friends and family, that it would be easier to talk about,” Ariana admits in the new issue of FADER . “But it’s still so hard to find the words. When you’re so close to something so tragic and terrifying and opposite of what music and concerts are supposed to me, it kind of leaves you without any ground beneath your feet.” 22 innocent people died and 139 more were left injured in the horrific attack, which was completed by a suicide bomber, Salman Ramadan Abedi.

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Ariana has been incredibly strong for her fans in the aftermath of the Manchester attack, and even headlined a benefit concert right back in the city less than two weeks after the bombing. She was joined by other big stars, like Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus, for the event, and credits those stars and hundreds of thousands of fans who attended for turning tragedy into something so special. “The fact that all of those people were able to turn something that represented the most heinous act of humanity into something beautiful and unifying and loving is just wild,” she raves.

Ariana Grande FADER magazine
Ariana Grande FADER magazine / Courtesy of FADER magazine

Despite how devastated she still remains over all this, Ariana also says that it helped completely transform her music, and explains that we’ll hear a whole new sound when her album, Sweetener, is released this summer. “I’ve never been this vulnerable to myself,” she reveals. “I feel like I graduated almost. I feel like, for a long time, the songs were great, but they weren’t songs that made me feel something the way these songs do.” She also admits that she “cried 10 hundred times” in her writing sessions, and that the tracks represent her “bleeding heart.”

“I’ve always been just like a shiny, singing, 5-6-7-8, sexy dance, sexy thing,” Ari says. “But now it’s like….ok…issa bop, but issa message. Issa bop but it also has chunks of my soul in it.” We’ve already heard just that on the album’s first single, “No Tears Left To Cry,” which will definitely make you want to dance, but is also full of emotion. Now, we can’t wait to hear the rest!