Kandi Burress Talks Ariana Grande’s ‘Break Up With Your Girlfriend’ Interpolating The N*SYNC Song She Co-wrote With Billboard
by RK Jackson
“Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored” has now become a viral track for millienial fans of *NSYNC’s “It Makes Me Ill”. The song paired with a visual released on the day of Ariana’s 2nd album in five months lifted the track’s debut to #2 on the Hot 100, bested only by it’s album predecessor ‘7 Rings’. The song originally came courtesy of superstar co-writers and producers Kandi Burruss and Kevin Briggs. Burruss (who recently wrapped up her stint on Celebrity Big Brother) was previously credited for another hit, Ed Shareen’s ‘Shape Of You’ which borrows from TLC’s ‘No Scrubs’. The singer-songwriter spoke to Billboard on hearing Grande’s take on ‘It Makes Me Ill,’ and her memories of working with the boy band in the studio.
How did Ariana Grande’s team contact you about wanting to sample *NSYNC’s “It Makes Me Ill”?
I’ve known her manager Scooter Braun for years, way before he became a manager, [back to] when he was an intern for Jermaine Dupri at So So Def. It’s crazy how things come full circle with people that you’ve worked with over the years. So he reached out to let me know that they had sampled the song and they wanted to work out the publishing split. You can imagine that I was super excited about it! I was really happy. I’m thankful to the writers.
What was your reaction when you heard how she flipped the song?
[The label] had sent me a link to the song to hear it. I thought it was so dope. I would’ve never thought anybody would have sampled “It Makes Me Ill” after all these years. I actually went and met with [“Break Up” co-writer Savan Kotecha] afterwards, who’s an amazing writer and producer.
Out of all the *NSYNC hits to choose from, why do you think she chose this deep cut?
I don’t know, but I know they love that era of music and [Kotecha] told me he always loved that song. But I have no idea what made them use that part for the track! But I’m definitely thankful that they used a song that I’ve written. That was one of my favorite songs that I did back in the day, but it never was an official single for *NSYNC. So you never really expect songs that weren’t the big single to really go on and do other things. But this is a major thing. I’m shocked! And to come out of the [Celebrity] Big Brother house after a month of being stuck in that house to another hit record is just…wow! Things are really looking bright for me right now.[Laughs.]
Read the full interview on Billboard.com