Childish Gambino surprised fans at the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival by joining Ariana Grande on stage to deliver a cheeky guest rap on “Break Your Heart Right Back,” from Grande’s new chart-topping album My Everything.
Prior to performing with Grande on Friday (Sept. 19) night in Las Vegas, the rapper spoke with Billboard backstage at the iHeartRadio Fest about collaborating with Grande in the studio and details about his upcoming mixtape.
“The song was sent to us and we immediately were like, ‘This is a hit,’” Gambino tells Billboard of “Break Your Heart Right Back,” a Diana Ross-sampling kiss-off to an ex who fooled around with another man. “She just sounds so good on it and it’s a great song.”
Gambino says Grande was very encouraging during the recording process. “She came in when I was recording and was like, ‘That’s great. I love the tone of your voice,’” he recalls. “She knows her stuff about music and rap.”
The rapper also divulged some details about his forthcoming STN MTN / KAUAI mixtape, due later this year on DJ Drama’s Gangsta Grillz label.
“I feel like it’s the first concept mixtape ever,” Gambino says. “It’s a mixtape that goes into the EP but they’re connected. It’s the same character and the same story from Because the Internet and Camp. It’s kind of like a nice in between for the next album.”
Gambino will perform on Saturday at the iHeartRadio Music Festival Village in the lot across from Luxor Hotel & Casino.