There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Shangela Laquifa Wadley is on the rise. Among the Drag Race star’s many accolades throughout the last few years, one of her favorites was appearing in the opening clip of Ariana Grande’s song “NASA” off of her record-breaking Thank U, Next album. Now, Shangela has revealed exactly how that moment went down.
On her Instagram, Shangela posted an audio clip from the night she met up with Grande in the studio after hanging out with her brother, Frankie. However, she hadn’t gone in to collaborate — Shangela was simply in the studio to hear a portion of the singer’s new album. When she heard “NASA,” she decided to record herself explaining her “vision” for a drag performance of the song.
“I see myself coming in in a clear bubble spacesuit,” she said, as Grande snickered in the background. “I want it to be form-fitting, though, with titties and all, and I’m gonna come in like I’m walking on the moon.”
She continued, saying that in her performance, she wanted there to be a voiceover that says, “This is one small step for woman, one giant leap for womankind.” Grande laughed in the background again before interrupting Shangela’s vision to tell her some news: “That’s how the song is starting,” she said.
Shangela told Billboard the full story of how everything went down back in February, saying that the voice memo was actually recorded by Grande, who, after hearing Shangela describe her version of the song, wanted it on tape to work into the track. “A couple months later … she told me that they used it and I was like, ‘You gotta be kidding,’” she said. “You never know what’s gonna shake out. I’m just so thrilled that she liked it.”
Check out the voice memo from Shangela below:
#tbt to that time @arianagrande played NASA for me in the studio and I was fully inspired to GO IN about my vision for doing it on a drag show, which led to this voicenotes recording which led to the track 3 opener. And now apparently NASA is gonna put her on the moon by 2024. did I mention I live?!? shout out to @frankiejgrande for inviting me to tag along & @tbhits for his and Ari’s extreme geniusness — #thankUnext