The Weeknd calls Ariana Grande “a beast on Pro Tools” as he praises her music production skills

The Weeknd and Ariana Grande
(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

With her impressive four-octave range, Ariana Grande’s vocal talents are widely recognised, but The Weeknd - AKA Abel Tesfaye - has now shared that she also has some serious music production chops, calling her “a beast on Pro Tools”.

Tesfaye has worked with Grande on multiple occasions so has seen her working in real time. He made the claim on Twitter in response to a viral tweet from producer Kenny Beats that highlighted the production skills of several female artists. 

“Ariana Grande is insane at comping vocals with 100 stacks. Rosalia engineers herself at the highest level. King Princess will walk around a room and play everything and track alone. Doja [Cat] has beats of her own that are unreal,” said Beats.

Concluding with the words “We need to talk more about women producers everyday,” Beats’ tweet has now been shared more than 16,000 times.

Tweeting in response, King Princess said: “Love you Kenny Beats, and it’s rad to have people like you big upping people like us. It’s easy to forget that ARTISTS, and especially women, lgbtq+ and poc artists put work in at the studio and often get overlooked as producers.”

Research shows that, in 2019, only 7% of Billboard’s Top 100 DJs were women, and that they occupy less than 3% of the industry’s production and technical roles. For women of colour, that figure drops to just 0.3%.

Underplayed, Stacey Lee’s 2021 documentary, helped to shine a light on this disparity, though a recent study by Jaxsta showed that, of the 100 most successful producers of the past 12 months, only three (Taylor Swift, Beyonce and Caroline Ailin) are women

In October 2021, Jameela Jamil called out misogyny in the music industry when she was forced to defend the legitimacy of the production credits she received on boyfriend James Blake’s album, Friends That Break Your Heart.

In January 2021, a petition called for popular pro audio website Gearslutz to change its name on the basis that it was derogatory to women. It was subsequently rebranded as Gearspace.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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