Ariana Grande’s “In My Head” Lyrics Meaning

Amongst Ariana’s fandom, the meaning of “In My Head” is clear. In it she is addressing the issue of falling in love with someone not because of who they actually are but rather based on how you perceive them. However, when it comes to exactly who she is talking about, amongst her numerous past high-profile relationships two names standout – Pete Davidson and the late Mac Miller.

Some of the lyrics of the song suggests that she can be referencing Mac Miller – for instance through the use of symbolism such as ‘angels’, since Mac died in September of 2018. However, the more-plausible theory is that she is speaking of Pete Davidson, who she was engaged to. The line that most supports this assertion is in the bridge, where Ariana uses the term “I invented you.” And while Davidson was already popular in his own right – being a tenured cast member of “Saturday Night Live” and all – his current standing as an A-list celebrity is due to his relationship with Grande.

Lyrics of "In My Head"

Ultimately Ariana blames no one but herself for getting into the unenviable position of falling in love with someone based on her own imaginings. And it can be gleaned that her final perception of this person is unflattering. In other words, he was not able to live up to the expectations Grande set for him and indeed based on her statements didn’t display any type of personal growth at all. This type of sentiment is definitely indicative of someone she had a tumultuous breakup with.

Was that person Pete Davidson? Was he the late rapper Mac Miller? We guess this is a question whose answer we just might never know.

Quick Facts about “In My Head”

  • Writer(s): “In My Head” was co-penned by Ariana Grande and the following songwriters: Andrew “Pop” Wansel, Happy Perez, Lindel Deon Nelson, JProof, Blu June and Brittany Coney. Many of these writers are frequent collaborators of Ariana Grande.
  • Producer(s): The production of “In My Head” was done by Happy Perez, Pop Wansel and the female duo of NOVA WAV.
  •  Album/EP: This is the ninth song featured on Ariana’s 2019 fifth studio album named Thank U, Next.
  • Release Date: February 8, 2019 was the day “In My Head” was officially released.
  • Record Label: The record label through which the song was released is Republic Records.
  • Interesting Stuff: The intro of “In My Head” features a snippet from a voicemail sent to Ariana by her best friend, Doug Middlebrook. That voicemail was actually added to the song after it was produced and is not original content written specifically for it.

Who really is Doug Middlebrook?

He is an American Instagram star who gained worldwide stardom just for being a very close friend of Ariana Grande. Doug and Ariana have been very close pals for several years. The friendship is so close that Doug even spent last Christmas with Ariana and her family. According to Ariana, Doug is one has always been by her side to support her through countless difficult challenges in life. Such is how important he is to her life.

Doug Middlebrook
Doug Middlebrook and Ariana Grande. As of the date of this post, Doug is one of Ariana’s best friends in the world.

What has Ariana Grande said about “In My Head”?

In January 2019, a fan of Ariana’s asked her via Twitter what the song was about. Ariana replied by stating that it was about creating a version of someone in your mind and falling in love with that version of the person. Thus you are not in love with the actual person. You are in love with someone who that person really isn’t. Here are Ariana’s exact words about this song:

Ariana Grande talks about her song "In My Head"

Did “In My Head” come out as a single from Thank U, Next?

No. Despite being one of the outstanding tracks from that album, it wasn’t released as a single. Only three songs were released as singles from Thank U, Next. These songs are: “Break up with Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored”, “7 Rings” and “Thank U, Next”.

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