Story of Song The stories behind the hits Novellic

Story of Song

“The feeling of being absolutely terrified to re-approach a relationship that’s gone sour, but you want to more than anything” is what this song is about, according to Ariana. Ariana explained that the song is based on an evolving relationship with an actual ex: “In the song, it ends on a sappy, negative note, but in (real) life, we’re hoping it’s going to end on a positive one. I feel like it’s all very honest and human.” Ariana wanted to work with Azalea after she saw her perform ‘Work’ live, saying: “I fell in love with Iggy when I saw this video of her performing ‘Work’ live, and I just thought she was so original and I loved the way she pronounced her words… I thought we would make the perfect girl-power duo for ‘Problem’, so I’m very grateful that she did it with me.” Grande and Azalea then met at the 2013 MTV Europe Music Awards where they presented an award together, and hung out at Katy Perry’s afterparty in Amsterdam. In an interview with MTV UK, Iggy Azalea said: “We’d actually been talking about doing a collaboration for about a year. We spoke about me being on her first album and it didn’t end up happening and so it’s great to be on her first single. It’s a cool song, really good vibe.” Ariana Grande then began working on ‘Problem’ and thought Azalea would be the perfect fit for the track, and so the two songstresses went in the studio with producer Max Martin. The line “one less problem without you” was inspired by an article from Cosmopolitan.

Release date

Released on April 28, 2014.


Max Martin – Savan Kotecha – Ilya Salmanzadeh – Iggy Azalea – Ariana Grande.



Chart Rankings

US – 2

UK – 1


In the UK, ‘Problem’ was the first song to top the charts based on both sales and streaming, and it is Grande’s first number one single in the UK. The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) certified it Platinum for sales over 600.000 copies. In the US, it peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and remained in the top 10 charts for 16 weeks. It also reached number two on the US Dance/Mix Show Airplay and number one on both Mainstream Top 40 and Rhythmic Charts. The Recording Industry Association of America certified it six times Platinum for sales over 3.5 million copies. The single topped the charts in Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, and South Africa. It reached the top charts in Australia, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, South Africa, Sweden, and Switzerland. It was certified platinum platinum in Australia, Canada, Sweden, and Norway. In Italy and Denmark, it was certified double platinum, and in Japan, Mexico, and Switzerland it was certified gold. In Spain it was certified platinum and streamed over eight million times. The song was streamed over nine million times worldwide.

Artist’s age on release date

21 (Grande) and 24 (Azalea)

Cover Versions

Scott Bradlee’s band Postmodern Jukebox – Rixton band – Pentatonix – Glee (sixth season) – Hozier – Carson Lueders

Added by Slate

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