"Bad Idea"
song by Ariana Grande
from the album Thank U, Next
Released February 8, 2019
Format Digital download, Streaming
Recorded at MXM Studios, Los Angeles
Genre EDM, Trap
Length 4:27
Label Republic
Songwriter(s) Ariana Grande
Max Martin
Ilya Salmanzadeh
Peter Svensson
Savan Kotecha
Producer Max Martin
Ilya Salmanzadeh
Singles chronology
Bad Idea
(February 8, 2019)

"Bad Idea" is a song performed by American recording artist Ariana Grande, from her fifth studio album Thank U, Next, released in 2019. It was written by Grande, Peter Svensson, Savan Kotecha and its producers Max Martin and Ilya Salmanzadeh.

Following the release of Thank U, Next, the track reached the top ten in Greece, Hungary and Slovakia, and peaked inside the top 40 in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Portugal, Singapore and the United States.

Background and composition

"Bad Idea" was written by Grande, Peter Svensson, Savan Kotecha, and its producers Max Martin and Ilya Salmanzadeh. The recording took place in two studios: MXM Studios in Los Angeles, California, and the Wolf Cousins Studios located in Stockholm, Sweden.

According to Kotecha, during the development of Thank U, Next, they tried to do different things that Grande had not done before. Following this idea, he wanted to create a song with a melody inspired by British band The Police combined with a trap beat. Svensson, a former member of band The Cardigans, helped with the phrasing of the second line and created the guitar riff of the beginning of the track alongside Ilya. Later, Kotecha, Grande and Martin fixed the melodies. Ilya added the instrumental outro, which the singer decided to extend. Mattias Johansson, who worked with the singer on her Dangerous Woman album, played the violin. Martin and Salmanzadeh programmed the track and played the guitar, bass, drums and keyboards. Both also were, alongside Mattias Bylund, part of the string section. Grande produced the vocals, with David Bukovinsky playing the cello and Bylund the strings.

Sam Holland engineered the song with the help of Cory Byce and Jeremy Lertola. Serban Ghenea mixed it with assistance of John Hanes at MixStar Studios in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Randy Merrill mastered it at Sterling Sound Studios in New York City.

Musically, "Bad Idea" is an EDM (electronic dance music) and trap song. The track is written in the key of E-flat minor and set in common time signature, with a moderately fast tempo of 138 beats per minute. Grande's vocals span from the low note of E♭3 to the high note of A♭5. "Bad Idea" starts with a guitar riff, and has a "melodic turn" in the hook, with ad-libs and echoes. Orchestral arrangements appear during the second chorus, leading to another chorus where the singer performs in two notes higher. The song ends with a chopped and screwed outro with Grande's vocals slowed down and pitched. The singer also calls herself "Ari-chan" during the chorus, which was noted by Rachel Handler of Vulture and Mekishana Pierre of PopSugar as a reference to her admiration of Japanese culture.

In the lyrics, Grande talks about using someone to recover from a previous relationship, as indicated in the chorus, "Yeah, I'ma call you over here to numb the pain / I got a bad idea, forget about it, yeah, forget about him, yeah / Forget about me." Raúl Guillén of Spanish website Jenesaispop noted that the singer is "desperate" to numb the pain with somebody who does not expect commitment from her during the second verse, "Need somebody, gimme something I can feel / But, boy, don't trip, you know this isn't real / You should know I'm temporary".

Live performances

Grande performed the song at Coachella and Lollapalooza, and during the Sweetener Tour.

Commercial performance

In Greece, "Bad Idea" debuted at number 9 on the Digital Singles Chart International for the sixth edition of 2019. The following week, it peaked at the eighth position. It spent a total of five weeks on the chart. In Hungary, the song debuted at numbers 9 and 40 on the Streaming and Sales charts, respectively, on the edition for February 14, 2019. In Ireland, "Bad Idea" entered the Irish Singles Chart at number 13 on the edition dated February 22, 2019.

Credits and personnel

  • Production – Max Martin, Ilya Salmanzadeh
  • Songwriting – Ariana Grande, Peter Svensson, Savan Kotecha


Chart (2019) Peak
Australia (ARIA) 21
Canada (Canadian Hot 100) 22
Czech Republic (Singles Digitál Top 100) 19
Denmark (Tracklisten) 30
France (SNEP) 105
Germany (Official German Charts) 52
Greece (IFPI) 8
Hungary (Single Top 40) 40
Hungary (Stream Top 40) 9
Ireland (IRMA) 13
Netherlands (Single Top 100) 43
Portugal (AFP) 22
Scotland (Official Charts Company) 62
Singapore (RIAS) 24
Slovakia (Singles Digitál Top 100) 9
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan) 41
UK Download (Official Charts Company) 54
UK Streaming (Official Charts Company) 12
US Billboard Hot 100 27


"Bad Idea" has been remixed by Eddie Martinez.

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