Back in May2018, Rihanna revealed in a Vogue cover story that her next project would be a reggae album. The Bajan singer recently sat down for an interview with The New York Times‘ T Magazine which mostly focuses on her Fenty fashion line, but also includes some details about the upcoming album.
While Rihanna didn’t reveal much about the project, she did confirm that it is a reggae album. Although the full-length currently doesn’t have a release date or title, Rihanna teased calling her ninth studio album album R9 as a nod to the Navy, her fiercely loyal fanbase.
“I’m about to call it that probably, ’cause they have haunted me with this ‘R9, R9, when is R9 coming out?’ Rihanna explained. “How will I accept another name after that’s been burned into my skull?”
When pressed about collaborators on the project, Rihanna addressed rumors of her working with Lady Gaga by stating that while she’s not against the idea, “it’s not in the books right now.” Rihanna also said her frequent collaborator Drake wouldn’t be appearing on the album and added that she didn’t see them working together anytime soon.
Most of the updates about Rihanna’s album so far have come from other sources. In January 2019, The-Dream said it was “super close” to being done during an interview with Hot 97’s Ebro Darden.
Prior to that, a July 2018 report in Rolling Stone based on a large number of anonymous sources claimed Rihanna would be choosing from over 500 records for the project.
Elsewhere in the interview, Rihanna explained how her 2007 album, Good Girl Gone Bad, served as an important transition in her career. “Good Girl Gone Bad is where I started to take the reins: ‘I’m going to do whatever I want to do, I’m taking control of my vision, my sound, my clothes,’” Rihanna said. “I grew out of that box when I couldn’t take it anymore, and I just went for it.”
Rihanna hasn’t dropped a project since 2016’s ANTI. Perhaps she will move on to finalizing her next album after launching her Fenty fashion line later this month.