Rihanna confirmed that she is indeed working on her ninth studio album.
The 31-year-old singer sat down with the Times’ T Magazine for an interview conducted by playwright Jeremy O. Harris in London, which touched on her trailblazing Fenty fashion collaboration with LVMH, the highly anticipated forthcoming Reggae album, and much more.
While the album release date remains unclear, the Bajan singer joked that it will probably be titled “R9,” a name her fan base the Navy has given it since it will be her ninth studio LP.
“So far it’s just been R9, thanks to the Navy,” Rihanna stated.
“I’m about to call it that probably, ’cause they have haunted me with this ‘R9, R9, when is R9 coming out?’ How will I accept another name after that’s been burned into my skull?”
The singer denied she was about to work with Lady Gaga, a common fan rumour. However, the “Diamonds” singer said she is open to collaborating.
“No. Maybe because she followed me on Instagram. It’s not in the books right now, but I’m not against it,” she said.
Rihanna also doesn’t see herself reuniting with Drake for the foreseeable future.
“Not anytime soon, I don’t see it happening. Not on this album, that’s for sure,” she declared.
The singer hinted at releasing an album influenced by her Caribbean roots to Vogue nearly a year ago, and eight sources confirmed this to Rolling Stone last July.
“[Rihanna’s team] have, no lie, 500 records for this project [from] different producers and writers,” said an anonymous producer.
“They’re only choosing 10 records. They’ve been having writing camps and trying to keep them quiet for almost a year and a half now.”
In the meanwhile, Rihanna’s fashion line company Fenty will launch as an LVMH luxury brand on May 29th, making Rihanna the first black woman in charge of a major luxury fashion house in Paris.
Fenty will distribute its clothing fully online.
“I hate seeing something on the runway and then having to wait six months for it,” the singer said.
This pivot towards fashion comes after Rihanna launched her own makeup line in 2017.
“I used to be afraid to step into the whole celebrity makeup world,” she said.
“I saw brands like Hilary Duff and Hannah Montana23 have so much success [in the aughts], but it got to a place where they were so oversaturated in the market that it diluted their personal brands.”
Because of this, Rihanna used the name Fenty as a way to separate it from her music.
“I used Fenty so that you didn’t have to hear the word ‘Rihanna’ every time you saw something that I did,” she said. “So Rihanna stayed [with] the music, the person. But these other brands are called Fenty.”