Singer confirms she turned down the Super Bowl halftime show in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick.
Rihanna has thrown a life-preserver to fans drowning in anticipation of her new album.
The 31-year-old Barbadian pop star revealed details of her upcoming release in a cover story for Vogue‘s November issue, claiming that her new music will fuse traditional reggae influences with fresh sonic inspiration.
“I like to look at it as a reggae-inspired or reggae-infused album,” Rihanna told the publication over a year after she previously announced the highly anticipated studio set — her first since 2016’s Anti — would incorporate the Jamaican genre. “It’s not gonna be typical of what you know as reggae. But you’re going to feel the elements in all of the tracks.”
The singer, Ocean’s 8 actress, and Fenty Beauty makeup mogul added that reggae music has been a long-standing favorite of hers, partly due to her Caribbean roots.
“Reggae always feels right to me. It’s in my blood. It doesn’t matter how far or long removed I am from that culture, or my environment that I grew up in; it never leaves,” she said. “It’s always the same high. Even though I’ve explored other genres of music, it was time to go back to something that I haven’t really honed in on completely for a body of work.”
Still, she remained tight-lipped on a release date for the project (her ninth LP overall, which fans have affectionately dubbed R9), but she did confirm she’s already in the “discovery stage” for her 10th album, as well as a (potentially non-musical) collaboration with Lil Nas X.
“We always went into the music this time around saying that we were going to do two different pieces of art,” said Rihanna. “One was gonna be inspired by the music that I grew up listening to. And one was gonna be the evolution of where I’m going next with music.”
She also added that she “absolutely” turned down an offer to headline a recent Super Bowl halftime show in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick.
“I couldn’t dare do that. For what? Who gains from that? Not my people,” she said. “I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler. There’s things within that organization that I do not agree with at all, and I was not about to go and be of service to them in any way.”
Representatives for the NFL and Pepsi did not immediately respond to EW’s request for confirmation on Rihanna’s claims about the Super Bowl halftime show. Read Rihanna’s full interview with Vogue here.