The past few years have been agonizing for member’s of Rihanna’s so-called Navy. The singer has been so busy with running the Fenty empire that she’s seemingly neglected to release any new music since Anti all the way back in 2016. Even if a new album isn’t in the cards anytime soon, fans at least hold out hope for new collaboration or single, at the very least. Now, it seems that we’re finally seeing some movement after eight long years. Here, all the evidence that new material—and maybe even what’s been dubbed R9—is in the near future.
Rihanna Has Been Hitting Up the Recording Studio in Recent Weeks
While it’s quite possible she’s done some work in silence, Rihanna was spotted publicly at a recording studio first time in nearly a year on September 15. She was back on the 17th—and the 18th and 24th, making for four times within less than two weeks. We can’t imagine she’d bother to head into the recording booth just to twiddle her thumbs, especially when she knows her fans are likely to have seen the photos.
Obviously, She Has a Huge Concert Coming Up With the Super Bowl Halftime Show
There’s no better place for Rihanna to give us her first taste of what’s to come than at the next Super Bowl halftime show, which has historically drawn more than 100 million viewers. There’s no better platform with which to launch a new era. Why wouldn’t she take the opportunity?
Even Rihanna Knows It’s Been a Long Time
Last March, Rih responded to a fan who urged her to celebrate the milestone of becoming the first Black woman to have an album on the Billboard 200 chart by releasing a new song. “I think I should …. just 1 tho lol,” the singer replied with a “soon” emoji. The next day, she left a comment on her vocal engineer’s Instagram reading “need a session ASAP” that concluded with the same symbol. At that point, Rihanna was well aware that the Navy has been clamoring for new music: She posted a meme about the badgering back in 2018.
She’s Been Open About Working On New Music, Too
Rihanna tantalized fans by saying that she’s “always” working on her music in 2020, adding that she plans to take her next compositions to a “different level.”
“You’re not gonna expect what you hear. Just put that in your mind,” she told the AP. “Whatever you know of Rihanna is not going to be what you hear. I’m really experimenting and music is like fashion. You should be able to play. I should be able to wear whatever I want and I treat music the same way. So, I’m having fun and it’s going to be completely different.” In other interviews, she’s teased that she’s been experimenting with reggae and dancehall styles.
She’s (Sort of) Freed Up Her Time
Last February, LVMH announced that hermain Fenty line is taking a hiatus. “Rihanna and LVMH have jointly made the decision to put on hold the RTW activity, based in Europe, pending better conditions,” the mega luxury conglomerate said in a statement. Of course, she’s still running Savage x Fenty, Fenty Skin, and Fenty Beauty, but at least that’s one less thing to distract her from new music.
Then again, she does notably have a new baby.