Earlier this year, reports surfaced that Rihanna's highly anticipated ninth studio album, coined R9 by eager fans, was complete. Unfortunately, the months have come and gone without a trace of the upcoming project, leaving some wondering if it was doomed to linger in a purgatorial state. But rest assured, the album is coming -- even if the pandemic has thrown a wrench in some of Rihanna's best-laid plans, presenting new challenges in the process.
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In a new interview with the Associated Press, Rihanna opens up about rediscovering a joy in making music again. "We started with tons of writing camps," she reveals, letting out an exasperated sigh. "Now it's more what do I feel personally? What do I want to put out as an artist? How do I want to play it with my art? How do I want to interpret that, reimagine that? Because it's been so structured before. You do pop, you do this genre, you do that, you do radio, you do who's following you and your fans. But now, it's just like -- what makes me happy? I just want to have fun with music."
"Everything is so heavy," she continues. "The world that we live in, a lot is overwhelming every single day. And music, I'm using that as my outlet. I just want to have fun with that." When asked about whether or not she would hit the road under ideal circumstances, Rihanna appears enthusiastic at the prospect. "I want to go on tour but I can't, and now I'm stuck with music that I love, and now I'm trying to to figure out how I can even create visuals to that. That's a challenge as well, but I love challenges so you know I'ma get it done."