Rihanna Offers an Update on ‘R9’ & Teases She Has ‘a Lot of Visual Ideas’

It’s been more than eight years since Rihanna’s last album, Anti, and the Navy is starving for any signs of life when it comes to R9.

RiRi provided a concise update regarding her current relationship with creating music in her Interview mag cover story while chatting with former stylist Mel Ottenberg.


“I have a lot of visual ideas,” she said, which typically isn’t the start of her creative process. “It’s weird. My brain is working backward right now. I usually have the music first, and the music leads me into all of these visual opportunities, and now I’m having all of these visuals.”

Unfortunately, Rihanna admitted she doesn’t have the songs to accompany the visual ideas just yet, but hopefully they eventually come to fruition.

“I don’t have the songs for them yet, but maybe that’s the key, this time,” the “Work” singer teased. “Maybe the visual ideas are leading me to the songs that I need to make.”

She surreptitiously added: “Random ideas, quirky ideas, things that have nothing to do with me at all.”

Back in February, A$AP Rocky teased that the nine-time Grammy winner — with whom he shares two young sons — is “working” on her long-awaited album, but Rihanna has remained tight-lipped on the matter. “She’s working on it,” he said while out for Paris Fashion Week.

Billboard‘s Heran Mamo penned an essay in March about the sobering idea that Ri’s Navy may need to come to grips with the fact she may never release another album, and that’s perfectly fine after delivering eight in about a decade’s time.

However, Rihanna did make her return to the stage for her first performance in eight years in March for a pre-wedding celebration for Anant Ambani, who is the son of Asia’s richest man, and Radhika Merchant in Jamnagar, India.

The 36-year-old’s most recent musical output came with a pair of singles in late 2022 for the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack. “Lift Me Up” served as a tribute to the late actor Chadwick Boseman, along with “Born Again.” The former earned Rihanna a Grammy nomination for best song written for visual media, and an Oscar nod in the best original song category.

Anti arrived in January 2016. The album reached No. 1 on the Billboad 200 in its first full week of tracking with 166,000 units in the U.S. in the week ending Feb. 4.

Check out some photos from Rihanna’s Interview cover shoot below.

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