It stands to reason that it’s taken a minute for Rihanna to record the long-awaited follow-up to 2016’s Anti album. In fact, for an artist who released a new project nearly every year for the first six years of her career, the interminable wait for number nine has driven her Navy to distraction. But in a new cover story interview with her Ocean’s Eight co-star Sarah Paulson, RiRi explains why her latest is taking so long.
After running-running for so long, Rihanna, 31, says she finally allowed herself to slow down recently and do the things that make her happy, instead of constantly chasing her most recent success. “I never used to be this way. It’s only the last couple years that I started to realize that you need to make time for yourself, because your mental health depends on it,” she says. “If you’re not happy, you’re not going to be happy even doing things that you love doing. It’d feel like a chore. I never want work to feel like a chore. My career is my purpose, and it should never feel like anything other than a happy place. I’ve made little things a big deal, like going for a walk or going to the grocery store.”
And though she didn’t reveal the name of her beloved, the singer also said she’s in a new relationship that she’s determined to make time for. She does the latter by literally putting a big “P” on her calendar, which stands for personal days, another new thing in the hectic life of the singer, actress and beauty, lingerie and clothing mogul and world’s richest female musician.
This new chill attitude about life has also had an obvious impact on he release schedule, which is why she says the next one “isn’t being spat out like it used to. I used to be in the studio, only the studio, for three months straight, and an album would come out,” she says. “Now, it’s like a carousel. I do fashion one day, lingerie the next, beauty the next, then music the next. It’s like having a bunch of kids and you need to take care of them all.”
An avowed Navy member, Paulson begs Rihanna to finally cough up some news about how much longer fans have to wait. The answer, unfortunately, isn’t that easy. “It really does suck that it can’t just come out, because I’m working on a really fun one right now,” she says. “I’m really happy with a lot of the material we have so far, but I am not going to put it out until it’s complete. It makes no sense to rush it, but I want it out. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m like, ‘Even if I don’t have the time to shoot videos, I’m going to put an album out.'”
The good news is that she revealed that she’s blocked off a “solid period of time” in the studio next month. Click here to read the full interview with the self-avowed “shy gal,” who also talks about wanting to be a mother “more than anything in life,” when she first wore makeup, what makes the Navy unique and why prayer first thing in the morning helps her get the day started right.