We are days away from Rihanna’s Super Bowl LVII halftime performance on Sunday, February 12. We’ve been waiting for her return to the stage since it was announced in September that she’d headline the inaugural Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show for the NFL.
And while we still don’t know how long we’ll have to wait for her first album since 2016’s Anti, Rihanna gave us a taste of what it will sound like during her Apple Music press conference held today, February 9, in Arizona.
Interviewer Nadeska asked Rihanna toward the end of the short sit-down to describe “this chapter and how you’re feeling musically in general.”
Rihanna said, “Musically, I’m feeling open. I’m feeling open to exploring, discovering, creating things that are new. Things that are different. Things that are off, weird, might not ever make sense to my fans [or] the people that know the music that I put out. I just wanna play. I wanna have fun. I want to have to fun with music.”
Rihanna on where she’s at with new music #SuperBowl #HalftimeShow pic.twitter.com/HSPi99enx8
— Complex Music (@ComplexMusic) February 9, 2023
Rihanna technically returned to music by contributing tracks “Lift Me Up” and “Born Again” to the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack last fall, but Rihanna’s Navy wants a full-blown era — leading to rumors about a potential album or tour post-Super Bowl.
Elsewhere in the interview, Rihanna shared that she’s cycled through 39 (!) versions of her Super Bowl setlist. She also admitted that she’s “been so focused” on preparing for the performance that she “totally forgot that my birthday is coming up” and “totally forgot about Valentine’s Day.” But, to her, the grueling task will be worth it.
Rihanna explained that she received the offer to headline Super Bowl LVII when she was three months postpartum, having welcomed her and ASAP Rocky’s son last spring.
“When you become a mom, there’s something that just happens where you feel like you could take on the world, you can do anything,” she told Nadeska. “The Super Bowl is one of the biggest stages in the world, so as scary as that was because I haven’t been on stage in seven years, there’s something exhilarating about the challenge of it all. It’s important for me to do this this year. It’s important for representation. It’s important for my son to see that.”
Watch Rihanna’s full Apple Music presser above.