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Rihanna open to exploring ‘different’ and ‘weird’ new music

The singer also revealed that there are ‘39 versions’ of the set list for her anticipated Super Bowl performance this weekend

By Hollie Geraghty

Rihanna in the music video for 'Lift Me Up'
Rihanna in the music video for 'Lift Me Up' (Photo: YouTube).

Rihanna has given fans a sense of what to expect from new music ahead of her Super Bowl performance this Sunday (February 12), revealing that new material could be “weird”.

The singer, who is due to make her much-anticipated live return this weekend, said that musically she is “feeling open”.

Speaking at a Apple Music Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show press conference ahead of this weekend’s performance, she explained: “I’m feeling open to exploring, discovering, creating things that are new, things that are different, things that are off, weird, might never make sense to my fans. I just want to play, I want to have fun with music.”

The singer also described the challenging process of preparing the perfect performance for the Super Bowl, revealing that there are “39 versions” of the 13-minute set.

“The setlist was the biggest challenge. That was the hardest, hardest part, deciding how to maximise 13 minutes but also celebrate,” she explained.

“That’s what this show is going to be. It’s going to be a celebration of my catalogue in the best way we could have put it together.”

She continued: “You’re trying to cram 17 years of work into 13 minutes, so it’s difficult. Some songs we had to lose because of that, and that’s going to be okay, but I think we did a pretty good job of narrowing it down. There are probably about 39 versions of the setlist right now.”

The Barbados-born singer also hinted that the show will be a celebration of her Caribbean roots.

“That’s a big part of why this is important for me to do this show: representation. Representing for immigrants. Representing for Black women everywhere. That’s key for people to see the possibilities,” she said.

“It’s a long way from home, right? It’s a beautiful journey that I’m on. I could have never guessed that I would have made it here, so it’s a celebration of that. I’m really excited to have Barbados on the Super Bowl stage.”

Back in October, nearly seven years after releasing her album AntiRihanna returned to music with the release of Lift Me Up’, her musical contribution to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever which served as a tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman.