If I was in Rihanna’s shoes, I would have made some really different decisions about post-birth scheduling. She gave birth to her son, Name Still Unknown, in May of this year. She’s had a short maternity leave, but really she’s been working non-stop for months. She released her first song in years, “Lift Me Up,” for Wakanda Forever. She organized the Savage X Fenty Vol. 4 show, featuring Johnny Depp. She also signed on to perform at the Super Bowl Half-time show in February. The Halftime show is a massive commitment and everyone expects a giant spectacle, a spectacle for which Rihanna will have to oversee and approve every part. By the Super Bowl, her baby won’t even be 10 months old! She could have scheduled this stuff differently, I’m just saying. Rihanna spoke to Vogue ahead of the Prime Video premiere of the Fenty show (it will air on November 9th, it was already filmed this weekend). Some highlights:
Working after having a baby: “I thought I was gonna get just right back to work and I did,” she said from the soundstage where she took pre-show interviews, perfectly made up and clad in an alligator-embossed Alaïa minidress. “Then I took a little break, and then came back, and now I’m back outside.”
She’s mom-tired: “I used to get tired and just push through and keep going. This is a tired that you have no control over it. Your body is shutting down. And just recently I pushed through three days at the studio in a row—like, slept in the studio—to get a song done because it’s a project that’s really important to me coming out. I believed it and I wanted to be a part of it, so I got it done.”
The Johnny Depp appearance at the Fenty show: Savage x Fenty Volume 4 premieres on Prime Video on November 9, and features models like Precious Lee, Cara Delevingne, Joan Smalls, Irina Shayk, Zach Miko, and Lara Stone; actors like Marsai Martin, Simu Liu, Damson Idris, Taraji P. Henson, and Abbott Elementary Emmy winner Sheryl Lee Ralph; social media superstars Rickey Thompson and Avani Gregg and musician Bella Poarch; and performances from artists like Anitta, Burna Boy, Don Toliver, and Maxwell. In early November it was revealed that Johnny Depp was also included as part of the cast. (He walks to OutKast’s “So Fresh, So Clean.”) Rihanna was proud of the production, she told Vogue. “It looks so freaking good. It’s beautiful. It is one of those things that you say you want to do and the logistics are impossible but we somehow pulled it off.”
The work-life balance going? “Not much balance,” she says. “But everything is stimulating. Everything right now is firing off. I’m excited. It’s getting me super motivated, super energized to do new things, to create, and I’m back in the studio and now we’re going to be back on stage for the Super Bowl. Which is just crazy that I even agreed to that, but I am, and I’m excited. Of course being a new mom is insane. It is lovely. It is epic, honestly.”
Her favorite part of being a new mom? “His smile. He is the happiest baby. No matter what you’re doing or what you’re feeling, when he smiles at you everything else just goes away. It’s the best.” She’s not ruling out the possibility that she would design kids’ clothing, either. “We didn’t get there yet but it’s something that I might do. We’ll see. I would have so much fun with that. Anything in miniature is just so cute.”
The Halftime Show. “I almost didn’t do it, actually. It was one of those things that I took a while to really say yes to, because I knew that it was a huge commitment and it was something that I couldn’t take back once I committed. So I took my time really agreeing to that, and it became this challenge in me that I needed to see through.” She found motherhood to be a key part of the process. “It’s now or never, and also, you feel like, I could do anything now.”
Again, she could just… not go at this pace? It reminds me of Beyonce saying no to Coachella soon after she had the twins – she ended up giving herself a proper maternity leave, with time to really put her bonkers Coachella show together. Instead of simply giving herself time, Rihanna just expects to be able to pick up where she left off. She was honestly taking it so much easier before she even got pregnant. As for the Depp stuff… it continues to be disgusting. She didn’t hesitate, she didn’t get second thoughts. She really invited a domestic abuser to her Fenty show and had his parade around.
Photos courtesy of Cover Images.