There’s an exciting moment in popular music history when a young artist makes a meteoric rise to the top of the industry and continues to grow and excel. Now more of a “high priestess” of pop music, this interview with Rihanna was conducted during the release of her second album titled A Girl Like Me. Rihanna who grew up in Barbados; was 18-years-old at this time in 2006 and as I remember, her cell phone wasn’t working all that well but she was truly excited about her newest CD. “S.O.S.” had just hit the airwaves at that time.
Showbiss: The first time I heard your hit song “Pon De Replay,” I had to find out who was performing that song so I called the radio station about it. It just jumps in such a positive way with energy.
Rihanna: Thank you.
Showbiss: Now, with “S.O.S.” you’ve struck again.
Rihanna: (Laughter) That’s what we do.
Showbiss: What’s the most incredible thing you’ve experienced over the last year?
Rihanna: One is having the opportunity to perform a tribute to my idol, Beyoncé. Two is being number two on the charts right beneath someone else I admire a lot and that is Mariah Carey. That was a good accomplishment for me.
Showbiss: When did you first realize that you wanted to be a singer?
Rihanna: Let me see. When I was little, I listened to Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston a lot… and Destiny’s Child. They really helped to inspire me and influence me when I was about six or seven.
Showbiss: Another song from A Girl Like Me called “Unfaithful” is real nice. It’s rare you hear a song from a female’s perspective about cheating on her man.
Rihanna: That is why I love the song so much. Neyo wrote it and I always wanted to work with him. I was a fan of his ever since “Let Me Love You.” I wanted to work with him on this album, so we teamed up. He is incredible. I was like, “Wow. How can you write a song from a woman’s perspective so accurately?”
Showbiss: How was it working with renowned choreographer Jamie King for the video of “S.O.S.”?
Rihanna: Oh! Jamie King is one of the coolest people I’ve ever met. He’s so chill and so funn
y. He’s fun to work with and he is so very good at his job.
Showbiss: How much time went into the making of the video?
Rihanna: We worked for like a week straight and then the video was shot in two days.
Showbiss: It tripped me out because there is a shot of you from the video dancing in a spotlight. With your hair and make-up done that way, you looked like Janet Jackson.
Rihanna: For real? (Laughter)
Showbiss: I loved the mirrored effect in the video. Was that fun to do?
Rihanna: It was fun but it was weird. I was in this box that was mirrored ten feet off the ground and it was locked up. I couldn’t lean on any mirrors because they could give way and fall down. It was so scary, but it was fun, man.
Showbiss: You also perform an island reggae song called “Dem Haters.” The lyrics are great on this.
Rihanna: Thank you. Yeah, “The only one who can really stop you is you. Don’t let them bring you down.” I love that message.
Showbiss: What song on A Girl Like Me are you proud of the most in having an input in writing the lyrics?
Rihanna: I’m glad you asked that question. It’s a song called “Break It Off” which features Sean Paul. We wrote the song together in Jamaica. We recorded it in Jamaica. That is my favorite song on the album. I’m very proud of it because it’s a great song and I love it. It’s a great song to dance to. Also, because it’s actually the first time I’ve worked with an artist one-on-one and wrote a song with no input from anybody else. Just the two of us, Sean Paul is so creative and he helped to inspire me in writing my own lyrics for this song. I even got to open a show for him not too long ago at the Nokia Theatre in New York.
Showbiss: Who is inspiring to you right now?
Rihanna: I always looked up to my mother for being such a strong person and giving me so much guidance. Musically, again,
Beyoncé is such a true talent. Her shows, energy and voice is something I really admire.
Showbiss: What’s the very latest exciting news?
Rihanna: Well, I had a small role in this summer’s Bring It On: All or Nothing where I am playing myself judging a cheerleading contest. Right now, I’m really busy promoting the new album, but would love to eventually get into some more acting. My next video is for “Unfaithful” and it has a really cinematic storyline. Check that out as it was a lot of fun to shoot!
Showbiss: Thank you so much Rihanna.
Rihanna: Thank you too.