Rihanna’s new music is so top secret that even Tricky Stewart doesn’t know if he will have the album’s first single. The hitman behind “Umbrella” spoke exclusively with Rap-Up.com again to reveal the monstrous results of his recording sessions with the superstar.
RAP-UP: Rihanna’s fourth album has a release date of November 23.
TRICKY: Yes, yes.
RAP-UP: Last time we spoke, you hadn’t yet recorded with her. What became of your studio sessions?
TRICKY: I can’t talk about what happened, but it’s really good for me [laughs]. We delivered a very, very big record, but I can’t say what the name of it is or anything, just for the simple fact that it’s actually top secret. It’s definitely going to be a single. It’s either going to be the first or the second single. I do know that.
RAP-UP: So you produced the new song and The-Dream wrote it. Is anyone featured on it?
TRICKY: Yes. I can say it’s a rapper. I’m not gonna say who [laughs].
RAP-UP: Is the track uptempo?
TRICKY: Yes, it’s uptempo. It’s a club banger and it’s edgy.
RAP-UP: Would you say it’s bigger than “Umbrella”?
TRICKY: No, it’s different. It’s a superstar taking a step in a totally different direction. This album is different than her past works.
RAP-UP: How so?
TRICKY: It’s just an artist at work. This is Rihanna coming into her own and going from being a girl that has been singing big, huge hit records, and the artist is awake and alive and moving on this project. She knows exactly what she wants to say, she knows how she wants to feel. It was an amazing experience working with her and just really getting into her headspace of what she wanted to do.
RAP-UP: When will we be able to hear the first single?
TRICKY: Everything’s about to happen really fast, so it’s not gonna be long. It’s gonna be here in the next couple days.
RAP-UP: How many songs did you record with her?
TRICKY: Right now, it’s just the one, but it’s a monster song. And really when it’s all said and done, all we had was “Umbrella” on the last one, so if it’s like that, I’m cool with that. [Editor’s note: Tricky and The-Dream also produced “Breakin’ Dishes” off Good Girl Gone Bad.]
RAP-UP: Was it different working with her this time versus last time?
TRICKY: Yeah, it’s always different because once everyone gets bigger, it’s even harder just to get everybody in the room. We ended up going over to Paris and working over there, coming to New York—it’s been a lot of flying around for one song.
RAP-UP: What else can you tell us?
TRICKY: Her album is crazy and she’s really just stepped up her game as an artist—not stepped up, but there’s an artist at work.
RAP-UP: Do you know who else she collaborated with on the project?
TRICKY: I know she wrote some songs with Ne-Yo. Ne-Yo has some great songs on there. She’s even being secretive with the music of the other producers too.
RAP-UP: Is she writing anything herself?
TRICKY: I really don’t know. I think she probably did write on some of these songs. She’s definitely lending her leadership.
RAP-UP: Everyone knows Rihanna for her fearless fashion. Is that going to translate into her music?
TRICKY: Yeah, definitely. I could say that. The attitude of the fashion and the attitude of the music—that’s what she’s into. It’s gonna be a complete vision.
The first single from Rihanna’s fourth album will premiere on Tuesday, October 20, at 11:23 a.m. EST. Rap-Up.com will have it as soon as it debuts.