We have all been there. Waiting patiently for our favorite artist to release their next musical masterpiece for our daily consumption. Checking our fave’s social media accounts, commenting on pictures, and posting the “where is the album?” meme under every tweet.
But oftentimes, it can be difficult to understand the point of view of the artist. There is pressure on artists to push out music to not only stay relevant in the media but also keep the attention of their dedicated fanbase. The outcome of fast music can often be a constant string of singles, music that lacks originality or artistic direction.
Artists like SZA, Ariana Grande, Beyoncé, Normani and Frank Ocean are all artists who have faced fans being too demanding and pushy when it comes to new releases. Social media gives fans the ability to be in constant contact with their favorite artists, bombarding them with questions about new music. However, more often then not, these artists are working hard on albums that are cohesive, creative, inspiring and innovative.
Is it fair of us as fans to demand our favorite singers to rush perfection? To put more pressure on them to not only good music but also pop out albums and new music every time the public desires it?
I’d say the date me and punch jus discussed .. but that would stress me n build uneccesary pressure 🥺.. short answer is yes https://t.co/pXRW7noddh
— SZA (@sza) January 3, 2020
Rihanna has been a constant target when it comes to the pressure of releasing new music. In an interview with Vogue in 2019, she talked about the barriers to releasing new music. “I have been trying to go back to the studio. It’s not like I can lock myself in for an extended amount of time like I had the luxury of doing before,” she admitted. “I know I have some very unhappy fans who don’t understand the inside bits of how it works.”
In 2019, Rihanna confirmed through Twitter that a new album was on its way. She initially promised that it would be released in 2019 — but she never did, prompting backlash from Twitter users.
— Rihanna News (@TeamOfRihanna) December 22, 2018
In an interview with The Cut, Rihanna has since shared that she’d be working with Pharrell for her upcoming album and that she was super excited about it.
Rihanna perfectly aware that her fans can be a bit scary when it comes to the fact that she hasn’t released any new music since her album Anti in January 2016. Navy (her nickname for her fanbase) has made it clear to her that they are tired of “the business Rihanna,” and would prefer the “music-focused Rihanna” back, or at least see Rihanna with an increased interest in releasing new music.
— Timothy Wiley (@TimoSLAYY) January 1, 2020
— IN MY PENTHOUSE HALF NAKED (@poplawd) August 17, 2019
It’s interesting to see fanbases demand things from their favorite artist as if these artists are simply content creators who must give into complaints in the comment section. Looking at Rihanna as an example, it’s easy to see why fans might be feeling impatient.
It has now been four years since Rihanna released the groundbreaking Anti, but we must also remember that Rihanna is building an empire, one that has created a space for people of color to be heavily present in media campaigns and advertising as a source of inspiration and admiration. She has created a makeup line that caters heavily to an audience that was previously ignored for in favor of lighter skin complexions.
Let’s also not forget that Rihanna has been named the wealthiest female musician alive, creating a legacy in not only music, but in fashion, beauty, and even literature.
Regardless of the criticism fans like to give Rihanna for not releasing any new music, Rihanna has shown that she still loves Navy, and has just as much fun clapping back at fans as she does teasing them about their demands.
As fans, we pride ourselves as being overall supporters of everything our favorite artist does. This constant need to shame, push and demand things from artists is only going to result in the artist feeling pressured and maybe even disconnected from their music.
Often times we forget that artists are human. They are allowed to have multiple passions, shift their focus to other things or simply take a break from the long process of creating new music. It stops becoming support when the previous love we showed to an artist turns into negative emotions the minute an artist ignores our wishes.
Featured Image: @badgalriri on Instagram