Beyoncé is bringing back the rollout. On Thursday (June 16), the icon announced her seventh album Renaissance after weeks of speculation. British Vogue has also published a cover feature with the singer, teasing a full interview in the physical magazine.
In the article, journalist and author Edward Enninful spent time with Knowles-Carter, with her husband and longtime collaborator JAY-Z and children Blue Ivy, Rumi and Sir coming to surprise the singer during her photoshoot. While listening to Renaissance in the family’s mansion, Enninful teased that the album has “soaring vocals and fierce beats” adding that the music, “turns your mind to cultures and subcultures, to our people past and present, music that will unite so many on the dance floor.”
Ultimately, that’s pretty vague. But there is still enough information out there for some theories.
With Beyoncé’s Renaissance era underway, here’s five theories we have about the album.
On Beyoncé’s official website, four mystery boxsets are up for grabs. Each costs $39 for a t-shirt, CD, mini-poster and 28-page photo booklet, and on each item’s respective page, orders will begin “shipping July 29th upon album release.” Fans have speculated that the four box sets represent Renaissance being a four-part album, paying homage to different eras of dance music. Titled ‘act i’ of the series, the album currently shows 16 tracks. Could we possibly be hearing Afrofuturism anthems?
The singer last hit the road with JAY-Z in 2018 for their On the Run II tour, following the release of their 2018 collaborative album Everything Is Love. The pandemic halted plans for a follow-up tour, with the release of Disney+ visual album Black Is King to coincide with Beyoncé-curated album The Lion King: The Gift. In 2021, sources reported that the singer was inspired by songs from Dua Lipa and The Shindellas and was set to host a virtual concert, but the alleged plans never came into fruition. In an interview last year with Harper’s Bazaar, the singer opened up about the stresses of being on tour and using the pandemic to hit pause on her busy schedule.
“I’ve personally struggled with insomnia from touring for more than half of my life. Years of wear and tear on my muscles from dancing in heels,” she said. “The stress on my hair and skin, from sprays and dyes to the heat of a curling iron and wearing heavy makeup while sweating on stage.”
With concert venues opening back up, Yoncé could return to stages in 2022.
Renaissance will steer away from a political sound
Also in the Harper’s Bazaar interview, Beyoncé discussed the heaviness of the pandemic and recent police brutality, wanting to shift her music to embrace a “renaissance.”
With all the isolation and injustice over the past year, I think we are all ready to escape, travel, love, and laugh again. I feel a renaissance emerging, and I want to be part of nurturing that escape in any way possible,” she said, adding that she had been in the studio for “a year and a half.” “After 31 years, it feels just as exciting as it did when I was nine years old,” she added. “Yes, the music is coming!”
Ahead of the Renaissance announcement, philanthropy platform BEYGOOD celebrated Black Music month with a collage of albums and artists, with an unknown picture of an arm – likely Beyoncé’s – pointing at 2020 Brandy album B7. Amongst albums featured in the collage are Lucky Daye‘s latest album Candydrip, Tinashe‘s 333, Janelle Monae‘s The Archandroid, Doja Cat‘s Planet Her, Tyler, the Creator‘s IGOR, Chloe x Halle‘s Ungodly Hour and more. Each artist aforementioned makes dance-oriented tracks, so could they be featured, if not an influence for Renaissance?
Besides her 2003 debut album Dangerously in Love, 2008 album I Am… Sasha Fierce and 2011 album 4, what Beyoncé album hasn’t come with a visual component? She last released Black Is King in 2020, but in 2016, her sixth album Lemonade was delivered with a full-length HBO feature. Fans could be in for a visual treat upon the release of Renaissance.
Renaissance will release on July 29.
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