Though Rihanna released her first album, "Music of the Sun," just one year ago, the pop-reggae artist's star has risen quickly, with her distinct melodies already topping charts.
The Barbados native was only 16 when rapper Jay-Z signed her to his label, Def Jam Records, and she has since released two top-10 singles, received numerous awards and appeared in films and on television shows.
Following the announcement that she will play at Quadrangle Club during Lawnparties Sunday, Rihanna spoke to Princetonian staff writer Amanda Toy.
Daily Princetonian: Since you just turned 18, do you play at a lot of colleges?
Rihanna: No, not at all, actually. I haven't played at any other colleges. This is my first college tour.
DP: What attracted you to playing here at Princeton?
R: I've heard a lot about the school and they approached me, so I was thrilled and wanted to come.
DP: What excites you besides your music? Are there any current events you feel passionately about?
R: I'm not a big sports person, so I don't know. No, nothing, really.
DP: You've been in some films and made some guest appearances on television. Is acting something you want to explore in the future?
R: Yeah, definitely.
DP: What is your favorite part of being so successful?
R: Being able to travel all over the world and being able to perform and being able to meet a lot of great people. I've been to so many places.
DP: You're from Barbados — does that play a role in your music? Where else does your inspiration come from?
R: Absolutely. A lot of it is personal. And just being creative, too. I wanted to try different things and types of music.
DP: Are there personal stories behind all of your songs?
DP: Is it surreal to see yourself everywhere and to watch your career skyrocketing after only a year?
R: Absolutely. I'm enjoying every bit of it.
DP: What role has Jay-Z played in shaping your albums and career?
R: He's been here and done it and seen it all, so he just helps to guide my career. We talk about where I want to go and what I want to do and he's guided every decision I've made on the album and the project as a whole. Sometimes we disagree, but we always talk.
DP: You've been receiving a lot of publicity lately. Do you attribute that to the Jay-Z publicity machine or something else?
R: Definitely not. Jay-Z has been with me on the project since the beginning, so it's not that. Just that the more success that's coming, the more publicity comes with it.
DP: What direction do you want to go with your next album or in the future?
R: We'll have to see when the time comes, but right now I just want to take it one step at a time and when I start recording the next album we'll all sit down and think of a concept and everything.
DP: So what should we expect on Sunday?
R: It's going to be a lot of energy, for sure. I don't get to party a lot because I'm 18 and too busy. So when I perform it's a party on stage, with a lot of energy. I'm really looking forward to coming and I'm glad Princeton is my first college.