What Makes Rihanna’s New Song A Hit

Rihanna has been a prominent player in the music industry for over a decade now, and yet as “Love on the Brain” attracts more attention, it’s become clear that this single is different from the rest.

Here’s what this song reveals.

1. She knows how to draw in her fans.

In her allusions to a violent lover, as “it beats me black and blue,” Rihanna plays on her fans curiosity, knowing that they will immediately think of her highly publicized relationship with Chris Brown in 2009.

Without giving any explicit details, Rihanna gave her fans a glimpse into her personal life and allowed them to run wild with their theories. This not only gets people talking about the song, but it also encourages fans to listen to it again and again to try and understand the hidden meaning.

Watch this lyrics video and see if you can uncover the meaning here.

2. She can express herself using her vocals.

As Rihanna moves through the ballad, she showcases her powerful vocals as she hits all the notes, both low and high. While fans are used to seeing Rihanna’s more edgy side, “Love on the Brain” proves that her talent expands far beyond her usual vocals.

This not only allows her to test out her voice, but Rihanna also uses the range in vocals to add to the emotional elements of the song.

Watch’s Rihanna Global Citizen performance below.

3. She’s not afraid to experiment with a new musical style.

In addition to putting her vocals to the test, Rihanna embraces the challenge of pulling some inspiration from a previous decade. With its doo-wop and soul elements, “Love on the Brain” has clear ties to the ‘50s and ‘60s, bringing fans to compare the star to the late Amy Winehouse, who was known for drawing on this era. Again, this experimentation works to showcase Rihanna’s immense talent and pulls in even more fans.

Listen to Winehouse’s ‘60s inspired ballad “Love Is A Losing Game” below.

“Love on the Brain” has worked its way up to #7 on the Billboard’s Hot 100, and it is safe to say that it won’t be falling far anytime soon. Rihanna’s willingness to experiment with her style allowed her to present a different side of herself, while her passionate lyrics worked to draw the audience in. Incorporate these tips into your next single, and you’re sure to have a hit.

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Kelsey Leaman is a senior at American University in Washington D.C. studying Economics and International Studies. She is passionate about writing, Lemonade, and Michelle Obama.

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