Inside Beyoncé’s ‘act I Renaissance’

Friday July 29 2022
Beyonce pic
By Lilian Ndilwa

Beyoncé’s era is here as the icon is today releasing her seventh solo studio album ‘Act I; Renaissance’ six years after she released her last solo album ‘Lemonade’. The world is already feeling the buzz of the long waited project before it’s even on the streaming platforms.

A few days before breaking these news, the Beyhive, Beyoncé’s fans began to speculate a new project coming after Queen Bee used her signature move to introduce a new project whereas in July 8 this year all of her profile pictures across all platforms were oddly removed leaving the profiles spaces, blank.

Eight days afterwards, Beyoncé shared a number of her pictures for the British Vogue July 2022 whereas the cover for the magazine read ‘Beyoncé turns up the heat’ as it showcased her sitting pretty on a horse, wearing a head to toe black coloured bodycon dress with a fluffy straightened out black head piece that complimented her whole outfit.

In the Vogue Interview with Edward Enninful, editor in chief of British Vogue, Beyoncé revealed that there was upcoming album without stating the release date or the features.

“With minimal ceremony, she takes her laptop and plugs it in as we all sit on some sofas. Quietly, the superstar hits play on her upcoming album,” the journalist hinted.

He continued “Instantly, a wall of sound hits me. Soaring vocals and fierce beats combine and in a split second I’m transported back to the clubs of my youth. I want to get up and start throwing moves. Its music I love to my core. Music that makes you rise, that turns your mind to cultures and subcultures, to our people past and present, music that will unite so many on the dance floor, music that touches your soul. As ever with Beyoncé, it is all about the intent. I sit back, after the wave, absorbing it all.”

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Beyoncé kept posting her pictures for the magazine coverage without detailing anything about the album until June 21 when she released her lead song in the album dubbed ‘Break My Soul’ which climbed from No. 15 to No. 7 on the Hot 100 billboard charts on July 8, three weeks after its debut.

Edward’s description of the album alongside ‘Break My Soul’ release made fans believe that the genre of the upcoming album will a blend of dancehall and country In a way that it will make you want to own the dance floor and move to the different sounds of the album.

The almost five minute track which is sampled after Big Freedia’s 2014 song titled ‘explode’ beautifies the freedom that comes with quitting one’s job and finding self-love as well as leading a stress free life. Beyoncé acknowledges seeking motivation to start a new life foundation as sings ‘I’m on that new vibration, I’m building my own foundation’. The hit song whose numbers keep surging by the second on all platforms expounds how finding meaning in life starts within a person.

On June 30, the singer revealed her album cover and the release date whereas the cover artwork resembled that of the British Vogue. She was displayed her sitting on a glowing silver coloured horse with her covered in shimmering jewellery as she rocked silver shoes. In this album cover, Beyonce paid homage to the night club, Studio 54, where former actress Bianca Jagger once rode a white horse on her 32th birthday.

In a lengthy caption that was attached with artwork, Queen Bee unravelled how she felt when she was creating ‘Act I; Renaissance’.

She wrote “creating this album allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world. It allowed me to feel free and adventurous in a time when little else was moving.

“My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgment. A place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking. A place to scream, release, feel freedom. It was a beautiful journey of exploration. I hope you find joy in this music. I hope it inspires you to release the wiggle. Ha! And to feel as unique, strong, and sexy as you are,” she wrote.

This stirred all kinds of excitement and anticipation as fans started speculating the features in this album. On July 20, Beyoncé shared the full tracklist which consists of 16 songs with a diverse number of artists. The songs’ titles such as I’m that girl, Cozy, Alien Superstar, Cuff It, Energy, Virgo’s Groove, Move, Thique, All Up in Your Mind and Plastic Off the Sofa gave hints on how evocative Beyonce’s Renaissance will be.

Some of the artists featured are Tems, Drake, Jay Z, Sabrina Claudio, Labrinth, Dona Summer, Skrillex, Pharrel Williams and The-Dream.

Apparently, the 40 year old singer has several times hinted about the album. During her interview for her 2021 Harper’s BAZAAR’s cover story, Beyoncé indirectly mentioned the title of this album without unfolding about it.

“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 escapes in any way possible,” she said.

She further unravelled that sometimes it takes a year for her to personally search through thousands of sounds to find the right kick or snare.

This was proved by her mother during a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight where she confirmed that it took two years for the singer to craft this album to completion.

However there are some parts of the puzzle that fans have not been able to connect, one of them being ‘will there be a second part to this album’, this is because the title of the album is called ‘act I’.

Some are speculating that since there is a song titled ‘summer renaissance’ in the album, there will be more albums that will carry the names of weather, as in Fall Renaissance and Winter Renaissance.