Rihanna says recording songs on her new album was such an emotional experience that she sometimes had to leave the studio to prevent herself from breaking down.
"I walked out the studio a few times just trying not to be in tears," she said Monday about recording her fourth studio album, "Rated R," to be released on Nov. 23.
"It was about me, and so much so that songs got really personal to the point where it took three months for me to start recording it because it was too deep for me to even listen to," she said.
The CD comes nine months after the 21-year-old singing sensation was attacked by ex-boyfriend Chris Brown. Rihanna said recording helped ease the pain _ giving her an outlet to express how she truly felt.
"I got to vent because I didn't really talk a lot. I didn't talk to a lot of people about anything I was feeling. I just did it on the record," she said.
Brown was arrested Feb. 8. He was accused of beating Rihanna after they attended a pre-Grammy party. Brown later pleaded guilty to felony assault and was sentenced to five years' probation, six months of community labor and a year of domestic violence counseling.
Following the attack, Rihanna said she was sick of sitting at home and decided to head to the studio.
"I was tired of just being in the house and I just felt like I was wasting so much time and just being lackadaisical, so I just wanted to work again and we started recording," she said.
Rihanna, who won a Grammy for the megahit "Umbrella," says the new album's sound is "darker" than her previous ones because it reflects her turbulent year.
"The recording experience was different because it was from a completely new mind space, from a different perspective. Usually I was thinking of fun stories, things to talk about, different topics that might be cool, but this time is really about my life," she said.
She also said she's excited for fans to hear a song called "Stupid In Love."
"You're blinded by love, love is blind and sometimes you can't see it coming and it's just coming to the realization of the state of a relationship and just saying, 'This is not what I like. It doesn't make me happy,'" she said.
Rihanna said the album is a reflection of Rihanna the woman _ not the image we've come to know.
"I feel like my fans, they knew me, they knew what I looked like, but they didn't really know what my personality was. They didn't really know how I think or what I stand for. They didn't really know much about me as a person. They just knew my image and the idea of me," she said.
"But I wanted to give them more of who I really was because I feel like that was a connection I was missing."
Rihanna credits this album with helping her look forward instead of dwelling in past.
"Venting is a part of moving on, like you have to get it out no matter what, and this album for me helped me do that _ being in the studio, writing, working with producers and songwriters, making music," she said. "It made it even more special that it came from my heart and my real... my feelings, the exact way I felt."
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