Beyoncé Reveals 'COWBOY CARTER' Was Supposed to Release Before 'RENAISSANCE'

Citing “there was too much heaviness in the world,” and that it was not the right time.

Music
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Beyoncé has shook up the world with the release of her eight studio album, COWBOY CARTER. The 27-track album is all anyone can talk about, with high praises already being sung by industry critics and fans alike. In a recent press release, the Houston-singer revealed that originally, she had intended for COWBOY CARTER to release before RENAISSANCE.

Queen Bey explained in the press release, “This album took over five years. It’s been really great to have the time and the grace to be able to take my time with it. I was initially going to put COWBOY CARTER out first, but with the pandemic, there was too much heaviness in the world. We wanted to dance. We deserved to dance. But I had to trust God’s timing.” One to rarely make a public statement, Beyoncé took time to share that each track on the new album was inspired by a different Western film. During the recording session for this album, Beyoncé revealed that she often had these films playing in the background as the source of inspiration. She cites Five Fingers For Marseilles, Urban Cowboy, The Hateful Eight, Space Cowboys, The Harder They Fall and Killers of the Flower Moon as the films and even named the soundtrack from O Brother, Where Art Thou? as inspiration for some of the percussion on the album.

She continues to discuss the process of making the album stating, “My process is that I typically have to experiment. I enjoy being open to have the freedom to get all aspects of things I love out and so I worked on many songs. I recorded probably 100 songs. Once that is done, I am able to put the puzzle together and realize the consistencies and the common themes, and then create a solid body of work.” Beyoncé wanted to pay homage to country, blues and Black folk and was adamant on using “real instrumentation” in her songs. From using the accordion to a washboard to even a pedal steel guitar. Similar to what Dolly Parton did with recording “9 to 5,” Beyoncé shared she also used her nails as percussion and created organic sounds like the wind, snaps and also the sounds of birds and chicken on a ranch. Beyoncé also dove into explaining the character of Cowboy Carter who denotes the “original Black cowboys of the American West.” While “cowboy” was often used as a derogatory term to belittle former slaves as “boys,” she hoped to create the Cowboy Carter character to emphasize “the strength and resiliency of these men who were the true definition of Western fortitude.” On her expectations of the album and how she hopes fans will perceive the new project, Beyoncé said, “I think people are going to be surprised because I don’t think this music is what everyone expects but it’s the best music I’ve ever made.”

The credit list on the album is long, seeing collaborations from Dolly Parton to Miley Cyrus, Post Malone, Jon Batiste, Willie Nelson, Linda Martell, Stevie Wonder, Chuck Berry, Rhiannon Giddens, Nile Rodgers, Robert Randolph, Gary Clark, Jr., Willie Jones, Brittney Spencer, Shaboozey, Reyna Roberts, Tanner Adell and Tiera Kennedy. Others who were not credited but were consulted on across the project include The-Dream, Pharrell, Ryan Tedder, Swizz Beatz, NO ID, Raphael Saadiq, Ryan Beatty, Khirye Tyler, Derek Dixie, Ink, Nova Wav, Mamii, Cam, Tyler Johnson, Dave Hamelin and her husband JAY-Z.

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