In The Music Issue of i-D we turn up the volume on the pop stars, rock stars and DJs rocking our worlds, and meet the fashion designers for whom music inspires everything they do. She last released an album in 2012, but Rihanna's finally back and on the cover of your favourite magazine. To celebrate her eighth studio album, R8, we meet Robyn Rihanna Fenty, the reigning queen of pop. While details of Ri's new album still remain under wraps, rumours of collaborations with Mike WiLL Made-It, Ne-Yo, DJ Mustard, Kiesza, Sam Smith and Rae Sremmurd have set anticipation at an all time high. Team this with last month's stealth pre-release of FourFiveSeconds, an unexpected acoustic jam with Kanye West and Paul McCartney, and it's fair to say suspense is skyrocketing.
"She really is one of the most creative, talented and inspiring women I've ever had the pleasure of working with," says i-D's Fashion Director Alastair McKimm, who teamed up with Rihanna and Paolo Roversi for i-D's cover shoot in Paris. "The energy and enthusiasm she brings is intense. She's the ultimate icon of our time."
He's been on repeat on the i-D stereo since mid last year, and his star is firmly in the ascendant. We travel to Minnesota to meet Corbin, aka Spooky Black, the 16-year-old internet sensation whose glitchy musings on love, lust and sex are spearheading the sound of a new generation. We also chat tunes with best mates Dev 'Blood Orange' Hynes and Adam Bainbridge, aka Kindness, and meet Charli XCX, the Hackney raver turned realest pop star of our generation. From Berlin to Burning Man, clubbing is becoming more commercial every year; Boiler Room's Editor-in-Chief Joe Muggs questions the future of London's club scene, while Popjustice's Peter Robinson reflects on what it really means to be a fan. From Stormzy, to Rag'N'Bone Man, Novelist and Karma Kid, i-D's Music Editors Hattie Collins, James Hutchins and Francesca Dunn profile the hottest singers, songwriters and rappers to watch out for in the year ahead.
We also shoot Sky Ferreira and Alice Glass in the latest spring/summer 15 fashion, ponder the power of the boyband with StereoKicks, and chat comebacks with pop princess Lily Allen. There's new music from Marilyn Manson, Jamie xx, Elliphant, Sampha, 18+ and Communions, and an exclusive playlist is yours to download so you can listen as you read. i-D's notorious Mix Night is back with the bang this month and we want to party with you! So keep your eyes and ears tuned to i-D.co to bag yourself a ticket to this year's hottest event, where you can party with the i-D team and watch the artists from this issue perform live.
This issue, it's fair to say, the music sounds better with you!
FourFiveSeconds is out now.
Text Holly Shackleton
Photography Paolo Roversi
Fashion Director Alastair Mckimm
Rihanna wears top Céline
The Music Issue, No.335, Pre-Spring 2015