No music industry superstar makes moves in silence quite like Beyoncé. The “g” in lasagna can barely compare. But it’s also true that no fanbase keeps track of their idol quite like the Bey Hive. The Internet awoke this morning with buzz that their queen may be planning new music for early 2022. The evidence? Well, really, it’s just crumbs and possible coincidences. But when it comes to Bey, that may be all we get before she silently uploads a double album to streaming services in the middle of the night. Especially if she decides to remain committed to the shock and awe drop she’s perfected over the course of her career. So, in service of inquiring minds, here’s all the evidence that Mrs. Knowles-Carter may have something up her sleeve.
She Joined TikTok
As announced on Tidal’s Twitter, Beyoncé quietly signed up for TikTok yesterday. Perhaps it was inevitable. Even the most A-List of stars can no longer escape the promotional possibilities of the video-sharing social network. But the fact that Beyoncé parked herself on the platform doesn’t mean anything just yet. Remember when she joined Instagram only to leave her profile blank for the longest time? Of course, now she’s an IG power user, but she doesn’t rush into things. So far, her verified account has uploaded precisely 0 videos.
The profile picture also finds Bey decked out in her Ivy Park line, and it’s very possible that when she does end up posting something, it may very well just be more promotion for the clothing line.
Still, if one was planning to drop an album sometime in the coming months, it would only make sense to have a TikTok presence locked down and ready to go to promote it, wouldn’t it?
A Scant Rumor Linked to the CEO and Chairman of Her Record Label
The music industry website Hits Daily Double ran a scant story this morning celebrating the industry success of Sony Music Industry’s CEO and Chairman Rob Stringer. Columbia Records, Beyoncé’s longtime home, is under the the Sony umbrella, and the write-up included the tidbit, that there are “strong rumors of Harry Styles and Beyoncé's rounding out the fiscal year (ending 3/30/22) with potential blockbuster sets.”
Some on Twitter seem to have misinterpreted this as some sort of confirmation directly from Stringer himself that a new Beyoncé album is coming. That’s simply not the case. Stringer wasn’t even interviewed for the small article.
We did try to track down any semblance of validity to the rumors. We found a Variety article from December 3rd celebrating the success of Columbia that actually included quotes from record label execs. Columbia chairman and CEO Ron Perry and executive VP-general manager Jenifer Mallory were asked directly if either Beyoncé or Styles planned to release music in 2022.
“Let us finish 2021 first, please! We’re not done yet!” Perry replied. She did add, “We’ve had a great year, and when you set the bar this high, you have to come back and keep having hits. We’re prepared for that.” We guess that confirms Columbia execs have some things they’re excited to release in 2022, but that’s hardly confirmation it involves Beyoncé.
The Timing Seems ...Right?
Beyoncé’s last solo album Lemonade came out back in 2016, the same year that Rihanna last released anything. That’s quite a bit of time to go without putting out an official solo album, though unlike RiRi, Beyoncé has released multiple projects since. Her joint album with husband Jay Z, Everything is Love, came in 2018. 2019 saw the release of both The Lion King: The Gift and the Homecoming live album. She also just released the King Richard soundtrack cut “Be Alive” last month, and kept us going in 2020 by popping on the internet-breaking “Savage” remix.
Still, that’s quite a few years to go without a solo album.
Early 2022 definitely seems like an opportune time to release one. With Adele’s 30 now in the world, no one in Beyoncé’s league (or even the few leagues below her) have staked out the first quarter of 2022 with a release date. Except, maybe, Styles, though considering they share a record label, we’re sure they’ll work it out.
Plus there’s the fact that Beyoncé’s last solo tour was all the way back in 2016, while On The Run II went down in 2018. We’re sure Beyoncé’s bank account is fine, but touring is still one of the most lucrative avenues left for musicians in these streaming times. While, yes, there’s now renewed worries about the safety of gathering for concerts at the moment, there’s no indication that the Omicron variant means we have to through all of our 2022 plans away.
Beyoncé Has Said That New Music is Coming Some Time
"With all the isolation and injustice over the past year, I think we are all ready to escape, travel, love, and laugh again," Beyoncé told Harper's Bazaar back in August. "I feel a renaissance emerging, and I want to be part of nurturing that escape in any way possible. I've been in the studio for a year and a half."
She didn’t clarify what form those studio sessions might take, nor an exact release date, but it’s safe to say that her year-and-a-half in the studio should amount to more than just the Will Smith movie soundtrack song.