3 Conceptual Lessons Nigerian Artistes Can Learn From Rihanna’s ‘Anti’ Cover Art

Album and single promo artworks are usually predictable.

Usually a photo of the artiste in one badass pose wearing some statement clothing. Sometimes, the photographer might be so creative and request shots be taken with the artiste in water, or with wings getting ready to fly to glory. Other times, the artiste just wants to be covered in paint or dusting powder.

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Some are cool enough to just take a picture without doing too much. Artistes like these are simple and more concerned about their music content than appearances.


However, an album art is a very important part of the project. It will be one of the images that will flash across people’s minds when a song from that album is played or mentioned.

The album art can be compared to an identity card. It says a lot about your music and the image you want to portray to the world. This is why you should be careful not to mess up your album cover with creative photography cliches.

Now, Rihanna’s incoming Anti has an amazing cover art; the idea behind it, the art itself and its presentation are in a league of its own.

Here are 3 things artistes can learn from Rihanna and her cover art:

  • 1. Carve a niche for yourself

A cover art is secondary. Who you are or who you want to be seen as is the first step to getting everything else right in the music industry. See Rihanna.

She doesn’t move with the trends, instead, she creates her own. She doesn’t have to force sexiness or try to make an androgynous impression like Grace Jones. Rihanna is in a class of her own. If you don’t believe this, answer this question – who can compete with Rihanna in the music scene, on all levels?


  • 2. Get a true artist or photographer to handle your cover art

Art is conceptual. Not all Shomolu graphic artists and trending photographers understand what conceptual means. What these guys understand is copy and paste work. Bring them a sample of what you want and they’ll recreate it properly, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.

You need someone to create commendable art that will resonate in your industry. Look at Roy Nachum, the artist behind Rihanna’s Anti cover art. He converted a poem written by Chloe Mitchell into Braille and inserted it into the artwork. How many artists can do that?

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  • 3. When your album cover art is so good, push it to the art lovers.

Riri did the unconventional. She made a show out of artwork, not her music – an art gallery decorated with blood red balloons over a chessboard flooring is all shades of classy.

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Take your time to make that album cover art one of a kind. You’re making an impression.

Not every time pose, sometimes write poetry.


Sometimes the ones who have sight are the blindest.


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