The Real Meaning Behind We Found Love By Rihanna
When Jay-Z signed Rihanna to Def Jam in 2005, he probably did not anticipate how big of a force she’d truly become. The Barbadian singer and entrepreneur has become a worldwide phenomenon, having sold over 60 million albums and 215 million digital singles, per Roc Nation. Her selling power has made her the top-digital selling artist of all time, and she’s been awarded 8 Grammys for her singles and albums.
Among her Grammy award wins is “We Found Love” — an EDM dance track that was released in 2011 and features DJ Calvin Harris. The song, which was the first single off of her Talk That Talk album, was a mega-smash and charted #1 in multiple countries. Rihanna also performed “We Found Love” at the 2012 Brit Awards and the 54th Grammy Awards, but despite how much time has passed since its release, there’s actually more to the song’s origin than was previously reported. Scroll down to find out the real meaning behind Rihanna’s “We Found Love.”
Rihanna came across "We Found Love" by accident
The story behind Rihanna’s “We Found Love” is a funny one as the singer didn’t plan on singing it. Her collaborator Calvin Harris explained in an interview with Fuse in 2013 that the collaboration came together by accident. “I was touring with her in Australia two years ago ’round about this time,” he said. “She was listening to the set I’d played before, and she said she wanted to do something that kind of sounded like what I was playing.”
Harris added that he was looking for a singer to sing on the track, but didn’t think the song would end up with Rihanna. In fact, both Leona Lewis and Nicole Scherzinger came out to say in the years after the song’s release that they had been offered to record it, but passed on because they wanted to record other tracks. “I got the demo of that song and I was busy at the time,” Scherzinger said in 2013 via NME. “That was my fault. I slept on it.”
Rihanna's "We Found Love" music video was met with controversy
A good song has to have a good music video to accompany it, but Rihanna’s music video for “We Found Love” was initially not well-received because it depicted a toxic relationship between her and a Chris Brown-look alike. The video, released on October 2011, was directed by frequent Rihanna collaborator Melina Matsoukas and documented the highs and lows of a relationship that included make-outs, car sex, and drugs. However, because of Rihanna’s highly publicized abuse at the hands of Chris Brown in 2009, fans and critics alike were concerned about her reenacting the abuse.
In an interview with Pitchfork in Dec. 2011, Matsoukas said that she was not playing into the Chris Brown narrative for “We Found Love.” “The intention is not for it to be Chris or anything related to that relationship,” explained Matsoukas. “We all have gone through the kind of tumultuous relationship in the video.”
Although we’ll never know the real answer about whether Rihanna viewed her past relationships as being in a “hopeless place,” we do know that the song is iconic within her discography and has remained a fan favorite throughout the years.
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