Rihanna's Musical Director on 777 Tour: "We Got a Couple of Surprises Up Our Sleeve"

FUSE TV - Rihanna's Musical Director on 777 Tour: "We Got a Couple of Surprises Up Our Sleeve"

We've only seen the Mexico City and Toronto legs of Rihanna's 777 tour, but for each performance, both the singer and band appeared loose, limber and unafraid to play with the conventional structure of the singer's biggest hits. According to Adam Blackstone, Rihanna's bassist and musical director, that's exactly the plan. "We're going to keep it loose this whole week," Blackstone tells Fuse. "We're going to go with the flow. We got a couple of surprises up our sleeve. We know what the fans want to hear and there's so much to choose from that we're able to dibble and dabble into her catalog. New York will be different than Paris will be different than London."

Blackstone revealed that the major mechanics of the tour were hatched as late as early October, with setlist construction falling to Rihanna, Blackstone, keyboardist/co-musical director Omar Edwards and Roc Nation President Jay Brown. "My role is to put her hits in a sequence that could relate to the people immediately," says Blackstone, who's worked with Kanye West, Jay-Z and Maroon 5. "We're not doing a long show in relation to a tour or stadium show. We wanted to inspire the people immediately and consistently." The bassist admitted that paradoxically, Rihanna's numerous hits—9 No. 1s on the Billboard 100—actually makes it a tougher process to construct the nightly set.

With 200 journalists all clamoring to get near the singer (us included!) to discover the "real" Rihanna away from the cameras and glitz, Blackstone says it's hiding in plain sight. "She's exactly the same person away from all of that. It's very weird that she's the same, but I think that's why people connect with her. She's a very down-to-earth girl; she's a 24-year-old girl growing into her womanhood and it's exciting to see the evolution of where she's come from seven years ago to this world superstar phenomenon. She's so humble and eager to learn, but she knows what she wants. She's a boss in her own right."

Despite the fatigue ("I'm probably running at about a four out of ten right now"), Blackstone seems perpetually jovial and optimistic about the tour, hinting at even bigger things as the trip progresses."To have such a successful first show is only the beginning of the potential of what shows six and seven could be," Blackstone says. "We're looking forward to the height of where we could go this next week. Rihanna's liable to do anything because she has so much fun doing her music."

Got a Guy G-Fella Music Video

5m

Got a Guy G-Fella Music Video

Bougie on a Budget Music Video

2m

Bougie on a Budget Music Video

Young M.A On The Struggle of Giving Up Meat

9m

Young M.A On The Struggle of Giving Up Meat

Rihanna: Rebirth

41m

Rihanna: Rebirth

Surprise Surprise

22m

Surprise Surprise

G Fella Gives A Tour of The Bronx's Arthur Avenue

5m

G Fella Gives A Tour of The Bronx's Arthur Avenue

Our Bodies Our Doctors

1h 14m

Our Bodies Our Doctors

Our Bodies Our Doctors - Trailer

1m

Our Bodies Our Doctors - Trailer

Clean Up Aisle One

46m

Clean Up Aisle One

Tina Serves Up Sass In "Me and You" Music Video

3m

Tina Serves Up Sass In "Me and You" Music Video

Music

23m

Music

The Great Director

23m

The Great Director

Get A Taste of G Fella's Style with His Gangster Music Video

4m

Get A Taste of G Fella's Style with His Gangster Music Video

We All Have That One Family Member...

3m

We All Have That One Family Member...

Chika On Building Community Through Her Music (Extended)

14m

Chika On Building Community Through Her Music (Extended)

What The Hell Are We? Are We Living In A Simulation?

18m

What The Hell Are We? Are We Living In A Simulation?

The Hottest Music x Sneaker Collabs of 2016

2m

The Hottest Music x Sneaker Collabs of 2016

OMG... We're in a Horror Movie

1h 38m

OMG... We're in a Horror Movie

It Just Got Real

41m

It Just Got Real

T-Pain's School of Business: Artiphon- The All In One Musical Device | Season 1 Look Back |

1m

T-Pain's School of Business: Artiphon- The All In One Musical Device | Season 1 Look Back |

Ganesh Music Festival

21m

Ganesh Music Festival

Gnawa Music Festival

21m

Gnawa Music Festival

Ian Calls Music Video Editing Process "A B-tch"

1m

Ian Calls Music Video Editing Process "A B-tch"

Up Up & Away

44m

Up Up & Away

The Exclusive Premiere of Big Freedia's New Music Video, "BigFoot"

3m

The Exclusive Premiere of Big Freedia's New Music Video, "BigFoot"

Marissa Cooks Up A Puerto Rican Specialty

1m

Marissa Cooks Up A Puerto Rican Specialty

I've Got This Foot Thing

21m

I've Got This Foot Thing

Is It Illegal To Trip A Horse Up?

7m

Is It Illegal To Trip A Horse Up?

Bougie On A Budget

2m

Bougie On A Budget

Marchin Music’s Major League

20m

Marchin Music’s Major League

In Football We Trust

1h 25m

In Football We Trust

A Pound of Flesh

23m

A Pound of Flesh

Poppin' Up

20m

Poppin' Up

Hype Up

Hype Up

In Football We Trust - Trailer

2m

In Football We Trust - Trailer

Damon Wayans Jr. Winds Up In A Naked Family Feud

9m

Damon Wayans Jr. Winds Up In A Naked Family Feud

Manager Shake Up

20m

Manager Shake Up

Kick It Up

22m

Kick It Up

Up in Smoke

24m

Up in Smoke

The Glow Up

20m

The Glow Up

Shake It Up!

22m

Shake It Up!

Hype Up - Trailer

3m

Hype Up - Trailer

Stand Up & Deliver

Stand Up & Deliver

Up Tighty Whiteys

24m

Up Tighty Whiteys

Hands Up - Trailer

1m

Hands Up - Trailer

Clash of the Corps Drummers Step Up and Show Out in Rhythm

1m

Clash of the Corps Drummers Step Up and Show Out in Rhythm

The Legend of Baron To'a

1h 39m

The Legend of Baron To'a

The Unfortunate Mishap of A Sneakerhead

2m

The Unfortunate Mishap of A Sneakerhead

Coming of Age as a Latina

20m

Coming of Age as a Latina

We Need To Talk About America

We Need To Talk About America

What To Expect On Clash of the Corps

1m

What To Expect On Clash of the Corps

Red Hot Pin-Up

44m

Red Hot Pin-Up

The Big Break-Up

21m

The Big Break-Up

The Gig Is Up

1h 25m

The Gig Is Up

Soul Food Pop-Up

20m

Soul Food Pop-Up

Vive le Pop Up!

20m

Vive le Pop Up!

Is Nya A Baller On The Low?

51s

Is Nya A Baller On The Low?

The Legend of Baron To'a - Trailer

1m

The Legend of Baron To'a - Trailer

Freedia's Manager Drops a Unexpected Bomb on Her...

3m

Freedia's Manager Drops a Unexpected Bomb on Her...

Up NYC and Reebok Freebanz

11m

Up NYC and Reebok Freebanz

We Need To Talk About America - S2 Trailer

1m

We Need To Talk About America - S2 Trailer

The DCI Struggles of Starting A New Summer

46s

The DCI Struggles of Starting A New Summer

We're Here to Help: LGBTQIA+ Resources & Charities

1m

We're Here to Help: LGBTQIA+ Resources & Charities

Mario Lopez: One On One

Mario Lopez: One On One

G Fella Delivers More Grilling Tips and Talks New Music

4m

G Fella Delivers More Grilling Tips and Talks New Music

Playing Lingerie Dress Up: Deleted Scene

1m

Playing Lingerie Dress Up: Deleted Scene

Poppin' Up All Over The Place

20m

Poppin' Up All Over The Place

Got to Be in it To Win it: America's Obsession with the Lottery

2m

Got to Be in it To Win it: America's Obsession with the Lottery

Suck It Up and Go to Mars

21m

Suck It Up and Go to Mars

Bambiana's Sexy Performance Heats Up AsiaSF

1m

Bambiana's Sexy Performance Heats Up AsiaSF

Free The Robots Reveals Where He Found One of His Rarest Records

1m

Free The Robots Reveals Where He Found One of His Rarest Records

Ian Sings His Heart Out in "Starts With You Baby" Music Video

3m

Ian Sings His Heart Out in "Starts With You Baby" Music Video

I Played One on TV

46m

I Played One on TV

Trippie Redd Upgrades Instant Noodles Into A $380 Bowl of Ramen

14m

Trippie Redd Upgrades Instant Noodles Into A $380 Bowl of Ramen

Inside Reebok and Future's Fury Pop-Up Shop

5m

Inside Reebok and Future's Fury Pop-Up Shop

Sake One

10m

Sake One

Game On!

20m

Game On!

If Clash of the Corps Stars Could Role-Play For A Day

1m

If Clash of the Corps Stars Could Role-Play For A Day

Bambiana’s Mom Is Not A Fan of Twerking or Sexy Photos

41s

Bambiana’s Mom Is Not A Fan of Twerking or Sexy Photos

A Day In the Life of Wilmer Valderrama's Puppet Ep. 2: Optimism

1m

A Day In the Life of Wilmer Valderrama's Puppet Ep. 2: Optimism

Where The Hell Do We Go From Here With Amara La Negra

16m

Where The Hell Do We Go From Here With Amara La Negra

Best Of

23m

Best Of

A Day In the Life of Wilmer Valderrama's Puppet Ep. 3: Inner Thoughts

1m

A Day In the Life of Wilmer Valderrama's Puppet Ep. 3: Inner Thoughts

Karruche Tran Meets A Mini Version of Herself: Hollywood Puppet Shitshow First Date

54s

Karruche Tran Meets A Mini Version of Herself: Hollywood Puppet Shitshow First Date

A Day In the Life of Wilmer Valderrama's Puppet Ep. 1: Hollow Man

1m

A Day In the Life of Wilmer Valderrama's Puppet Ep. 1: Hollow Man

Who's On Top?

1h 13m

Who's On Top?

One Take Jake

20m

One Take Jake

On Call Miami

44m

On Call Miami

One Busy Queen

21m

One Busy Queen

On Call LA

43m

On Call LA

Leaning On Lena

20m

Leaning On Lena

Chew On This

44m

Chew On This

On Call NYC

44m

On Call NYC

Go Inside Fat Joe and Scotty Kickz's Up NYC Store

5m

Go Inside Fat Joe and Scotty Kickz's Up NYC Store

Jesse Serves Up Serious R&B Vibes with "Never Know"

3m

Jesse Serves Up Serious R&B Vibes with "Never Know"

Taste of Thai

22m

Taste of Thai

House Of Joy

House Of Joy

Best of 2018

20m

Best of 2018

Death of Nintendo

1h 34m

Death of Nintendo

Shades of Black

Shades of Black