Beyoncé’s ‘Renaissance’ Begins With Lead Single ‘Break My Soul’

by · Forbes
Beyoncé performs onstage during "The Formation World Tour" at the Rose Bowl on May 14, 2016 in ... [+] Pasadena, California | Kevin Mazur/WireImageWireImage

In the six years since the release of her seminal album Lemonade, Beyoncé has managed to stay busy with various projects, from her collaborative album Everything Is Love with her husband Jay-Z and her smash HΘMΣCΘMING concert film to her role in Disney’s CGI Lion King remake (coupled with her accompanying visual album, Black Is King). Throughout the pandemic, however, Bey has kept a relatively low profile, largely sticking to one-off releases like her social justice anthem “Black Parade” and the Oscar-nominated original song “Be Alive.”

After a long-awaited hiatus, Beyoncé is finally back in full force as a solo artist and is gearing up for the release of her highly-anticipated seventh studio album, Renaissance, on July 29. The album’s lead single, “Break My Soul,” is a dancefloor-ready track that heralds in a new era for the pop culture icon.

British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enniful first commented on the sound of Beyoncé’s new album, hinting that it’s chock-full of pop, house, and disco-tinged tracks that call to mind a bygone era in nightlife. Some have surmised that the Renaissance title and Studio 54-esque photoshoot are direct nods to the rebirth of these sounds in recent years thanks to the likes of Dua Lipa, Kylie Minogue, Charli XCX, Ava Max, and more, and a sign of what’s to come on the album.

Beyoncé first mentioned the project’s title — whether intentionally or unknowingly — back in a 2021 interview with Harper’s Bazaar. The album was birthed entirely during the pandemic, and she channeled all of her emotions at the time into the music she was creating.

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“With all the isolation and injustice over the past year, I think we are all ready to escape, travel, love, and laugh again,” she said honestly. “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 continued. “Sometimes it takes a year for me to personally search through thousands of sounds to find just the right kick or snare. One chorus can have up to 200 stacked harmonies. Still, there’s nothing like the amount of love, passion, and healing that I feel in the recording studio. After 31 years, it feels just as exciting as it did when I was nine years old.”