Beyoncé opened up to her fans on Saturday during a screening of the videos accompanying her new album at New York's School for Visual Arts. The Associated Press reports that the singer answered fan questions submitted over Instagram about the unconventional release of Beyoncé, what it felt like to make such an intimate record and her plans to build her own empire.
Beyoncé released the new 14-song, 17-video "visual album" last Friday at midnight, with no advance promotion or word leaking out about it. Within days of its exclusive iTunes release, Beyoncé sold 600,000 copies and became the year's second-highest seller on the site. "Honestly I was at a point where I felt like, you know, everything feels the same," the singer said, according to the AP, as she explained her new approach to the album. "That's how I felt and if I could not challenge that, then maybe it's time for me to do something else or develop more artists, which is something I want to do."
Beyoncé did admit to feeling terrified about the chances she was taking, however. "I already envisioned like the worst things that could happen," she said. "I was really nervous because this was a huge risk."
Whatever nerves she might have faced, Beyoncé is embracing her ambition and feeling confident about going it alone, having started her own production company, Parkwood Entertainment. "I felt like I wanted follow in the footsteps of Madonna and be a powerhouse and have my own empire," she said "And [to] show other women when you get to this point in your career, you don't have to go sign with someone else and share your money and your success, you can do it yourself."
Regarding the particularly intimate nature of the new album, Beyoncé said she was finally ready to present a more adult side of herself:
"I'm very private and I'm very respectful, and I think it just took me no longer being someone's child – once I became a mother, I felt like I could tear those fourth walls and I just felt like it was time," she said. "I completely feel liberated."
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This article originally appeared on Rolling Stone: Beyonce Gets Personal At New Album Screening