- The Weeknd’s next album will be based on the Black Lives Matter movement and COVID-19 pandemic
- The musician noted that the pandemic helped him create music about various issues
- The Weeknd is one of the best-selling artists of 2020 and his song “Blinding Lights” broke many records
The Weeknd had the fourth best-selling album of 2020 with “After Hours.” However, that’s going to be a thing of the past soon because the artist has already started working on his next album that will be a lot different than his previous records.
In an interview with TMRW magazine, the 30-year-old musician opened up about his craft and how the pandemic helped him in creating music inspired by the many events that happened in the outgoing year. The singer, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, noted that his upcoming album will be inspired by events like the Black Lives Matter movement and COVID-19 pandemic.
The “Blinding Lights” hitmaker also shared that he has been “more inspired” during the global health crisis.
“I have been more inspired and creative during the pandemic than I might normally be while on the road. The pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the tensions of the elections have mostly created a sense of gratitude for what I have and closeness with the people near me,” the singer said during the interview.
During the interview, the three-time Grammy-winning singer also opened up about the hit album “After Hours,” saying that the record is the “perfect piece of art” for him.
“I was laser-focused back then and I am laser-focused right now. This has been the story of my 20s. I feel like I spent the last 10 years creating a sound and most of my career, I have either been running away from it or duplicating it. ‘After Hours’ was the perfect piece of art for me to show my tenure in the industry,” TMRW quoted Tesfaye, as saying.
The album received universal acclaim and remained at the no. 1 spot on Billboard 200 chart for four consecutive weeks.
However, even after having such a big album and a record-breaking song, the artist failed to garner a nomination at the 2021 Grammys. The whole social media erupted when The Weeknd did not receive a single nomination.
“Blinding Lights” went on to peak at no. 1 in almost 34 countries, including the U.S., the U.K., Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, France, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, and Switzerland.
The track also broke the record for the most number of weeks spent on the top five of the Billboard Hot 100.
“After Hours” was the musician’s fourth studio album and the first in the last four years. He was also nominated in the Best Original Song category at the Academy Awards for his song “Earned It” from the movie “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
The Weeknd has three Grammys, five American Music Awards, and nine Billboard Music Awards to his name thus far.
“My natural singing voice was inspired and shaped by Ethiopian music,” the singer reflected during the interview,which is being featured in a 100-page ‘zine dedicated to the star. “The older I got, I was exposed to more music, and my voice became a chameleon going into different characters with each album. By following my own path and breaking industry norms, it seems to be influencing others.”
While the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has delayed The Weeknd’s planned After Hours Tour until summer 2021, the Canadian singer has spent the time he would’ve been on tour hard at work on his next body of work, finding inspiration in the tumultuous events of the past year.
“I have been more inspired and creative during the pandemic than I might normally be while on the road…The pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement and the tensions of the election have mostly created a sense of gratitude for what I have and closeness with the people near me,” he said.
In the ‘zine, the R&B crooner also looked back on the impact of his career — from his early trio of 2011 mixtapes to his latest smash LP After Hours. “I was laser focused back then and I’m laser focused right now. This has been the story of my 20s.” he said. “I feel like I spent the last 10 years creating a sound and most of my career, I’ve either been running away from it or duplicating it. After Hours was the perfect piece of art for me to show my tenure in the industry.”
Released back in March, just one week after the pandemic ground life to a sudden halt, After Hours debuted atop the Billboard 200, earning The Weeknd his fourth career No. 1 album. During 2020, he also collaborated with the likes of Maluma (“Hawái” remix), Rosalía (“Blinding Lights” remix), Calvin Harris (“Over Now”) and Juice WRLD (“Smile”).