The Weeknd has been “more inspired and creative” than ever this year.
The singer – real name is Abel Tesfaye – admitted the follow-up record to 2020’s After Hours is likely to be more political than his previous albums because he’s got so much to say about the world following the coronavirus pandemic, the divisive state of U.S. politics, and the Black Lives Matter protests that took place around the globe this year.
“I have been more inspired and creative during the pandemic than I might normally be,” he told Tmrw magazine. “The pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the tensions of the U.S. election have mostly created a sense of gratitude for what I have and closeness with the people near me.”
The “Blinding Lights” hitmaker recently branded the Grammy Awards “corrupt” after he was snubbed for any nominations for the critically-acclaimed After Hours and revealed he’d been planning to perform at the ceremony until he was overlooked.
In a series of tweets, he wrote: “The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans, and the industry transparency…
“Collaboratively planning a performance for weeks to not being invited? In my opinion zero nominations = you’re not invited! (sic)”
Following The Weeknd’s initial comments, Grammy bosses insisted they were “surprised” he wasn’t up for an award and blamed the lack of nods on there being “fewer” to hand out “than the number of deserving artists”.
Recording Academy Chair Harvey Mason Jr. said: “We understand that The Weeknd is disappointed at not being nominated. I was surprised and can empathize with what he’s feeling.
“His music this year was excellent, and his contributions to the music community and broader world are worthy of everyone’s admiration. Unfortunately, every year, there are fewer nominations than the number of deserving artists. All Grammy nominees are recognized by the voting body for their excellence, and we congratulate them all.”