Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye has many of his followers extremely excited about an upcoming body of work possibly arriving soon. A 1 minute, 41-second video posted to The Weeknd’s social media accounts appears to be a tease of what’s to come.
The 31-year-old Canadian singer/songwriter further fueled the rumors about his fifth studio LP by taking part in a rare interview with GQ. A cover story about The Weeknd was published today (August 2).
In the article titled “The Weeknd vs. Abel Tesfaye,” the XO record label head discussed a variety of topics associated with his artistry and his life. Mark Anthony Green also asked The Weeknd about which other artists he would like to collaborate with in the near future.
“I’d love to work with [Venezuelan musician] Arca. Arca’s great. I’d love to work with Kanye again. Especially on production,” responded The Weeknd. “I got mad love for Tyler, the Creator, and what he’s doing right now. Tyler is funny, man.”
The Weeknd continued, “I remember [Tyler] came to one of my performances – I think it was like a festival performance. And he was very vocal about how ‘Starboy’ was his favorite song at the time. You can tell he’s waiting for the song. I could see him. As soon as the song happened, he’s like, ‘All right, cool. Thanks.’ And he just peaced out. It was pretty funny. But he’s somebody that I really admire, because he wears his feelings on his sleeve.”
The “Starboy” single featuring Daft Punk lives on The Weeknd’s 2016 album of the same name. Starboy followed 2013’s Kiss Land and 2015’s Beauty Behind the Madness. 2020’s chart-topping After Hours is The Weeknd’s most recent full-length studio project. He also dropped The Highlights greatest hits compilation in February.
The Weeknd first started gaining mainstream attention as a faceless, enigmatic entity with the now-classic House of Balloons mixtape in 2011. He later credited that collection of tunes for changing the culture of music, telling Rolling Stone in 2015, “Just listen to the radio: every song is House Of Balloons 2.0.”
Over a decade after the release of House Of Balloons, The Weeknd is now one of the most commercially successful acts on the planet. Many music fans even started comparing Abel to the late King of Pop Michael Jackson because of his vocal style and global appeal.
“It’s a roller coaster, because Michael is somebody that I admire. He’s not like a real person, you know?” The Weeknd told GQ about the comparisons to MJ. “When I started making music, that’s all I wanted to aspire to, just like every other musician. So then when I started getting those types of comparisons, I invited them, because it’s like who wouldn’t want that?”
The Weeknd continued, “But I guess the older I got, and the more I started understanding who I was, it was very important for me to realize: How do I become that for someone else? Because I know James Brown was that for Michael. And I’m not trying to say I’m Michael’s successor or whatnot. But I’m excited to be the first Weeknd.”