2020 appears to be getting the best out of The Weeknd. The singer opened up about his rise to stardom over the past decade in a new interview with TMRW, shared on Dec. 16, and what fans should expect from his next album.
“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.”
The Canadian singer spent the time he would have been on tour hard at work on his next body of work, seeking inspiration in the turbulent events of the past year, while the ongoing coronavirus pandemic postponed The Weeknd’s anticipated After Hours Tour until summer 2021.
“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.
The R&B crooner also looked back at the influence of his career in the ‘Zine’. From his early 2011 trio mixtapes to his new 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 (“Hawai” remix), Rosalía (“Blinding Lights” remix), Calvin Harris (“Over Now”) and Juice WRLD (“Smile”).