The Weeknd‘s new album, After Hours, marks a new era for him and he’s getting brutally honest with himself and fans.
It seems that mantra, “Work until your idols become your rivals” became the 30-year-old singer’s reality in his opinion. The Weeknd believes that due to his inescapable run in the early 2010s, another megastar bit his vocal stylings for his own hit. The artist he’s referring to is Usher. The Weeknd says:
“‘House of Balloons’ literally changed the sound of pop music before my eyes. I heard ‘Climax,’ that Usher song, and was like, ‘Holy f*ck, that’s a Weeknd song.’”
“It was very flattering, and I knew I was doing something right, but I also got angry. But the older I got, I realized it’s a good thing.”
Ironically, at one point many people compared The Weeknd’s signature sound to that of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. He, however, seemingly credits MJ:
“[‘Dirty Diana’ was] the blueprint to my music.”
The Weeknd also says he feels more comfortable opening up about his personal life on records than I conversation:
“You could hear the vulnerability in the music before, but there was such a shield, such a f***-you to the world, and now I’m very comfortable with letting the world know that I can be that way…It’s easier to talk about songs that are just about me; I don’t like to talk about what I’m going through with other people.”
He sings specifically about his 2014 arrest in the song, “Faith:”
“So, this is about the darkest time of my entire life, around 2013, 2014. I was getting really, really tossed up and going through a lot of personal stuff. I got arrested in Vegas. It was a real rock-star era, which I’m not really proud of. You hear sirens at the end the song, that’s me in the back of the cop car, that moment. I always wanted to make that song but I never did, and this album felt like the perfect time, because [the character] is looking for an escape after a heartbreak or whatever. I wanted to be that guy again, the ‘Heartless’ guy who hates God and is losing his f*cking religion and hating what he looks like in the mirror so he keeps getting high. That’s who this song is.”
What do you think about The Weeknd’s accusation against Usher?