September 6, 2016


The Weeknd Says The Smiths, Bad Brains, Prince Inspired His New Album

Mike Lewis Photography/Redferns
Mike Lewis Photography/Redferns

The Weeknd is still riding the success of his sophomore album Beauty Behind the Madness (it's still on the Billboard 200 after 52 weeks, at No. 41), but the singer is ready to unleash new music. In his VMAN cover story, he reveals what he has planned for the follow-up LP.

First off, the Toronto native won't be steering away from his signature sinister vibes anytime soon. He discusses the new inspirations found on the third album:

“The production feels aggressive but still sexy. The Smiths, Bad Brains, Talking Heads, Prince and DeBarge play roles. We wrote it all in Los Angeles. I think it’ll be the best-sounding album I’ve ever done. It’s hard to label the sound because, when I first came out, nobody would label it R&B. I just want to keep pushing the envelope without it feeling forced."

After last summer's release of Beauty Behind the Madness, The Weeknd popped up on songs like "Might Not" with Belly, Future's woozy "Low Life," "6 Inch" off Beyoncé's Lemonade and—most recently—"Wild Love" alongside Cashmere Cat. He tells the magazine about the Bey provocative collaboration, “It feels great seeing the character of a powerful woman be sexy, yet take matters into her own hands and not feel so helpless."

The Weeknd (who may be working with Daft Punk on the new LP) also hints it might be influenced by the 1984 period drama Amadeus, and will dig into his relationship with religion a bit deeper. "I wrote some of these songs while recording Beauty Behind the Madness. It’s like a fictional book inspired by true events," he says.