Not only does The Weeknd grace the cover of VMan’s Fall/Winter 2016 issue but he let’s fans inside his mind as he discusses his new album Beauty Behind The Madness, #BlackLivesMatter, Ethiopia and a lot more.
When speaking on Beauty Behind The Madness, he told VMan magazine about what inspired him most about this album the last and what we can expect,
“I’ve been very intrigued by the film Amadeus.I’ll touch on my relationship with religion a little bit and how it ties into my crazy and materialistic life. I’ll touch base on some recent experiences and past experiences that didn’t make the last album. I wrote some of these songs while recording Beauty Behind the Madness. It’s like a fictional book inspired by true events.”
When asked about the public stance he has taken on the #BlackLivesMatter lately, he said he felt that he had to speak up because couldn’t figure out what people weren’t understanding,
“I promised myself that I would never tweet or talk about politics and focus on the music, but I was just so bewildered that we lost more of our people to these senseless police shootings. It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that there are people who can’t or won’t see what Black Lives Matter is trying to accomplish. I wish I could make music about politics. I feel like it’s such an art and a talent that I admire tremendously, but when I step into the studio I step out of the real world, and it’s therapeutic. It’s an escape, but recently it’s been very hard to ignore, and it’s also been very distracting. Maybe you’ll hear it in my voice, but it is not my forte.”
On His New Album: “There are new inspirations on this 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.”
On Ethiopia’s Influence In His Music: “You hear it mostly in my voice. I’ve been told my singing isn’t conventional. Ethiopian music was the music I grew up on, artists like Tilahun Gessesse, Aster Aweke, and Mahmoud Ahmed. These are my subconscious inspirations. ‘The Hills’ was the first time you actually heard the Ethiopian language in my music. It will definitely be key on this next record.”