The Weeknd nearly put me in the worst mood when the art work for his single “Starboy” came out and he no longer had the Jean-Michel Basquiat locs he’d been growing for the past couple of years. I quickly got over it because it’s just hair. That’s it. But apparently, it was such a big deal that prior to chopping off that freeform bonsai tree, Abel was advised by everyone not to cut off his “trademark,” as revealed in a brand spanking new interview with The Wall Street Journal.
“It was a long time coming,” he says of his decision to switch it up. “It didn’t feel right anymore, because it ended up becoming a trademark. I told everybody I was getting rid of it, and everybody—literally, unanimously—they were like, ‘No, don’t do it! That’s your whole thing, that’s you.’ And the way they said that, I was like, ‘Oh, I’m definitely cutting it now.’” Oh that Abel. Always bucking the system!
But his decision to do away with his hair was ultimately the best one for him to make because it means no more sleeping in one position. “It was actually very uncomfortable,” he says of his decision to switch it up. “I could only sleep on one side of my face. Now the sleep is amazing.” It was also a pain just to maintain the hair, continuing, “The shower is amazing [now] because I don’t have to spend two hours cleaning it. I didn’t know how much I wanted it until I did it.”
And the album? Well, contrary to what Nigerian artist Wizkid thinks, Starboy isn’t about Abel swagger-jacking one of his monikers. It’s about paying tribute to David Bowie.
Tesfaye says that the direction of Starboy was influenced “a thousand percent” by the deaths this year of David Bowie and Prince. “I just love Bowie, I think he’s the ultimate inventor,” he says, noting that the album’s title is partly a nod to Bowie’s 1972 anthem “Starman.”
Glad that’s all cleared up even though it was pretty evident The Weeknd was drawing inspiration to Bowie’s classic.
Starboy lands November 25th.