Abel Tesfaye, aka The Weeknd, is no stranger to political statements. In May, he cancelled a scheduled performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! because Donald Trump was scheduled to appear during the same show. The singer has repeatedly tweeted his support of Black Lives Matter, and in August he reportedly made a $250,000 donation to the Black Lives Network. However, he’s not quite ready to make music about politics.
“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,” Tesfaye explained to V MAN magazine. “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.”
Tesfaye stated music is his escape from the real world, and it seems like his next album won’t address any political issues.
“I wish I could make music about politics,” he explained. “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 forté.”
The Toronto-born singer also shared the influences for the sound of his currently unannounced album, citing The Smiths, Bad Brains, Talking Heads, Prince, and DeBarge, and said he’ll touch on his relationship with religion and “how it ties into my crazy and materialistic life.”
Read the rest of the cover story at V MAN magazine.