The Weeknd Has Explained The ‘Dark Undertone’ Of His ‘Blinding Lights’ Lyrics

2020 is a big year for The Weeknd: “Blinding Lights” is one of the year’s most successful singles, and likewise, After Hours is one of 2020’s biggest albums. The musician’s continued prosperity has landed him on the cover of the latest issue of Esquire. In the profile, he reveals that the lyrics of his hit song come from a dark place, and that he doesn’t endorse the story the song tells.

The Weeknd said “Blinding Lights” is about “how you want to see someone at night, and you’re intoxicated, and you’re driving to this person and you’re just blinded by streetlights, but nothing could stop you from trying to go see that person, because you’re so lonely.” He continued, “I don’t want to ever promote drunk driving, but that’s what the dark undertone is.”

He also discussed his headspace early in his career, saying that he didn’t think his appearance would led to him being successful: “I wasn’t too confident with how I looked. I didn’t think that I could sell the music looking like me. I was very hardheaded. To this day, I don’t think I’ve ever done a radio interview. I just feel like I would give a horrible interview.”

Read the full Esquire profile here.