The Weeknd is wasting no time ramping up the buzz machine for his incoming new music.
For, fresh from trumpeting news that ‘The Dawn Is Coming’ with the unleashing of a titillating trailer, the star appears on the cover of GQ Magazine.
No stranger to blazing a trail, the singer makes history as the first person to appear on the inaugural Global Issue of the publication – which, for the first time, will sport the same cover across 17 countries.
As well as posing it up in a dapper shoot lensed by Daniel Jackson, the performer opened up about “The Weeknd” character and its air of mystery, as well as comparisons to Michael Jackson, the GRAMMY drama, his next record, and more.
Head below for pics and quotes…
On The Difference Between Abel & The Weeknd:
“The lines were blurry at the beginning. And as my career developed—as I developed as a man—it’s become very clear that Abel is someone I go home to every night. And The Weeknd is someone I go to work as.”
On Being Perceived As Being A Dark Figure:
“I am not dark. My art is dark, and I’ve gone through dark times. I’ve used those dark times as inspiration for my art. But I feel like because I’m not dark, I was able to channel it and put it into my music and into my art.”
On His Initial Anonymity:
“I don’t know. Maybe there is a deeper issue with that, but I feel like with me it’s never been about the artist and the image of the artist. With House of Balloons, nobody knew what I looked like. And I felt like it was the most unbiased reaction you can get to the music, because you couldn’t put a face to it. Especially R&B, which is a genre that is heavily influenced by how the artist looks.”
On Being Compared To Michael Jackson:
“It’s a roller coaster, because Michael is somebody that I admire. He’s not like a real person, you know? When I started making music, that’s all I wanted to aspire to, just like every other musician. So then when I started getting those types of comparisons, I invited them, because it’s like who wouldn’t want that? But I guess the older I got, and the more I started understanding who I was, it was very important for me to realize: How do I become that for someone else? Because I know James Brown was that for Michael. And I’m not trying to say I’m Michael’s successor or whatnot. But I’m excited to be the first Weeknd.”
On The GRAMMYs Drama & Not Submitting His Music Anymore:
“I just don’t care. Because that will never be the reason why I do what I do. It never really was before. And I’m glad that I can make music and not have to think about that. I’ll never be in that conversation ever again.
I mean, I have no interest. Everyone’s like, “No, just do better next time.” I will do better, but not for you. I’m going to do better for me.”
On What Success Looks Life For His Next LP:
“What makes any of my albums a successful album, especially this one, is me putting it out and getting excited to make the next one. So the excitement to make the next project means that this one was successful to me. I want to do this forever. And even if I start getting into different mediums and different types of expressions, music will be right there. I’m not going to step away from it.”