The Weeknd is preparing for a post-COVID-19 world, and that could include a new album. Speaking with Rolling Stone, the three-time Grammy-winner hinted at his After Hours follow-up.
“I might have another album ready to go by the time this quarantine is over,” he told the outlet for a stand-alone 2021 Grammys preview issue. “I’m guilty of wanting to outdo my last album, but it’s never like, ‘I’ve got to do the same type of song.’ I’m so happy I’m not like that. My palette is so wide.”
While he’s been cooped up in his house for the past several months — like so many of us — The Weeknd says he’s been inspired by films and binge-watching Netflix and Hulu series.
“I’m trying to find a perfect balance with the film and the music and so far it’s going really well,” he said. “I think I might have cracked the code.”
Sometimes he’ll even write a song about a character or relationship in a TV show he’s watching, he revealed. “It might never see the light of day. That’s an exercise,” he explained. “I love doing that.”
The Weeknd released After Hours in March — just as tours were getting canceled and stores were being closed. He followed-up the record with a deluxe version later that month. Despite having to postpone his own tour and other After Hours promotions, the album performed exceedingly well. After Hours debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and reigned supreme on the chart for four consecutive weeks.
“I’ve always tried to do what I do with After Hours with every record I’ve ever done,” The Weeknd said. “I just didn’t have the resources or the budget or the time to make them as cohesive and as singular as After Hours was visually.”
“It might not be my best album,” he added. “It might not be what people gravitate towards the most in the future. Hopefully it is. But to me, it’s definitely my most perfect album. I could go back and listen to it and be like, ‘I’ve got no notes for this, really.’ ”
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the singer said he hasn’t “been able to enjoy the fruits of my labor.”
“We went against the grain, but I didn’t care,” he said about releasing After Hours at such an uncertain time. “I didn’t even give a fu*k about first week. It was all about getting that music out.”
Besides hinting at a new album, The Weeknd also commented on his philanthropic efforts amidst the nationwide reckoning with racial injustice. He previously donated $500,000 in legal aid and bail money for Minneapolis protesters and called upon others in the music industry to do the same.
“I just felt like, ‘You know what? I’m going to start this off. Let me just get the vibe going with this,’” he recalled of his Instagram post. “I tagged everybody. I hit everybody up, too. It wasn’t just Instagram. I was like, ‘Let’s do this together for the community, for the culture. We need you guys right now.’”
Check out The Weeknd’s full profile here and revisit After Hours below.