The Weeknd reveals next album will be inspired by Black Lives Matter movement and COVID-19 pandemic

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He may have the fourth best selling album of the year.

But The Weeknd is already thinking about the next big project.

The 30-year-old After Hours hitmaker recently revealed to the TMRW special edition zine that both the Black Lives Matter movement and COVID-19 will inspire his next album. 

As his planned After Hours tour has been postponed until summer 2021, he said: ‘I have been more inspired and creative during the pandemic than I might normally be while on the road.

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‘I have been more inspired and creative’: The Weeknd recently revealed to the TMRW special edition zine that both the Black Lives Matter movement and COVID-19 will inspire his next album

‘The pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement and the tensions of the election have mostly created a sense of gratitude for what I have and closeness with the people near me.’ 

Speaking about his unmistakable vocal abilities he said he was inspired by Ethiopian music growing up, before shifting with his albums to portray different sides to himself. 

‘The older I got, I was exposed to more music, and my voice became a chameleon going into different characters with each album. By following my own path and breaking industry norms, it seems to be influencing others,’ he said. 

Huge deal: A Black Lives Matter protest seen in Los Angeles back in May

Huge deal: A Black Lives Matter protest seen in Los Angeles back in May

'It seems to be influencing others': Speaking about his unmistakable vocal abilities he said he was inspired by Ethiopian music growing up, before shifting with his albums to portray different sides to himself, as he is seen in a selfie for Christmas last week

‘It seems to be influencing others’: Speaking about his unmistakable vocal abilities he said he was inspired by Ethiopian music growing up, before shifting with his albums to portray different sides to himself, as he is seen in a selfie for Christmas last week 

Talking about his career the Starboy singer said, ‘I was laser focused back then and I’m laser focused right now,’ as he called it ‘the story’ of his twenties. 

‘I feel like I spent the last 10 years creating a sound and most of my career I’ve either been running away from it or duplicating it,’ he shared.

 It has been an interesting few weeks for the star as last month the Toronto-based star called the Grammys ‘corrupt’ after he was snubbed in the nominations.

Taking to social media, he wrote to organizers: ‘You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…’ 

Insiders said that the Can’t Feel My Face artist’s camp suspected the lack of nominations were in response to the unpleasant back and forth over whether he would perform in the Super Bowl. 

The artist, whose full name is Abel Tesfaye, released the record After Hours in March to strong sales and reviews, and it won Favorite Album – Soul/R&B honors at the American Music Awards this past Sunday.

Recording Academy interim chief Harvey Mason, jr. responded to the singer’s public complaints in a statement to Rolling Stone.

‘We understand that the Weeknd is disappointed at not being nominated,’ he said. ‘I was surprised and can empathize with what he’s feeling. His music this year was excellent, and his contributions to the music community and broader world are worthy of everyone’s admiration.’ 

'The Grammys remain corrupt': The Weeknd recently spoke out amid reports tricky talks over his Super Bowl performance might have led to him being snubbed in nominations; seen in 2019

‘The Grammys remain corrupt’: The Weeknd recently spoke out amid reports tricky talks over his Super Bowl performance might have led to him being snubbed in nominations; seen in 2019

Speaking out: The Weeknd didn't hold back when he penned a note to Grammys organizers on social media at the time

Speaking out: The Weeknd didn’t hold back when he penned a note to Grammys organizers on social media at the time

Mason continued: ‘We would have loved to have him also perform on the Grammy stage the weekend before’ the Super Bowl.] Unfortunately, every year, there are fewer nominations than the number of deserving artists.’ 

‘To be clear, voting in all categories ended well before The Weeknd’s performance at the Super Bowl was announced, so in no way could it have affected the nomination process. All Grammy nominees are recognized by the voting body for their excellence, and we congratulate them all.’

Asked by Variety about The Weeknd getting shut out, Mason said at the time, ‘It really just comes down to the voting body that decides. 

Details: Grammy organizers demanded he pass on taking the stage at Super Bowl LV, before relenting and deciding he could do both

Details: Grammy organizers demanded he pass on taking the stage at Super Bowl LV, before relenting and deciding he could do both

‘We have eight nomination slots to fill in [the Big Four categories: Best Album, Song, Record and New Artist], five in others, and the voters vote for their favorites. It’s really interesting, though.’

Mason opened up about the process Grammy officials take to suss out which performers are nominated, and in what categories.

‘We look at it every year and make tweaks and revisions to the process; we did it this year, last year, we’ll do it next year. And I don’t think this calls it into question, honestly,’ Mason said. ‘The process is there so we can continue to monitor excellence.’

The Weeknd previously took home the Best Urban Contemporary Album for Starboy in 2018. 

Popular: The artist, whose full name is Abel Tesfaye, won Favorite Album - Soul/R&B honors at the American Music Awards this past Sunday

Popular: The artist, whose full name is Abel Tesfaye, won Favorite Album – Soul/R&B honors at the American Music Awards this past Sunday 



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