As one of the most highly anticipated albums of The Weeknd's career looms, it sounds like he's as inspired as ever.
And conventions be damned, The Dawn has the feel of his most defiant yet. If his comments in a new Billboard cover story are any indication, the upcoming album may be his most subversive to date—and it will incorporate electronic dance music.
"Who knows what the next one is going to sound like?" The Weeknd said. "When it comes to my albums, there is a cohesive sound going on, but I can’t really stick to one style. So you’ll hear EDM, hip-hop and three other types of sounds in one song — and somehow, we make it work."
One of the world's most successful recording artists, The Weeknd has long championed electronic music, releasing tracks with Gesaffelstein, Daft Punk, and Kavinsky, among others. Last month's collaboration with Swedish House Mafia, "Moth to a Flame," is currently dominating contemporary radio.
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The Weeknd's global smash hit "Blinding Lights" just became the top Billboard Hot 100 song of all-time, dethroning Chubby Checker's seminal 1960 song "The Twist" after spending 90 weeks on the chart, including four weeks in its top spot.
To celebrate the milestone, The Weeknd and his closest collaborators opened up about the next chapter in his storied career as well as his fifth studio album.
"Picture the album being like the listener is dead," The Weeknd told Billboard. "And they’re stuck in this purgatory state, which I always imagined would be like being stuck in traffic waiting to reach the light at the end of the tunnel. And while you’re stuck in traffic, they got a radio station playing in the car, with a radio host guiding you to the light and helping you transition to the other side. So it could feel celebratory, could feel bleak, however you want to make it feel, but that’s what The Dawn is for me."
The Weeknd has not yet announced a release date for The Dawn.