The After Hours era is officially over and the dawn is coming.
On Sunday night (Aug. 1), The Weeknd released a teaser for his highly-anticipated new album. The one-minute-and-41-second clip features a synth-heavy instrumental and is accompanied by a rising sun. “Take my breath,” he sings in the final seconds.
Abel also graces the September cover of GQ where he opens up about his new music. The new project is “packed with party records,” which the magazine describes as “real-deal, illuminated-white-tiles-on-the-floor party records. Quincy Jones meets Giorgio Moroder meets the best-night-of-your-fucking-life party records.”
“It’s the album I’ve always wanted to make,” says Abel.
He also reveals that he’s “sober lite” these days and doesn’t do drugs aside from weed. “Drugs were a crutch. It was me thinking that I needed it. And not doing the work to figure out how not to need it. And I’ve spent the last few years realizing that and thanking God that I don’t need it. Because for a lot of people, it’s hard to shake it. But I knew I didn’t want it.”
He also enjoys the occasional drink. “I’m not a heavy drinker, as much as I used to be. The romance of drinking isn’t there.”
And while it may surprise some, he does see kids in his future. “And I eventually want a family. I know I say I don’t, but I know I do. I want children,” he says. “But also I feel like having children would influence me and inspire me more.”
Elsewhere in the interview, he touches on the controversy surrounding his Grammys snub. “I guess I just wasn’t good enough,” he says. When asked if he truly believes that, he responds, “I don’t believe that, but to their standards, that’s what it is. I wasn’t good enough, and that’s the reality of it.”
Despite the elimination of the secret committees, he still doesn’t plan to submit his music for consideration in the future. “No. 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.”
He also shares his love for Kanye West and Tyler, the Creator. “I’d love to work with Kanye again. Especially on production,” says The Weeknd, adding, “I got mad love for Tyler, the Creator, and what he’s doing right now….But he’s somebody that I really admire, because he wears his feelings on his sleeve.”
Plus, he addresses comparisons to his idol, 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…And I’m not trying to say I’m Michael’s successor or whatnot. But I’m excited to be the first Weeknd.”