Talking Heads: The Weeknd opens up about <em>Kiss Land</em>, relationship with Drake in first extensive interview

Abel Tesfaye’s first full interview belongs to Complex.

On the heels of releasing the Portishead-ripping ‘Belong to the World’, The Weeknd sat down with the lifestyle mag for his most extensive interview yet (he has previously shared a short chat with NME), and there are a few interesting revelations from the self-described “most boring person to talk to.”


Writing and recording music comes easily to him:
“With me, everything is a blank canvas. I’m painting this canvas by whipping the colors. I want to show the world that I can shit out albums like nothing.”

Drake’s Take Care featured songs originally intended for The Weeknd’s House of Balloons: “I had so many records left, and then Take Care came through. “Crew Love,” “Shot for Me,” and “The Ride” were supposed to be on House of Balloons.”

On reports of a falling out between him and Drake: ” No, that’s not true. Definitely not true. But it makes sense. The thing about Drake is I told him what my decisions were going to be. And he was down with it from the beginning… I don’t like to spoon-feed people. I don’t like to be like, “You know what? I’m going to let the world know that we’re cool. We’re going to take a picture together. Everyone’s cool.” It’s all about the mystery, and people like it. Shit’s WWE, man. It’s wrestling, you know what I mean?”

Kiss Land is not as “lovey-dovey” as the title suggests: “A lot of it is inspired by filmmakers like John Carpenter, David Cronenberg, and Ridley Scott, because they know how to capture fear. That’s what Kiss Land is to me, an environment that’s just honest fear. I don’t know who I am right now and I’m doing all these outlandish things in these settings that I’m not familiar with. To me, it’s the most terrifying thing ever. So when you hear the screams in the record and you hear all these horror references and you feel scared, listen to the music because I want you to feel what I’m feeling. Kiss Land is like a horror movie.”

But it is inspired by Portishead: “Yeah, that was the inspiration behind that. I wrote a letter to the producers of Portishead and let them know this album is inspired by them.” Good timing, that.

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