The Weeknd broke his longstanding radio silence in a cover story for Complex Magazine–his first interview ever– that went online today. After avoiding interviews–or any conversation with the press really–for three years now, Abel Tesfaye’s explanation for all the mystery (“I felt like I had nothing to say. I still feel I have nothing to say. I’m the most boring person to talk to.”) is a little underwhelming, but the Q&A with contributing writer Damien Scott is still a rare (ok, unique) window into the the thoughts and influences of the artist who is undoubtedly one of the most influential voices of our generation, even at 3 years young in the game. The major upshot: everything with him and Drake is cool, though he’d rather talk about the influence(s) of Prince, Michael Jackson and R. Kelly. Get an excerpt below and hit the link at bottom for the full interview:
Where do you see yourself in the world of R&B?
The only thing R&B about my shit is the style of singing. My inspiration is R. Kelly, Michael Jackson, and Prince, for the vocals anyway. My production and songwriting, and the environment around those vocals are not inspired by R&B at all.
I heard Portishead drums on “Belong to the World.”
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.
The entire Kiss Land album?
Most of it. I find a sound and run with it. It varies from Stevie Nicks to Genesis and Phil Collins. The production is very cinematic for me, and R&B was never cinematic like that.