For VMAN No. 36, Abel Tesfaye (also known as The Weeknd) talks to writer Alex Frank about his upcoming album, and so much more. Photographed by Inez & Vinoodh, pick up a copy on newsstands September 7 to read all about his inspirations, his heritage, his politics, and how it all relates to his new sound.
“There are new inspirations on this album ... The production feels aggressive but still sexy. The Smiths, Bad Brains, Talking Heads, Prince, and DeBarge play roles. We wrote it all in Los Angeles. I think it’ll be the best-sounding album I’ve ever done. It’s hard to label the sound because, when I first came out, nobody would label it R&B. I just want to keep pushing the envelope without it feeling forced.”
Tesfaye is doing girlfriend Bella Hadid proud with this cover, although he’ll only have this one on newsstands; Bella, if we remember, is on a bunch of September issues this year. Well, it’s like that old saying: The couple who covers fall fashion magazines together stays together, right?