The Weeknd is back in the studio making music, but what form it might take he has yet to reveal. In an interview with Vogue, the R&B singer met with the magazine in a studio after he pulled out of most of his scheduled commitments, including the European stretch of Rihanna’s Anti tour, so he could lay down new tracks. “Creatively, some magic is happening right now, and I don’t want to lose it,” he said.
“It could be an album or it could be something else,” Abel Tesfaye, aka the Weeknd, told the magazine. “But whatever it is, music is being made.”
In the interview, he also shared his fondness for Daft Punk (“One of my biggest dreams is to work with them”) and Michael Jackson, calling him “part of my family,” and he added, “When I was born, that was the music my mother was listening to. Michael Jackson is a third parent to me.”
Meanwhile, Quincy Jones, who produced Jackson’s Thriller, gave props to Tesfaye. “He has a sincere appreciation of his roots,” he said. “And frankly doesn’t lead with his ego.”
Jones wasn’t the only one to weigh in on Tesfaye’s chops. “Right now, the radio is peppered with hints of production elements and vocal styling that were very likely inspired by the Weeknd,” Taylor Swift told the magazine. “In our industry, that’s the surest sign you’re doing something right.”
While Tesfaye didn’t reveal if his latest turns in the studio are the beginning threads of a new album, he did give some indication of the direction the material might go. He said he’s working with the same crew he collaborated with for his 2011 debut mixtape, House of Balloons. “But it’s a new thing,” he explains. “Always a new thing.”
He described his music from that time period as “anti-everything,” adding, “Nothing sounded like what we were doing, because R&B was hard to listen to back then.”
Read the full Vogue interview here.
Outside of his recent studio time spent culling new music of his own, the Grammy-Award winning artist recently remixed Bryson Tiller’s “Rambo” and collaborated on the song and appeared in the video for Future’s “Low Life.”