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The Weeknd Explains Speedy Release of Starboy; Talks Overcoming Stage Fright


Image Group LA/ABCEver hear the phrase “strike while the iron is hot”? That’s exactly what The Weeknd was trying to do by releasing his latest album Starboy a little over a year after his mega-successful Beauty Behind the Madness.

“I wanted to drop Starboy as soon as possible [after Beauty Behind the Madness] just to show that this is what I love doing: making music,” the singer explains to Billboard.  “It’s very natural, very real. There was a lot of thought behind it, but I did it frantically, very fast, off the fumes of Beauty.

While it was a speedy process, The Weeknd says he tried to really set the two albums apart. “I tried to find different registers that I hadn’t sung in before,” he says. “I sang a lot of low stuff on songs like ‘Secrets’ and ‘Rockin’,’ almost like Toni Braxton. On ‘Secrets,’ I’m a different person. I’ve played it for people, and they have no idea it’s me.”

As for the vibe of his hit single “Starboy,” he tells Billboard he was influenced by the “hip-hop culture of braggadocio.” “Bragging just sounds good, man,” he says. “I was a teenager when I saw Scarface, and even though it was unbelievable, it’s kind of cool Tony Montana could survive all those gunshots and not feel them.”

The Weeknd wasn’t always so confident, though. “I used to be very nervous, especially about performing on TV,” he admits. “…I think being known helps the nerves. Now, when I step out at the American Music Awards or on Saturday Night Live, I have fans.”

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