In a new interview with W Magazine, musician and actor Abel Tesfaye, better known by his moniker The Weeknd, hinted that his time inhabiting that particular pop star persona may be coming to a close.
“I’m going through a cathartic path right now,” he told the mag. “It’s getting to a place and a time where I’m getting ready to close the Weeknd chapter. I’ll still make music, maybe as Abel, maybe as The Weeknd. But I still want to kill The Weeknd. And I will. Eventually. I’m definitely trying to shed that skin and be reborn.”
He added: “The album I’m working on now is probably my last hurrah as The Weeknd. This is something that I have to do. As The Weeknd, I’ve said everything I can say.”
Tesfaye described his last album, 2022’s Dawn FM, as one part of “a new trilogy” following the release of After Hours in 2020, leading some fans to speculate that the character of The Weekend died with After Hours and found himself in a state of purgatory on Dawn FM. By the third and perhaps final Weeknd album, some fans are speculating, we may discover whether the pop star ends up in heaven or hell.
In addition to that surprising revelation about The Weeknd, Tesfaye took the opportunity to tell W about The Idol, his upcoming HBO series about a young pop star (Lily-Rose Depp) who becomes entangled with a predatory producer-slash-cult leader (Tesfaye) on her path to stardom. He co-created the show with Euphoria czar Sam Levinson, but the buzzy production has been riddled with reports of reshoots, rewrites, and delays, as well as dispatches from production members lamenting a high level of disturbing sexual content.
The vision Levinson had for The Idol, one production member told Rolling Stone, “was like any rape fantasy that any toxic man would have in the show—and then the woman comes back for more because it makes her music better.”