The Weeknd’s Starboy is coming out at the end of the month, and in a new interview The Wall Street Journal, Abel Tesfaye says that the album was influenced “a thousand percent” by the recent deaths of David Bowie and Prince. The singer reveals that he was scheduled to work with Prince at his Paisley Park Studio before the legend died in April, and he explains that the title Starboy is a nod to Bowie’s “Starman.” “I just love Bowie, I think he’s the ultimate inventor,” he says.
He also discusses working with Daft Punk on the album. “Their studio is like a spaceship, there’s a lot of gear, but the way they make music, the way they explain it, is very cinematic,” he explains. “It’s like they’re reading a page out of a novel — ‘We want to make sure that at the end, it feels like the sun’s coming up, and maybe there’s a car chase.’ They can get technical, but it was interesting how they visualize making music.”
Oh, and he addresses his big haircut: “It was a long time coming. It didn’t feel right anymore, because it ended up becoming a trademark. I told everybody I was getting rid of it, and everybody — literally, unanimously — they were like, ‘No, don’t do it! That’s your whole thing, that’s you.’ And the way they said that, I was like, ‘Oh, I’m definitely cutting it now.'” The old ‘do was apparently not so easy to maintain, either: “It was actually very uncomfortable. I could only sleep on one side of my face. Now the sleep is amazing, the shower is amazing because I don’t have to spend two hours cleaning it. I didn’t know how much I wanted it until I did it.”