The Weeknd Hints That Album Post After Hours May Address Pandemic and Black Lives Matter Movement

Darlene Aderoju
·3 min read

Kevin Mazur/MTV VMAs 2020/Getty Images for MTV The Weeknd

Artistic change might be in store for The Weeknd, who recently suggested that his fifth studio album — following his chart-topper After Hours — may be inspired by some of the most newsworthy aspects of 2020.

Earlier this month, the Canadian Grammy-winner opened about some of the influential topics he's been musing on as of late, which just may become the vision for his next release.

"I have been more inspired and creative during the pandemic than I might normally be while on the road," the 30-year-old told TMRW. "The pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement and the tensions of the election have mostly created a sense of gratitude for what I have, and closeness with the people near me."

RELATED VIDEO: The Weeknd Says Grammys 'Remain Corrupt' After Receiving No Nominations, Recording Academy Chair Responds

The Weeknd Says Grammys 'Remain Corrupt' After Receiving No Nominations, Recording Academy Chair Responds

"You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency..." the singer tweeted

The Weeknd now has significantly more time to work on his craft after the pandemic put a quick stop to his initial After Hours tour dates. His opener was originally slated for June 11 in Vancouver, Canada. However, in compliance with COVID-19 safety measures, the tour was officially rescheduled to begin on June 12, 2021, still kicking off in his homeland.

The music maker also spoke on his African background, which he said largely contributes to his signature sound. "My natural singing voice was inspired and shaped by Ethiopian music," he told the outlet. "The older I got, I was exposed to more music and my voice became a chameleon, going into different characters with each album. By following my own path and breaking industry norms, [I seem to be] influencing others."

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty The Weeknd

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Speaking about his current hit album, The Weeknd added: "I was laser-focused back then and I'm laser-focused right now. This has been the story of my twenties. I feel like I spent the last 10 years creating a sound and most of my career, I've either been running away from it or duplicating it. After Hours was the perfect piece of art for me to show my tenure in the industry."

Most recently, The Weeknd, along with several artists — including Lil Wayne, Drake and Halsey — have been vocal about their personal grievances with the Recording Academy.

In a tweet addressing what he believed to be a direct snub from the Academy on his latest work, The Weeknd wrote, "The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency."

RELATED: Lil Wayne Disappointed at Lack of Invitation to 2021 Grammys: 'Am I Not Worthy?'

Some speculated that the "Blinding Lights" star's lack of Grammy nominations may have been a reflection of his decision to headline the NFL's Super Bowl LV halftime show, but Recording Academy chair and interim president and CEO Harvey Mason Jr. quickly shot that down, telling PEOPLE in a statement that "in no way" could The Weeknd's upcoming performance "have affected the nomination process."

"We understand that The Weeknd is disappointed at not being nominated," Mason Jr. said in a statement. "I was surprised and can empathize with what he's feeling. His music this year was excellent, and his contributions to the music community and broader world are worthy of everyone's admiration."