With After Hours currently enjoying a multitude of well-earned appearances across a litany of year-end lists, The Weeknd is giving fans some insight on where he’s at creatively during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In an interview with TMRW as part of a special limited edition 100-page zine project, Abel reflected on how the pause of touring and all that comes with it has affected his writing process.
"I have been more inspired and creative during the pandemic than I might normally be while on the road … 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," he said.
Elsewhere, Abel summed up what he feels is "the story" of his 20s.
"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," he said. "After Hours was the perfect piece of art for me to show my tenure in the industry."
After Hours, which arrived to great acclaim back in March, has been the subject of great controversy in recent months due to the Recording Academy ignoring it in the latest round of Grammy nominations. In addition to Abel and other artists addressing the snub, his creative director—La Mar Taylor—also shared a response.
In an Instagram post featuring a screenshot of Kanye West urinating on a Grammy trophy, Taylor said the Recording Academy and other institutions like it "embarrass and belittle artists" every year.