The Weeknd has a theory behind some “very terrifying” voice loss he experienced recently, but it isn’t for the reason you might think.
Ahead of the premiere of his HBO show, The Idol, the Canadian singer sat down with W Magazine, along with his co-star Lily-Rose Depp, to discuss the project. The controversial Sam Levison-led production is scheduled to premiere on HBO June 4.
As the pair talked about their characters, Jocelyn and Tedros, both Depp and The Weeknd expressed the challenges they faced immersing themselves in their respective roles. While Depp touched on her nerves, the “Take My Breath” crooner shared how juggling Tedros and his Weeknd persona led him into an identity crisis.
The Weeknd (real name is Abel Tesafaye) also pointed out some major differences between him and his character, particularly when it comes to style — Tedros usually wears half-unbuttoned shirts with aviators while The Weeknd wears sleek black suits.
“I had to take off the Weeknd outfit, put on Tedros’s wig, shoot with Jocelyn, then go back to being The Weeknd,” he said. “It was tough to go from one head to another.”
The singer even theorized that he had been so absorbed in the role that he had lost his voice during a recent performance, since Tedros, unlike him, cannot sing. “No voice came out at all. That’s never happened before,” he said.
He continued: “My theory is that I forgot how to sing because I was playing Tedros, a character who doesn’t know how to sing. I may be looking too deeply into this, but it was terrifying. As The Weeknd, I’ve never skipped a concert. I’ve performed with the flu. I’ll die on that stage. But there was something very complicated going on with my mind at that moment.”
The Weeknd also explained that his identity crisis extended beyond juggling two characters in one night, and led him to reflect on giving up the Weeknd persona and simply being Abel.
“I’m going through a cathartic path right now,” he said. “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.”