The Weeknd Blames Last Year’s Voice Loss on His Role for ‘The Idol': ‘It Was Terrifying’
Abel Tesfaye, also known as The Weeknd, told W Magazine that he lost his voice after his SoFi Stadium concert in September because he had to switch from his upcoming character in “The Idol” to his onstage persona.
The concert doubled as a set for Sam Levinson’s new HBO show, set to premiere June 4.
A scene in “The Idol” in which Tedros performs live brought Tesfaye back and forth between the mind of his club-owning character to the mindset of The Weeknd. Lily Rose-Depp was in attendance at the show to introduce Tedros in front of a live crowd for the scene being shot. Tesfaye’s Tedros, a darkly charismatic Svengali man, looks very different from how The Weeknd presents.
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“It was tough to go from one head to another. Then, after the concert, I lost my voice. No voice came out at all. That’s never happened before,” the singer said. “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.”
The Weeknd wears a rat-tail wig for Tedros, trading in his full coverage suits for half-unbuttoned shirts.
“As The Weeknd, I’ve never skipped a concert. I’ve performed with the flu. I’ll die on that stage,” Tesfaye said. “But there was something very complicated going on with my mind at that moment.”
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Fans also got to see the trailer for the show play on the big screen in the stadium. Depp was in attendance to introduce Tedros onstage.
Tesfaye also said moving forward musically may not involve the title of The Weeknd anymore.
“I’m going through a cathartic path right now. It’s getting to a place and a time where I’m getting ready to close the Weeknd chapter,” he said. “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.”