Esquire links up with The Weeknd for its September 2020 cover story. Jerald D. Johnson photographs the artist for the cover, capturing him in black and white. The Weekend sports a fall-winter 2020 look from Celine. Inside the magazine, the singer, aka, Abel Tesfaye, discusses his most recent album, “After Hours,” which dropped on March 20, 2020. Allison P. Davis interviews The Weeknd for a feature entitled, “Pop Star for the Demon Hours.” Davis frames “After Hours” as the perfect soundtrack for a hellish year, exacerbated by the global pandemic.
The Weeknd Esquire Photo Shoot
Connecting with Esquire, The Weeknd talks about his single, “Blinding Lights.” Explaining the song’s meaning, he shares, “‘Blinding Lights’ [is about] how you want to see someone at night, and you’re intoxicated, and you’re driving to this person, and you’re just blinded by streetlights, but nothing could stop you from trying to go see that person, because you’re so lonely.” The Weeknd continues, “I don’t want to ever promote drunk driving, but that’s what the dark undertone is.”
When it comes to The Weeknd, the artist, versus Abel Tesfaye, the person, there’s a difference. “It’s definitely a character,” says The Weeknd. “When you hear some of the drastic stuff, you can tell. I mean, that’s why it’s tricky because it is me singing the words; it is my writing. It’s like you want people to feel a certain way. You want them to feel angry. You want them to feel sad. You want them to feel. It’s never, like, my intent to offend anybody.”