By Amanda Wicks
Like many an artist, The Weeknd can thank numerous musical influences for helping shape his sound. But, more than that, he credits film and a specific series of famous directors with helping shape the surreal cinematic quality many of his songs convey.
In a new interview with V Man, The Weeknd explains his love of films. “Before I ever thought of making music, I wanted to make films. I was writing screenplays and short stories before I ever wrote a full song. David Lynch, alongside David Cronenberg, Stanley Kubrick, and Martin Scorsese play a huge part in my brand, my looks, my sound, and my aesthetic,” he says.
In fact, he was such a fan of Lynch growing up, he even admits, “At one point, my hair looked like Eraserhead,” referencing the director’s 1977 film.
Those particular directors each exhibit their own dark brand, whether that’s twisted characters, warped settings or eerie visions. And much like them, The Weeknd aims to portray a more realistic vision of the world than the shiny happy pop that typically signifies the genre in which he sings. In late August, The Weeknd teased new music and gave fans a hint of what they could expect from his Beauty Behind the Madness follow-up, which sounded as dark and ominous as ever.
As for his upcoming album, he tells V Man, “My purpose is to make exciting music, and I feel like I’ll be doing that for the rest of my life, so there’s no pressure. Nothing is stopping me from doing what I love to do.”