The Weeknd worried it would be ‘insensitive’ to release his new album now

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The 30-year-old actor contemplated pushing again the release of ‘After Hours’ due to the coronavirus pandemic however in the end felt he was providing followers a means to “escape our reality” for a short time period.

Asked what it’s like to release and promote an album in such difficult circumstances, he advised Billboard: “It’s very bizarre. At first, I felt like it might have been insensitive to release it, but to my fans I felt like I would have been doing a disservice to push it back.

“Hopefully it may help some individuals escape our actuality, if just for an hour out of their day, whereas all of us work onerous to get via this collectively.”

The album has already made a big splash and the ‘Blinding Lights’ singer has become the first artist to top the Billboard 200, Hot 100, Artist 100, Hot 100 Songwriters and Hot 100 Producers charts simultaneously and he thinks it’s a “big blessing” for the record to have done so well.

He said: “It seems like an enormous blessing. As artists, being recognised for what we do is the last word validation.

“I share this honour with my team and my fans who have been tirelessly supporting me.”

One of the most important influences on the ‘Can’t Feel My Face’ hitmaker’s music is the sounds of the 1980s.

He stated: “I’ve always had an admiration for the era before I was born. You can hear it as far back as my first mixtape [2011’s ‘House of Balloons’] that the ’80s — Siouxsie & the Banshees, Cocteau Twins — play such a huge role in my sound.

“Sometimes it helps me create a new sound and generally it’s simply apparent. I’m simply glad the world’s into it now.”

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