After years of speculation and no clear answer, the Weeknd finally gave a direct response to the origin of his stage name during his Reddit Q&A. When the Toronto crooner was 17, he dropped out of high school and convinced friend Lamar to do the same. Here’s how he told it:
We grabbed our mattresses from our parents threw it in our friends shitty van and left one weekend and never came back home. It was gonna be the title of HOB. I hated my name at the time though so I tried it as a stage name. It sounded cool. I took out the “e” because there was already a canadian band named the weekend (copyright issues).
Here are some other notable points from the session:
- He was influenced by movies such as Scanners, Naked Lunch, The Thing, Chinatown, Enter the Void, Amadeus and Videodrome while creating Kiss Land.
- He has a “big” collaboration with Diplo for another singer’s album in the works.
- Emika is his favorite singer at the moment.
- Ahmaric is the first language he ever learned. His father was absent and his mother worked all the time so his grandmother raised him until he was around 5 years old. She never spoke English with him.
- His original demos floating around were never meant to be his own music. They were demos for pop artists but the songs were not seen as “pop enough” so he decided to try his luck at his own career.
- He will not cover another Michael Jackson song.
- The hardest part of the recording process for Kiss Land was getting comfortable in other studios, although he says he loved Japan (as is extremely evident in the album artwork).
- “Professional,” “Adaptation,” and “Pretty” are his favorite songs on the album.
- He says he no longer fucks with old collaborator Jeremy Rose (Zodiac) following an interview he did with Vice, which Abel called “disgusting.”
- He was disappointed in Chan-wook Park’s film Stoker, and is disappointed that a US remake of Old Boy is in the works.
- The actual “house of balloons” is located at 65 Spencer Avenue in Toronto.
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