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The Weeknd: 'Working with Daft Punk was like teleporting to space'

Published 03/11/2016

The Weeknd
The Weeknd

The hitmaker's new album was heavily influenced by the late David Bowie.

The Weeknd felt like he had rocketed into outer space while working in French band Daft Punk's futuristic recording studio.

The Canadian singer/producer recorded Starman, the first single from his upcoming album of the same name, with the electronic duo, and the experience of writing the song with them was simply out of this world for the star.

"Their studio is like a spaceship; there's a lot of gear," The Weeknd, real name Abel Tesfaye, tells The Wall Street Journal, "but the way they make music, the way they explain it, is very cinematic. It's like they're reading a page out of a novel: 'We want to make sure that at the end, it feels like the sun's coming up, and maybe there's a car chase.' They can get technical, but it was interesting how they visualise making music."

Teleporting into other galaxies in a metaphorical way while creating songs for Starman was simple for Abel, as he looked to late Ziggy Stardust musician David Bowie for inspiration throughout the writing and recording process.

"I just love Bowie; I think he's the ultimate inventor," the Weeknd smiles.

By the time his second album, Beauty Behind the Madness, was released last year (15), Abel had become a household name after spending years on the underground scene pushing out mixtapes, and the 26-year-old admits blasting into the celebrity stratosphere wasn't a stressful process for him.

"Maybe age has something to do with it," he notes. "Maybe 25 is a good age to get hit with that, as opposed to some artists who get it when they're 13 or 14 and they can't handle it. I had been in the game for a bit - I was doing arenas already, without a hit single. So it was comfortable, I was good. I kind of keep to myself anyway."

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