The Weeknd is well aware of the impact he had on pop and R&B music with his debut mixtape, House of Balloons, but he wasn’t always happy about it. The singer dropped his highly-anticipated album, After Hours, just under three weeks ago, marking his fourth studio album and his first in four years since 2016’s Starboy. Although his sound has evolved a fair amount since he catapulted onto the scene in 2011 with House of Balloons, The Weeknd’s initial debut was unlike anything we’d ever heard at the time.
“House of Balloons literally changed the sound of pop music before my eyes,” he told Variety in his cover story for the publication’s latest issue. However, despite how exciting it was that his sound was impacting the landscape of the music scene, he didn’t always appreciate that other artists seemed to be emulating him.
“I heard ‘Climax,’ that Usher song, and was like, ‘Holy f*ck, that’s a Weeknd song,'” he recalled. Although “it was very flattering,” that, according to The Weeknd, the R&B heavyweight had seemingly taken inspiration from his own sound, he “also got angry.” However, he recognized that it also meant that “I was doing something right,” and, “the older I got, I realized it’s a good thing.” Do you think “Climax” sounds like a Weeknd song?