Goodbye The Weeknd. Hello Abel Tesfaye.
The "Can't Feel My Face" singer may soon start going by his birth name, he told W magazine in a story published on May 8.
“I’m going through a cathartic path right now,” the 33-year-old singer said.
“It’s getting to a place and a time where I’m getting ready to close The Weeknd chapter," he explained. "I’ll still make music, maybe as Abel, maybe as The Weeknd. But I still want to kill The Weeknd. And I will, eventually. I’m definitely trying to shed that skin and be reborn.”
The Canadian singer said he came to the decision while working on his new show, "The Idol," a drama series he co-created and stars in. The series, which co-stars Lily-Rose Depp as a pop star named Jocelyn, premieres on HBO on June 4.
While bringing his character Tedros to life for a scene filmed at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles last fall, the "Die For You" singer said he had trouble oscillating between himself and the role. Tedros is described in a synopsis as "a self-help guru and leader of a modern day cult."
“I had to take off The Weeknd outfit, put on Tedros’ wig, shoot with Jocelyn, then go back to being The Weeknd,” he recalled to W. “It was tough to go from one head to another."
The singer said the peak of how jarring the experience was for him was when he lost his voice after filming the scene, which was shot during an actual Weeknd concert.
"Then, after the concert, I lost my voice," he said. "No voice came out at all. That’s never happened before."
"My theory is that I forgot how to sing because I was playing Tedros, a character who doesn’t know how to sing," he said. "I may be looking too deeply into this, but it was terrifying."
He said the experience prompted deep introspection. In September, The Weeknd cancelled the second show of a two-night run in Los Angeles after he lost his voice, NBC News reported at the time.
"As The Weeknd, I’ve never skipped a concert," he said. "I’ve performed with the flu. I’ll die on that stage. But there was something very complicated going on with my mind at that moment.”