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The Weeknd Says Amharic "Will Definitely Be Key" On His New Album

The Weeknd aka Abel Tesfaye opened up about the large influence his Ethiopian heritage will have on his new record in an interview with VMAN.

If you needed to get any more excited for The Weeknd's new album, here you go.


Speaking with VMAN in a new cover story, The Weeknd aka Abel Tesfaye opened up about the big influence his Ethiopian heritage will have on his upcoming record, the follow-up to last year's chart-topping Beauty Behind the Madness.

After talking about the Amharic lines he sings at the end of "The Hills," Tesfaye mentioned:

“You hear it mostly in my voice, I’ve been told my singing isn’t conventional. Ethiopian music was the music I grew up on, artists like Tilahun Gessesse, Aster Aweke, and Mahmoud Ahmed. These are my subconscious inspirations. ‘The Hills’ was the first time you actually heard the Ethiopian language in my music. It will definitely be key on this next record.”

Tesfaye also spoke about the new musical influences on the forthcoming album, which include greats from the 1970s and 80s.

"There are new inspirations on this album. The production feels aggressive but still sexy. The Smiths, Bad Brains, Talking Heads, Prince, and DeBarge play roles. We wrote it all in Los Angeles. I think it’ll be the best-sounding album I’ve ever done. It’s hard to label the sound because, when I first came out, nobody would label it R&B. I just want to keep pushing the envelope without it feeling forced."

Lastly, the singer also talked about his recent support for Black Lives Matter and how he wishes he could make music about politics. Tesfate reportedly donated $250,000 to the movement last month.

“I promised myself that I would never tweet or talk about politics and focus on the music, but I was just so bewildered that we lost more of our people to these senseless police shootings. It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that there are people who can’t or won’t see what Black Lives Matter is trying to accomplish. I wish I could make music about politics. I feel like it’s such an art and a talent that I admire tremendously, but when I step into the studio I step out of the real world, and it’s therapeutic. It’s an escape, but recently it’s been very hard to ignore, and it’s also been very distracting. Maybe you’ll hear it in my voice, but it is not my forté.”
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Twitter Is Divided About The New Cosmopolitan ‘Activism Issue’ Cover Featuring Nomzamo Mbatha

Tweeps are questioning what kind of 'activism' Nomzamo Mbathat has been involved in.

Cosmopolitan South Africa recently revealed their August cover. Their "The Activism Issue" features popular South African actress and presenter Nomzamo Mbatha as the cover star. While a majority of Mbatha's fans and counterparts were elated when they first saw the cover, not everyone is pleased.

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Photo: Mídia NINJA

Rio de Janeiro Has Named March 14th 'Marielle Franco Day—Against the Genocide of Black Women'

The day will be used to promote community wide reflection on the killings of black women.

Following the targeted assassination of Afro-Brazilian human rights activist and city council member Marielle Franco this past March, the governor of Rio de Janeiro, Luiz Fernando Pezão, has named March 14th, the date of Franco's untimely death, "Marielle Franco Day—a day against the genocide of black women" in Rio de Janeiro, reports The Rio Times.

The ordinance states that the day be used to promote community-wide discussion and reflection on the killings of black women in Brazil through lectures and public debates.

"To have March 14th as a date that saves and revives Marielle Franco's struggle for the lives of black, poor, favela and peripheral women is very important and symbolic," Renata Souza, Franco's former Chief of Staff told O Globo.

"It is urgent that black women be the focus of public policies because they are the main victims of the lack of state assistance. Therefore, it is these black women who in the last ten years have the highest rates of feminicide when they are murdered by their spouses in abusive relationships," she added.

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Senegalese-American Actress Anna Diop Set to Join Lupita Nyong'o and Winston Duke In Jordan Peele's 'Us'

The rising actress will star alongside Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in the upcoming social thriller.

In May, it was announced that Black Panther costars Lupita Nyong'o and Winston Duke would star in Us, the highly-anticipated follow-up to director, writer and comedian Jordan Peele's follow-up to Get Out.

Now, we've learned more exciting news about the casting for the upcoming social thriller. Deadline reports that Senegalese-American actress, Anna Diop has also signed on to star in the film. The actress wrote that she was "beyond words and beyond excited," about the news in an Instagram post.

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