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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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Photo credit should read KELVIN IKPEA/AFP via Getty Images

The Netherlands Returns Nigeria's Centuries-Old Stolen Artefact

The Netherlands has returned to Nigeria a 600-year-old stolen artefact, the Ife Terracotta, which has been received by Nigeria's Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

According to The Guardian Nigeria, the Netherlands has returned a 600-year-old artefact to Nigeria. This comes after the artefact was reportedly smuggled using fraudulent papers through Ghana to the Dutch country. Netherlands ambassador to Nigeria, Harry van Dijk, handed over the Ife Terracotta to Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Nigeria's Minister of Information and Culture. The repatriation of the small but "priceless" Ife Terracotta has been a long journey considering it was reportedly smuggled out of Nigeria in 2019.

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