TORONTO (CelebrityAccess) — Canadian R&B icon The Weeknd has changed his brand on social media, changing his accounts to reflect his birth name, Abel Tesfaye.
The 33-year-old singer shared some of the rationale behind the name change in an interview with W magazine, telling the publication that he’s going through a “cathartic path.”
“It’s getting to a place and a time where I’m getting ready to close The Weeknd chapter,” Tesfaye told W Magazine. “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.”
He went on to note that he came to the decision while developing his new show, “The Idol,” a drama series that he co-created and stars in which debuts on HBO next month.
According to Tesfaye, it was switching back and forth between Tedros, his character on the show and his ‘The Weeknd’ character that sparked his agonizing reappraisal of the whole scene.
“I had to take off The Weeknd outfit, put on Tedros’ wig, shoot with Jocelyn [played by Lily-Rose Depp], then go back to being The Weeknd,” he recalled to W. “It was tough to go from one head to another.”
He also noted that his experience with the show impacted his ability to perform, stating that he lost his voice after filming a scene during an actual concert.
“My theory is that I forgot how to sing because I was playing Tedros, a character who doesn’t know how to sing,” Tesfaye told W Magazine. “I may be looking too deeply into this, but it was terrifying.”
“As The Weeknd, I’ve never skipped a concert,” he continued. “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.”