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After transitioning from obscure up-and-comer to mainstream superstar, The Weeknd is now poised to retain his spot among the R&B elite. Abel is currently working on his followup to last year’s Beauty Behind the Madness, as he recently sat down with VMAN to dish on the forthcoming project.

First off, Abel is placing some rather high expectations for the LP, saying he feels it will end up being his best-sounding album ever.

“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.”

As for now, the album has yet to be given a title, but according to Tesfaye, it will be noticeably different than his previous works. In branching out from the R&B genre, The Weeknd plans to incorporate hardcore punk and new wave into the mix.

In addition to speaking on the new album, Abel also dished to VMAN regarding love of filmmaker David Lynch, revealing “David Lynch, alongside David Cronenberg, Stanley Kubrick, and Martin Scorsese play a huge part in my brand, my looks, my sound, and my aesthetic.”

For VMAN‘s entire cover story with The Weeknd, follow here.

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