In a new interview with Variety, The Weeknd touched on his influence on pop and R&B music, suggesting, for example, that he inspired Usher's 2012 hit, "Climax."

House of Balloons literally changed the sound of pop music before my eyes,” he said. “I heard ‘Climax,’ that [2012] Usher song, and was like, ‘Holy f**k, that’s a Weeknd song.’ It was very flattering, and I knew I was doing something right, but I also got angry. But the older I got, I realized it’s a good thing.”

Produced by Diplo, "Climax" was the lead single from Usher's 2012 studio album, Looking 4 Myself. After taking over the airwaves, the popular track went on to secure Usher a 2013 Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance.

To further draw comparison, Usher also worked with Swedish signer-songwriter/producer Max Martin on Looking 4 Myself. Martin then collaborated with The Weeknd on multiple tracks from his 2015 studio album, Beauty Behind the Madness.

Elsewhere in the interview with Variety, The Weeknd discussed his recent album, After Hours, and transitioning into the mainstream. You can read the piece here.

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