The Weeknd says Usher copied his style and that the singer’s 2012 song “Climax” is ripped from his own playbook.
The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, explains why, saying that he thinks Usher heard his 2011 mixtape “House of Balloons,” borrowed his style, then made it his own.
“‘House of Balloons’ literally changed the sound of pop music before my eyes,” The Weeknd told Variety. “I heard ‘Climax,’ that Usher song, and was like, ‘Holy f—, that’s a Weeknd song.'”
He adds that while at first he was upset, he now sees it as a compliment. “It was very flattering,” The Weeknd said, adding, “I knew I was doing something right, but I also got angry. But the older I got, I realized it’s a good thing.”
On releasing his latest album, “After Hours,” during the coronavirus pandemic, he tells the outlet that he felt he had to get it out there. “Fans had been waiting for the album, and I felt like I had to deliver it.“
The commercial success is a blessing, especially because the odds were against me: (Music) streaming is down 10%, stores are closed, people can’t go to concerts, but I didn’t care. I knew how important it was to my fans,” he said.