What did the world lose when Selena Gomez broke The Weeknd's heart last October? We know, at the very least, what we gained: His six-song EP My Dear Melancholy was most certainly a post-breakup oeuvre, designed for listening to alone on a Saturday night surrounded by three boxes of tissues. But in a recent interview, The Weeknd, née Abel Tesfaye, reveals that he was almost done with an entirely different album just before he and Gomez broke up.
"Prior to Melancholy, I had a whole album written, done, [w]hich wasn’t melancholy at all because it was a different time in my life,” Tesfaye told Time in his interview for the Next Generation Leaders issue, letting us read between the lines about his split from Gomez. "It was very upbeat — it was beautiful."
Beautiful or not, he said he scrapped that collection of songs because, "I don’t want to perform something that I don’t feel."
"Never," Tesfaye told Time's Kara Brown. To the happy album coming out, not to reuniting with Hadid, because Brown is a pro and also because he doesn't like talking about his love life.
"I don’t want to open that Pandora’s box, talking about relationships," he said.
So, that happy music now joins the likes of Dr. Dre's Detox and Kanye West's Good Ass Job in the annals of unreleased music that is probably great. At the same time, we did get Melancholy out of this, which you could think of as Tesfaye's version of Adele's 21.
"I said I didn't feel nothing baby, but I lied," he sings in "Call Out My Name," presumably about Gomez, hinting that he might have donated his kidney for her. "I almost cut a piece of myself for your life / Guess I was just another pit stop / 'Til you made up your mind / You just wasted my time."
For someone who doesn't like doing interviews about relationships, Tesfaye sure does like singing about them.