The Weeknd — also known as Abel Tesfaye — has never been shy about referencing his very famous lost loves in his music, but now, he’s taking his shout-outs a step further. Right after Tesfaye took to Instagram on Monday to tease new music, E! News noticed that he had registered the song title “Like Selena” on the ASCAP website. And while the songs on 2018’s EP My Dear Melancholy just hinted at his relationship with ex Selena Gomez, this one seems to drop all pretense.
Gomez and Tesfaye dated for 10 months back in 2017 before Gomez briefly reunited with Justin Bieber. Though Tesfaye famously stays silent about his relationships in interviews, he dropped My Dear Melancholy just months after his split from Gomez. “Guess I was just another pit stop ’til you made up your mind / You just wasted my time,” he sang on “Call Out My Name.” In the same song, he implied he was prepared to donate his kidney to Gomez when she underwent a transplant the same year.
According to Tesfaye himself, he had been writing a very different kind of album before he and Gomez broke up. “Prior to Melancholy, I had a whole album written...which wasn’t melancholy at all because it was a different time in my life. It was very upbeat,” Tesfaye told Time after the EP’s release. Could “Like Selena” be a cut from that record? It’s unlikely — Tesfaye went so far as to trash the songs, explaining, “I don’t want to perform something that I don’t feel.”
Since the breakup, Tesfaye reunited (and then split again) with his other ex, Bella Hadid. He deactivated his Instagram back in June, but briefly returned to announce that “tomorrow night we start again,” a message many interpreted as a promise of new music. As for Gomez, she’s been focusing on herself — and also working on a new album of her own.