The Weeknd reflects on his debut studio album "Kiss Land," addressing some of the criticism the project faced upon its release.
The Weeknd recently set social media ablaze with the announcement of brand new music, sparking hype for what fans have been describing as "The Dawn Era." While we wait for the next chapter of The Weeknd's musical odyssey, a recent GQ interview with the Canadian pop icon has shone some light on one of the more divisive albums of his career -- 2013's Kiss Land, The Weeknd's major-label studio debut.
Though it's hard to believe given how beloved The Weeknd's After Hours remains on the critical front, Kiss Land was not received so warmly upon its release. Weeknd actually opened up about the project's creation, release, and reception upon being asked why Kiss Land ultimately "fell short."
"Kiss Land is not a label’s type of record," he explains. "As a debut record, there was an expectation for it. I guess, for me, it was the fourth album. I feel like I said everything I needed to say on Trilogy—and that sound and whatever I wanted to put out into the universe. It created a genre, and I made 30 of those fucking songs. I think by the time I got to Kiss Land, I was definitely emotionally tapped out. I did three albums in one year—plus I was working on Take Care too."
"And me not fully transitioning into full-on pop star yet, I was kind of in a middle ground," he continues. "And I feel like Kiss Land was that. It was a very honest album. It was a lot of me being stubborn, of not letting a lot of input in. I had hit writer’s block, and my friend Belly helped me out of that. It was a lot of overcompensation to really say, 'I don’t know. This is what I have, but I don’t know what this is.' And it became Kiss Land."
"If it wasn’t for Kiss Land, I wouldn’t have been able to make this new album," explains The Weeknd. "That song that you just heard? That’s Kiss Land, man. It’s just me understanding how to use Kiss Land now, in my craft. But it’s definitely my most honest record. I was the most naked. Most vulnerable. And it is what it is."
Though he was initially disappointed in some of the reviews, The Weeknd ultimately found beauty in the madness. "I think people were confused," he reasons. "It wasn’t that it was bad music. I think people were just confused. As much as I was confused. And I kind of like that."
For more from The Weeknd, be sure to check out the full GQ interview right here. Look for The Weeknd's Dawn era to kick off this week -- are you excited?