The Weeknd has said he wants his live performances to “feel like opera” in the way they are put together. The 26-year-old musician named Abel Tesfaye has revealed he has a very particular way of setting up his shows, and claims he dislikes playing festivals where he has to play during the day, as he believes his sound is “night-time music”.
He said: “Environment is very important to me. Sometimes I have to perform during the day for festivals, and my music does not work in the daytime. It is night-time music.”
The Weeknd elaborated, “When you come to my show, I want it to feel like opera, like a theater. The darkness is important for me.”
And the ‘Starboy’ hitmaker says he even teamed up with set designer Es Devlin – who famously worked for Kanye West, Beyoncé, and Adele on their live tour set-up – to come up with something “three-dimensional”.
He said of Es: “Her real passion is theatre and opera. She looks at the job different than every other set designer. “It’s art – it’s not about lighting or crazy effects. It’s about what you’re looking at, and the audience is part of that moment. It’s very three-dimensional.”
‘The Hills’ singer referenced Kanye’s ‘Saint Pablo Tour’ shows in which he performed upon a stage suspended over the crowds in the floor seating, saying he too aspires to “animate space” in the same way.
He told Billboard magazine: “Look at Kanye’s shows – he changed the game. We’re looking at floor seats differently now in arena shows. I want to animate the space like that on this tour.”
Fans of the ‘Can’t Feel My Face’ singer will be able to see the star’s set design choices put into action when he embarks on his world tour in promotion of new album ‘Starboy’ in February.