The Weeknd, the R&B singer who burst into the mainstream last year, on Thursday returned with a new single featuring the beats of reclusive electronic duo Daft Punk.
Entitled “Starboy,” the track is the first single off his upcoming album of the same name, the follow-up to his Grammy-nominated “Beauty Behind the Madness.”
“Starboy” marks a shift to musical minimalism for The Weeknd, with Daft Punk bringing in a heavy bass line but keeping the focus on his full yet high-ranged voice.
Lyrically, the song has echoes of hip-hop as The Weeknd boasts of his newfound wealth, including his flashy cars and hot girlfriend.
The song marks a rare appearance by Daft Punk since the French house pioneers’ 2013 album “Random Access Memories,” which won the Album of the Year Grammy.
The Weeknd had earlier hinted at the collaboration by posting on social media a picture of two figurines of the helmeted duo, whose members Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter never appear in public outside their robotic outfits.
Putting his full effort into promoting the upcoming album, The Weeknd deleted all material on his Instagram account and Thursday only had a profile picture of the “Starboy” cover.
He did not immediately reveal details of the album. It was available for pre-order on iTunes, which said the album was expected to come out on November 25 and consist of 18 tracks.
The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, was born in Toronto to Ethiopian immigrants and first released music by anonymously on YouTube.
He came to the attention of a top Canadian star, the rapper Drake, and went on to win wide popularity on his own with songs such as “Can’t Feel My Face” and “Earned It,” which was the theme to the erotic movie “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
Amid the build-up for the new album, The Meadows — a new music festival in New York from the promoters behind the annual Governors Ball — said The Weeknd would no longer headline due to “unforeseen scheduling conflicts.”
The October 1-2 festival will still feature rap superstar Kanye West as the second night’s headliner and added another leading rapper, J. Cole, as the first night’s top performer.