In a recent interview, the XO Records head Abel Tesfaye briefly touched on how the cancellation of his planned tour and the sociopolitical environment made him refocus his efforts to go into the studio and work on an After Hours follow-up, despite his latest studio album released a less than a year ago.
“I have been more inspired and creative during the pandemic than I might normally be while on the road…The pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement and the tensions of the election have mostly created a sense of gratitude for what I have and closeness with the people near me,” he said.
“My natural singing voice was inspired and shaped by Ethiopian music,” he mentioned while looking back at his career in the industry. “The older I got, I was exposed to more music, and my voice became a chameleon going into different characters with each album. By following my own path and breaking industry norms, it seems to be influencing others. I was laser focused back then and I’m laser focused right now. This has been the story of my 20s. I feel like I spent the last 10 years creating a sound and most of my career, I’ve either been running away from it or duplicating it. After Hours was the perfect piece of art for me to show my tenure in the industry.”