The Weeknd and Madonna recently released their new collaboration over the weekend with Playboi Carti. Their song “Popular” is from HBO’s newest series in which The Weeknd stars, The Idol. The singer, 33, said in a new interview that he wants to co-produce an album with Madonna.
“I’ve always wanted to work with her. I’ve always wanted to write and produce a Madonna album… well, co-produce with her, of course… Because she’s a visionary and she has such a singular vision,” the Canadian crooner, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, said. He added, “I just want to come into her world and create a classic Madonna album. That was always my dream. So this can be… Hopefully, this is the appetizer for that.”
“Popular” is the second single from the controversial HBO series co-created by The Weeknd, Sam Levinson and Reza Fahim, which premiered last night (June 4). The new song’s lyrics seem to mirror the show’s theme of fame and its pitfalls, as The Weeknd sings: “Beggin’ on her knees to be popular / That’s her dream, to be popular / Kill anyone to be popular / Sell her soul to be popular.” The music video shows footage of the stars attending the Cannes Festival premiere a few weeks ago.
Explaining the song’s creative process, Tesfaye said, “I’m proud of it. I’m definitely proud of it. Me and Carti had this… I mean, we’ve jammed out before. We’ve had a different version of this song prior.” He then revealed he had the vocals done “for a while” and “kind of just worked around it, and then kept it in the tuck. But now it felt like it was time.” The Weeknd added of “Madge” being on the song: “She’s the ultimate co-sign for this song, for this album, and for this TV show. And you’ll hear more of her in the show as well too. She is the ultimate pop star.”
Before “Popular,” the first song to drop from the upcoming The Idol soundtrack was “Double Fantasy” by The Weeknd and Future. The Idol Vol. 1 soundtrack releases in full on June 30. In his April cover story with Interview magazine, The Weeknd said David Bowie, Prince and Pink Floyd were some of his inspirations when curating the soundtrack. “I’ve been inspired by The Wall and Purple Rain and when Bowie was doing it, but even films like Shaft, the music is literally telling the story of the film,” he said. “But I want to take it to the next level. I want to challenge myself and I feel like, as a musician, I’m the best I’ve ever been.”
The Weeknd will embark on the After Hours Til Dawn Global Stadium Tour beginning tomorrow, June 6 in Portugal. The tour will make stops throughout Europe and Latin America before wrapping on October 25 in Mexico.