The Weeknd shot to mainstream success with the release of his 2015 album Beauty Behind The Madness, earning his first Grammy and becoming a household name. Now, he’s done with that.
In the violent and dark video for his first single “Starboy” off his upcoming third studio album by the same name, the Toronto native is literally killing his past.
The video opens with The Weeknd, real name Abel Tesfaye, sitting at a long table overlooking Los Angeles, with his hands cuffed behind his chair by zipcords. He’s promptly killed by asphyxiation from a plastic bag over his head at the hands of a masked murderer. After seeing The Weeknd’s dead body hit the floor in a gruesome shot, the culprit removes their mask and reveals himself as the new Tesfaye, short hair and all.
The Weeknd then makes his way through his own home and uses a neon cross to happily destroy gold records and awards as he shows off dance moves that rival Michael Jackson and Bruno Mars’. At one point, he passes a painting of Daft Punk, marking the only appearance the French duo make in the video for “Starboy,” which they co-wrote with Tesfaye.
Once The Weeknd has eradicated his past, he picks out a sports car and takes a dark drive with his new companion—a panther.
The gritty and captivating video is directed by Grant Singer, who also worked with The Weeknd on his videos for “Can’t Feel My Face,” “The Hills” and “Tell Your Friends.”
The ominous pop track dropped last week, with few details known about the upcoming accompanying album. The addition of Daft Punk in the studio doesn’t diminish The Weeknd’s trademark melancholy styling, but instead ups the emotional factor with some well placed beats and breaks, as well as the duo’s trademark “ha, ha, ha.” The song isn’t as radio friendly as “Can’t Feel My Face,” but really, what is? You can still expect to hear a lot of “Starboy” in the coming months thanks to its infectious groove and smooth vocals.
The Weeknd’s third studio album will be released November 25 and includes 18 tracks. The singer is set to perform this weekend during the season premiere of Saturday Night Live.
Click here to watch the The Weeknd and Daft Punk’s new video for “Starboy.”