Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye is preparing for his new HBO television series The Idol to debut on Sunday, June 4. The Canadian singer/songwriter also provided his music fans with a new tune.
“Popular” arrived on June 2. The Weeknd connected with Hip Hop artist Playboi Carti and the legendary Queen of Pop Madonna to serve as guest features on the track. “Popular” lives on The Idol, Vol. 1 (Music from the HBO Original Series) project.
Apple Music 1 host Zane Lowe recently spoke to The Weeknd for New Music Daily Radio. Part of the interview included Tesfaye chatting about the creation of the “Popular” collaboration. They also discussed The Idol.
“I’m proud of it. I’m definitely proud of it,” said The Weeknd. “[Playboi Carti and I] had a different version of this song prior. So I’ve had these vocals for a while and I’ve kind of just worked around it, and then kind of kept it in the tuck. But now it felt like it was time. It was time.”
The 33-year-old entertainer added, “And then Madonna, Madge. 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.”
HBO’s The Idol tells the story of a musician, played by Lily-Rose Depp, who is trying to recapture her position as an up-and-coming star after suffering a nervous breakdown. Abel Tesfaye stars as a cult leader in the drama series.
Additionally, The Weeknd is credited as a co-creator and executive producer for The Idol. The program premiered at the 76th Cannes Film Festival in France on May 22. There has been controversy surrounding The Idol‘s production and themes.
“I feel great because everyone involved feels great. Everyone is happy, is excited. We’re all so proud of what we made. It’s controversial. It is. And as you know, I’m no stranger to it. [Co-creator Sam Levinson] is no stranger to it,” The Weeknd told Zane Lowe.
He continued, “We’re just excited for people to finally watch it and come up with their own opinion. Which I think is important, because there’s a lot of talking and no one has seen the show… Talk about nerves. I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever been that nervous since the first time I ever performed at The Mod Club.”