The Toronto-born, multiple Grammy-winning R&B artist (real name Abel Tesfaye) and the enigmatic French electronic duo (Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter) hit it off in the studio to create not just one but a pair of new works, including the title track for Tesfaye’s forthcoming album Starboy.
“The remarkably spontaneous sessions yielded two songs on the album,” the Weeknd explains in a profile piece published in The Wall Street Journal.
Predictably, details on the other collaborative track are under lock and key. All should be revealed when Starboy drops on Nov. 25 (through XO/Republic), or beforehand should the Weeknd publish its tracklist.
The new album, which Apple Music lists as having 18 tracks (including “Starboy” and “False Alarm”), will be the artist’s third studio album and the first since 2015’s breakthrough Beauty Behind the Madness, which yielded the Hot 100 chart toppers “Can’t Feel My Face” and “The Hills”.
“Starboy” vaulted to the top of the real-time Billboard + Twitter Trending 140 chart, peaked at No. 2 in the U.S. and U.K., where it’s his highest-charting song.
The Weeknd also shared insight into the workings of the helmeted duo, whose collab-stacked last album Random Access Memories was a sales force on its release in 2013 and cleaned up come awards season.
“Their studio is like a spaceship, there’s a lot of gear,” he told the WSJ, “but the way they make music, the way they explain it, is very cinematic. It’s like they’re reading a page out of a novel: ‘We want to make sure that at the end, it feels like the sun’s coming up, and maybe there’s a car chase.’ They can get technical, but it was interesting how they visualize making music.”