On Friday, the magazine Vice published an interview with Canadian producer Zodiac in which he speaks of certain aspects of his working relationship with former mate Abel Tesfaye, better known by the pseudonym The Weeknd. According to Jeremy Rose, he was the one who produced “ What You Need”, “ Loft Music” and the first part of “ The Party & The Afterparty”, as well as the discarded “The Morning (Original Version)”; that is to say, a large part of “House Of Ballons”, the first part of the trilogy of mixtapes with which The Weeknd introduced himself. But things go much further than that, as Zodiac declares that he was the one who had the idea of doing a dark R&B project. “ When I met [Tesfaye] I heard some of the stuff that he was doing. It was called the Noise. Remember that? It came out after he broke. They were a straight kind of R&B, just really light and kind of candlelight, and I was just like, 'Aw, fuck that shit. No man, let's talk about, fuckin' and getting too high and trying to fuck bitches and it not working out. Let's get really grimy about it.”
Zodiac even states that the pseudonym was his idea, although Tesfaye decided to take out the “ e” that is missing from the word. The two of them started working on an album, with Tesfaye writing the majority of the lyrics, but things didn’t quite work. At some point, Abel suggested to Rose that he only be his producer. When he realised that he wouldn’t be paid, he said he didn’t want to work with him anymore, and that he could keep what had already been done. But he did insist on appearing in the credits. However, it’s true that very few people knew about his participation in The Weeknd until now. Vice also contacted Tesfaye, who declined to comment on the subject.