The Weeknd isn’t the type to share extensive details about his relationships and girlfriends past and present. But in his September Esquire interview, the artist, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, did talk about what the process of writing his 2018 EP My Dear Melancholy, widely believed to be his Selena Gomez breakup album because of the thinly-veiled lyrical callouts to her, did for him.
Esquire reports that it took Tesfaye just two and a half weeks to write, record, and release the six-song EP.
The Weeknd told the outlet that creating it was cathartic. “The reason why it was so short is like, I think I just had nothing else to say on this…whatever….” he began. “It was just like this cathartic piece of art. And yeah, it was short, because that’s all I had to say on this situation.” (Read an analysis on all its lyrics about Gomez on “Call Out My Name” and the entire EP here on ELLE.)
When asked if it made him feel better, Tesfaye replied, “Yeah, of course. I mean, that would have sucked if I didn’t.” When Esquire‘s reporter asked directly who the songs were about, Tesfaye declined to answer, saying “no comment” sweetly and “almost apologetically,” the outlet reports.
Gomez and Tesfaye, for what it’s worth, dated from January 2017 to October 2017. It was during that summer Gomez had her kidney transplant. Shortly after their relationship ended, Gomez started dating Justin Bieber again—for the last time. Gomez and Bieber broke up around early March 2018. He started dating Hailey Baldwin in June 2018, got engaged to her in July 2018, and married to her in September 2018.
Tesfaye started dating his other ex-girlfriend Bella Hadid again in 2018. They broke up last August. Gomez has been publicly supportive of The Weeknd since their breakup, including his new song “Snowchild” on two of her playlists this year.
In late November 2017, shortly after their breakup, Gomez told Billboard that they ended their relationship on good terms.
“The best part [of being single]?” Gomez started. “It’s actually… you know what, though? Something that I’m really proud of is that there’s such a true friendship [between me and The Weeknd]. I truly have never experienced anything like that in my life. We ended it as best friends, and it was genuinely about encouraging and caring [for each other], and that was pretty remarkable for me.”
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