Canadian producer Jeremy ‘Zodiac’ Rose claims that it was him that sparked the idea behind The Weeknd. In a conversation with VICE, Rose states that, initially, The Weeknd was a ‘dark R&B’ duo involving him and singer Abel Tesfaye with him also being essential to the early production and the project’s overall aesthetic. House of Balloons cuts “What You Need,” “Loft Music” and “The Morning” were crafted by Rose, but his name was soon scrubbed from the material.
“When I met him I heard some of the stuff that he was doing. It was called the Noise… They were a straight kind of R&B, just really light… 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.’”
After they got close, “things went sour” and Tesfaye would not respect Rose’s opinion anymore.
“We became pretty good friends, hanging out every day. At first it was working pretty well, but then I don’t know if it was a change in his heart or the people around Abel trying to guide him, but he was starting to push for doing club tracks and I didn’t really want to [do that],” Rose told Vice.
“He was pushing for some things I didn’t want to do, and it got to the point where he wouldn’t respect my opinion. He wanted me to produce for him without any of my input. And I was like, ‘Well then, what’s the point of being a group?’ and he was like, ‘You can just be my producer,’ and I said, ‘Are you going to pay me?’
“Then [I realized he was] not going to pay me. That’s why I backed out. I was like, ‘You can have those three or four tracks, I’ll give you the stems, just take ‘em, but I don’t want to work with you anymore.’ I was really congenial about it, but I told him, ‘Just make sure that you give me credit,’ and that’s where things went sour.”
As Pitchfork points out, they gave credit to Rose in their review for House of Balloons but have been approached by La Mar Taylor, who is a rep for The Weeknd.
“to whom ever this may concern, i am a rep for The Weeknd and it has been brought to my attention that there is an error in the article you guys wrote up for best new music. Jeremy Rose was NOT a producer on the album. Doc McKinney and Illangelo helped compose the songs on the album with The Weeknd. Look on the weeknds tweets and friendslist for proof. Jeremy Rose is not mentioned atleast once”
It remains to be seen how (or if) The Weeknd’s camp will respond to these allegations. Listen to an early version of “The Morning” Rose claims he produced below.
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