Singer/Songwriter, and now cinematic star, The Weeknd has returned with a new visual for his single “Snowchild.”
Last year, The Weeknd made his acting debut — as himself, nonetheless — in the Adam Sandler-led film Uncut Gems. Also, his Warren Fu-directed video for “I Feel It Coming” featured atmospheric shots pulled from Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi masterwork 2001: A Space Odyssey. But, as we see now in the visual for “Snow Child,” there is a clear pattern — he is absolutely an anime fan.
As witnessed before in the “I Feel It Coming” video, which featured the Japanese actress Kiko Mizuhara most well-known for her work on the popular anime Attack on Titan, his latest video captures the full essence of the anime style. The video filters The Weeknd’s career through the lens of complete fantasy. He wrestles with cyborgs with purple bob-cuts, battles headless suit-wearing monsters led by a nose-ringed boss before the Los Angeles Hollywood sign, and slays a horde of literal cougars with a cross-shaped lightsaber. I find it safe to say, there is a message to be unpacked here.
However, besides subtle depictions of what life in Hollywood may be like, one thing this video did incredibly well was tie everything back to his roots as an artist. At the beginning, he is captured entering a house full of balloons, which can be a direct allusion to his first mixtape House of Balloons. The clip is further packed with hidden gems, which reflect directly on the phases of his life. A scene depicting The Weeknd walking the snowy alleys of his hometown of Toronto, for example, is soundtracked by lyrics, delivered in his ominous yet compelling tone, as he sings about hustling in the “dead streets.”
To curate the visuals for “Snowchild,” the Canada native teamed up with the first Black-owned animation studio in Japan, D’ART Shtajio.
Fans can expect to see more of The Weeknd’s collaborations with animations in the near future. In May, he appeared as himself, again, in Fox’s animated series American Dad. And on Sunday (July 26), the singer’s voice will join the cast of Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken for its 200th episode.
Check out the coming of age visual for “Snowchild,” below.