Update: In the wake of this story, Pitchfork have published two emails they received when their House of Balloons review mentioned Jeremy Rose.

The first is from Weeknd crew member La Mar Taylor, and reads: “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”

The second is from Illangelo, widely credited – along with Doc McKinney – for The Weeknd’s production, and reads: “Joe Colly’s album review credits Jermey Rose on production, this is incorrect. Production on House Of Balloons headed by Doc McKinney & Illangelo.”


Abel Tesfaye’s persona across The Weeknd’s trilogy of mixtapes is fairly repulsive: the voice we hear is cruel, manipulative, callous, conceited. If the testimony of his former producer is anything to go by, Tesfaye’s behaviour on record may not be so different from his conduct off of it.

Jeremy Rose [right, as drawn in The Fader], who now trades under the name Zodiac, is the producer behind HoB cornerstones ‘What You Need’, ‘Loft Music’ and the first act of ‘The Party And The After Party’. Despite initially considering The Weeknd to be a joint project, Rose’s name has been razed from the finished edition of the record. In an interview with Vice, Rose offers some interesting insights into the genesis of the project, and gives Tesfaye a fairly lukewarm character reference in the process.

Rose claims credit for the name of the group, not to mention much of the conceptual legwork for the project: “I had this idea for 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. It was this group, with him and another producer and it was called the Noise. They were a straight kind of R&B, just really light and kind of candlelight… [sings] “I wanna see you in your birthday suit”… 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.””

Despite being friends, Rose claims that the two eventually fell out when Tesfaye began “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.” Rose also claims not to have received a dime for his production.

The full interview, available here, presents Rose as a man abandoned by his collaborator and conveniently ignored by the media. It’s certainly an interesting read.



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