Call Out My Name

Album: My Dear Melancholy (2018)
Charted: 7 4
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Songfacts®:

  • The opening track of The Weeknd's Dear Melancholy EP finds him struggling to let go of a past relationship. The aching Republic Records crooner still needs his former lover, though he suspects he was just "another pit spot" for her.

    Call out my name when I kiss you so gently
    I want you to stay
    I want you to stay, even though you don't want me


    Abel Tesfaye (The Weeknd's real name) dated Selena Gomez between January and October 2017. The widespread interpretation among The Weeknd's fans is this song finds him reflecting on their breakup.
  • During the song Tesfaye, appears to reference Selena Gomez's lifesaving kidney transplant which she had in the summer of 2017. He croons such "I was there for you" phrases as "I helped you out of a broken place" and "When times were rough, I made sure I held you close to me."

    The song also includes the lyrics:

    I said I didn't feel nothing baby, but I lied
    I almost cut a piece of myself for your life


    Could this be a reference to Tesfaye being a possible candidate for kidney donation? (Gomez' close friend Francia Raisa was ultimately the donor).
  • The slow piano-driven beat is courtesy of fellow Toronto native Frank Dukes, who collaborated with The Weeknd on his previous record Starboy. Dukes has also worked with the likes of Drake ("0 to 100/ The Catch Up"), Rihanna ("Needed Me"), Camila Cabello ("Havana") and Post Malone ("Congratulations").
  • The song's music video was released on April 12, 2018 and directed by filmmaker Grant Singer, who also shot the clips for The Weeknd's "The Hills", "Can't Feel My Face" and "Starboy." The visual features a scene when the Toronto singer vomits flying bats.

    "We pass a streetlamp that turns on perfectly on the opening beat," Grant Singer explained to Genius. "When I first heard the song, I knew that drop happened about 45, 55 seconds into the song… It was this big moment. I don't even know how I thought of it but I just wanted this moment of bats flying out of his mouth."

    The video also features The Weeknd belting out the track while walking through a fire-lit landscape. "It's a real burnt forest that I think was burned in the fires from a year or two ago and I was just stuck by how beautiful and terrifying it looked," Singer explained. "This felt very symbolic and perfectly aligned with what we were trying to do visually and atmospherically."
  • The Weeknd kicked off his performance at the 2021 Super Bowl halftime show with this song. The game took place during the COVID pandemic, so he was able to start the show in the stands before moving to the field.
  • Suniel Fox and Henry Strange of the duo Epikker brought legal action against The Weeknd, claiming this song lifted elements from their 2015 track "Vibeking."

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