The Weeknd Feels ‘Honored’ to Be Shortlisted in Oscars Best Original Song Race

The Weeknd opened up about “Nothing Is Lost (You Give Me Strength),” his theme song from Avatar: The Way of Water, being shortlisted for the 2022 Oscars race in a new interview on Monday (Jan. 9).


“I feel honored to be part of that list. Any kind of recognition for it feels like a blessing,” the R&B crooner told The Hollywood Reporter. Should his Na’vi-inspired ballad make the leap from the best original song shortlist to official nominee, it would mark the second time the artist otherwise known as Abel Tesfaye has earned a nod from the Academy following his nomination for “Earned It” from 2015’s Fifty Shades of Grey. “It’d be great,” he added of clinching another nomination. “But I’m just happy that I got to be part of such a historic film.”

However, The Weeknd clarified during the chat that the process behind crafting “Nothing Is Lost” was markedly different from writing the slow jam for the story of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. “The song in the film for Fifty Shades of Grey is just so sexy and sexual,” he said. “Working on this song was fun as well, but that felt a little bit more fun and loose, while this one felt a little bit more scientific. I couldn’t veer away from what [director James Cameron wanted]. Because the song is so connected with the film, I had to make sure that it didn’t feel like we just plopped in a pop song at the end of the credits. I couldn’t be as vague as ‘Earned It.'”

Even with a more rigorous set of guidelines, the singer had nothing but good things to say about being enlisted by the Oscar-winning filmmaker for the soundtrack to the long-awaited sequel. “He is a genius, and I just felt honored that I got to collaborate with him,” he said. “The best part about writing the song was getting notes from James and making sure that all the lyrics and the tones fit the themes of the film. I think I rewrote the song maybe six times to make sure it was perfect.”

The Weeknd also notched his 16th career top 10 hit this week as his 2016 Starboy-era single “Die For You” surged to No. 8 on the Hot 100 (chart dated Jan. 14) and released the music video for “Is There Someone Else?” on the one-year anniversary of 2022’s Dawn FM.

Read The Weeknd’s complete chat with THR here.

Glenn Rowley