The Weeknd just will not stop appearing in headline, and who can blame him? After remixing “The Hills” with Nicki Minaj and Eminem on two separate songs over the past week, The Canadian crooner now finds himself on the cover of Rolling Stone with a story to pair.
Throughout the cover story, The Weeknd discusses his rise to become one of the biggest stars on the planet from his days dropping out of high school in Toronto to tour the world and going from Sweden to Austin to Los Angeles in a matter of 48 hours for promotion. He talks about interactions with Taylor Swift; his new girlfriend, Bella Hadid; drug use; meeting Louis C.K. at Saturday Night Live and plenty more.
Read the full story on Rolling Stone, and check out below for some snippets I thought stuck out.
On separating himself from the rest of the pop world:
“We live in an era when everything is so excessive, I think it’s refreshing for everybody to be like, ‘Who the fuck is this guy?’ I think that’s why my career is going to be so long: Because I haven’t given people everything.” … “People tell me I’m changing the culture, I already can’t turn on the radio. I think I’m gonna drop one more album, one more powerful body of work, then take a little break — go to Tokyo or Ethiopia or some shit.”
Discussing his “unlikely” rise to fame:
“I was everything an R&B singer wasn’t. I wasn’t in shape. I wasn’t a pretty boy. I was awkward as fuck. I didn’t like the way I looked in pictures — when I saw myself on a digital camera, I was like, ‘Eesh.‘”
…Later commenting on when major labels started calling him:
“Never in a million years. At the time, I thought I’d be a punk star — grow my hair out, acne on my face, super-fucking-skinny. I was looking at artists like Iggy Pop and the Ramones, or Afropunk. But you evolve and realize your potential. And then it’s like, ‘Fuck yeah. Let’s go.'”
An interaction with Taylor Swift touching his hair:
“She actually schooled me on my own shit. She was like, ‘I’ve been listening to ‘The Morning’ [from House of Balloons] for years — it’s one of my favorite songs ever!’ I mean, she might have just Googled it. But she seemed genuine. But the whole time she was talking, she was kind of, like, petting my hair? I think she was just drawn to it — she must have been a little gone off a few drinks. And of course I’m not going to be like, ‘Hey, can you stop?’ I mean, it felt good! But when she started petting my hair, that’s when I was like, ‘I definitely need a drink.'”
Discussing his drug use, especially before fame:
“I never needed detox or anything, but I was addicted in the sense of ‘Fuck, I don’t want to spend this day without getting high.’ Like, ’08 to 2010 — those are my hazy years. I have this lyric that goes, ‘I’m not scared of the fall/I’ve felt the ground before.’ And in this industry, I’m not really scared of failing, because I already know what it means to be on the ground.”
On how people will view him when he’s long gone:
“I think the worst thing anyone can say about an artist is, ‘He could have been great.’ I was always scared of being that guy where it’s like, ‘He could have been big. He could have been a star.’ I was afraid I’d see somebody else up there and be like, ‘You’re trying to tell me they’re better than me? Why? Because they’ve got a couple of smash records? I can do smashes. I could figure it out.’ And to be honest with you, it’s been, what, a couple of years now? And it feels great. I feel great.”
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