7 Things We Learned From The Weeknd’s Rolling Stone Interview

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As he promised over the summer in his interview with GQ, the previously-mysterious The Weeknd is going to be doing a lot more interviews this go-round. Covering next month’s issue of Rolling Stone, the XO singer discussed everything from his relationship with Bella Hadid, to regrets about Drake, how he was discovered and more.

As per usual, we’ve rounded up the 7 most interesting tidbits we learned in the interview, so get the 411 below!

1. He’s got some interesting plans in the seemingly-near future.

“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.”

2. Inspired by Basquiat, he started growing out his hair 4 years ago. He loves it, but there are a few downsides.

“I want to be remembered as iconic and different. So I was like, ‘Fuck it — I’m gonna let my hair just be what it wants.’ I’ll probably cut it if it starts interfering with my sight. I can kind of see it right now. But if I cut it, I’d look like everyone else. And that’s just so boring to me. [The issues are] sleeping. I wake up with neck pains sometimes. And not being able to hide myself.”

3. He got discovered via social media.

He and his crew posted three songs on YouTube and started spamming their friends on Facebook, then watched the play counts slowly climb. “I don’t know how many it actually was, but it felt like a million,” Tesfaye says. “Five hundred plays? Holy shit!” Toronto being a small town in some ways, the songs were heard by Drake’s manager, Oliver El-Khatib, who posted them to the OVO blog, where they promptly blew up. “Apparently, Drake wasn’t even fucking with it at first,” Tesfaye says today. “Oliver was the one vouching for me.”

4. He didn’t do a lot of interviews at first because he thought people would think he’s stupid.

“Me not finishing school — in my head, I still have this insecurity when I’m talking to someone educated. I don’t want them looking at me like this fucking retard — no disrespect.”

5. He regrets giving Drake so many of his own songs for his 2011 album, Take Care.

“I gave up almost half of my album. It’s hard. I will always be thankful — if it wasn’t for the light he shined on me, who knows where I’d be. And everything happens for a reason. You never know what I would say if this success wasn’t in front of me now.”

6. When he first started, he had a totally different vision for himself.

“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.'”

7. He met his 18-year-old girlfriend Bella Hadid through work:

“I actually asked her to be on the artwork for Beauty Behind the Madness. My motive was literally to work with her. [But when she declined,] I was like, ‘Alright, cool — we can meet up face-to-face.'” Tesfaye says he loves how hardworking she is, and how close she is with her family. “It just kind of fell into my lap,” he says. “If this had happened two years ago — well,” he catches himself, “she couldn’t.” (Two years ago, Hadid would have been 16.) “But if I’d met someone two years ago, I probably would’ve fucked it up. But I’m more — how do I say it? — clear-thinking now.”

Read the full interview here.

Marisa Mendez

Marisa is a media personality, while also working on the digital side of things for some of hip-hop's biggest names. She has done work with French Montana, Swizz Beatz, Nicki Minaj, Pusha T and many more.

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