A reflective The Weeknd sits down with Beats 1’s Zane Lowe in the first and only interview for his upcoming album “Starboy”, which finally drops on Friday.
Taking a seat in the studio where many of his newest tracks were recorded, Toronto-born The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, gets as candid as ever opening up about his sobriety, performance anxiety and new haircut.
Though he admits to no longer having difficulty maintaining his sobriety, the musician wasn’t shy about crediting his team with helping out when times get tough. “It’s good to have a good team. Especially a team that you’ve grew up with. I feel like everybody kinda loses who they are when they start cutting the people that made them who they are,” he told Lowe before reflecting on some of the darkest days of his career. “[I had issues in] the beginning of the career. When it comes down to performing and being that person, you need to have that strength. I’m not up there lip syncing, I don’t got back up dancers, I don’t have crazy shit going on. It’s all about me and the microphone. I used to go on stage drunk. Nerves.”
“You have to fight the nerves,” he says. “You’re singing to people, it’s an emotional thing. You aren’t normal if you sing to people. You aren’t a normal person. It’s nerve wrecking. You’re putting yourself out to hundreds and thousands of people.”
Airing Nov. 24 at midnight ET, the “False Alarm” singer also gives fans a track-by-track listening session of his highly anticipated album, while giving music lovers a detailed peek into his collaborations with Daft Punk and Kendrick Lamar, whom he called a “genius.”
As for his new haircut, The Weeknd says he was happy to see the meme-worthy cut go. “The vision wasn’t there anymore. It was there and then just like the music, it was getting really sad. It was the greatest feeling of all time [cutting it off],” he explained. “It was so good. I could sleep better, I felt lighter, and when I perform, I perform better and feel better, it’s cool.”
“The best part about all of it, I get to wear f***ing hats again,” he added. “Wear a f***king cap and walk into a restaurant and nobody knows it’s you, it’s the greatest feeling.”
Tune-in to the interview at midnight ET on iTunes Radio.