The Weeknd, a usually aloof R&B artist, opens up in a rare interview with Time Magazine for their “Next Generation Leaders” issue.
The Canadian “Can’t Feel My Face” singer, real name Abel Tesfaye, chats all about his music and his new album, My Dear Melancholy.
While he never talks publicly about his personal life, including his very public relationships with Selena Gomez and Bella Hadid, you can hear the intimate details through his lyrics: “The definition of the love we feel, or what kids and 20- and 18-year-olds are going through,” he said, “that music is special, and I feel like it’s what people need.”
And his latest project, Melancholy, went through some changes following his breakup with summer fling Gomez. “Prior to Melancholy, I had a whole album written, done, which wasn’t melancholy at all because it was a different time in my life.”
The original album was recorded while he was still with the “Bad Liar” singer. “It was very upbeat—it was beautiful.” But he restarted the project when he’d moved past that part of his life. “I don’t want to perform something that I don’t feel,” he said.
The Weeknd joins Ariana Grande, Adwoa Aboah and more as Time’s “Next Generation Leaders”.