GQ Magazine revealed their smoldering September global cover today featuring none other than The Weeknd.
Inside the issue— which is the brand’s first-ever global edition— The Weeknd talks about his upcoming album, the darkness of his music, The Grammys, and the distinction between his public and private personas, among other things.
Here are some excerpts via GQ:
“The lines [between Abel and The Weeknd] were blurry at the beginning,” says Abel. “And as my career developed—as I developed as a man—it’s become very clear that Abel is someone I go home to every night. And The Weeknd is someone I go to work as.”
For the story, The Weeknd reaches way back in his memory bank, to before his face was famous, speaking about how no one knew what he looked like when he did House of Balloons.
”I feel like with me it’s never been about the artist and the image of the artist,” Abel says. “With House of Balloons, nobody knew what I looked like. And I felt like it was the most unbiased reaction you can get to the music, because you couldn’t put a face to it. Especially R&B, which is a genre that is heavily influenced by how the artist looks.”
What’s also wild is that he reveals the first time he heard his single “What You Need,” he was working in retail and got to hear audience reactions while he was on the job.
“I was struggling at the time. A good friend of mine hooked me up with a job at American Apparel, and I was folding clothes there when somebody at the store played the song,” he says. “Mind you, nobody knew who The Weeknd was. I started listening, seeing what people thought of it. That’s what I mean by the unbiased reaction. When I saw that everybody was like, “This is fire,” I was like, “Oh!”
Do you remember which early The Weeknd song hit you the hardest?
The article seems largely aimed at preparing the public for his next project, new music which he calls, “Quincy
Jones meets Giorgio Moroder meets the best-night-of-your- fu**ing-life party records. Not anachronistic disco stuff.Sweaty. Hard. Drenched-suit, grinding-on- the-girl/boy-of-your-dreams party records.”
HMMMM wonder what that means. Do you guys have any idea? The journalist who interviewed The Weeknd claimed he had a hard time listening to anything else after hearing this new project though… and The Weekend called it “the album I’ve always wanted to make.”
Abel also admits that while making music has been therapeutic for him, he’s also put himself in some unhealthy situations out of musical motivation:
“I believe that when anybody is sad, they make better music,” he says.” And I’ve definitely been a victim of wanting to be sad for that, because I’m very aware. I definitely put myself in situations where it’s psychologically self-harming. Because making great music is a drug. It’s an addiction and you want to always have that. Fortunately, I’ve been through that and I’ve learned how to channel it. And I’ve experienced enough darkness in my life for a lifetime. I feel lucky that I have music, and that’s probably why I haven’t dabbled into too much therapy, because I feel like music has been my therapy.”
Since we’re already on the subject of drugs, we can celebrate the good news that Abel also shared that he is sober lite, admitting that he drinks occasionally but is no longer a heavy drinker. As for drugs, he admits to smoking weed but says he doesn’t do other substances.
“Drugs were a crutch,” Abel says. “It was me thinking that I needed it. And not doing the work to figure out how not to need it. And I’ve spent the last few years realizing that and thanking God that I don’t need it. Because for a lot of people, it’s hard to shake it. But I knew I didn’t want it.”
He also agrees that it’s tough to play the long game with drugs in the picture, adding, “I eventually want a family. I know I say I don’t, but I know I do. I want children.”
He says that he’s said in the past he doesn’t want kids but thinks he was saying it as a defense mechanism.
“I guess I say it because I like the trajectory of my career,” The Weeknd says. “But also I feel like having children would influence me and inspire me more.”
When asked about having to explain some of his more sexual lyrics to his future kids — the Weeknd is positively unworried.
“I’m prepared for it,” he responds. “At the end of the day, it’s my art. And that’s who Daddy was.”
The article also dives into The Weeknd’s controversial Grammys ‘After Hours’ snub, which he now says he doesn’t care to know why he was overlooked as it will never be the reason why he makes music.
He tells some great stories about Jim Carey in the article, as well as Tyler the Creator. This may actually be our favorite article we’ve read on The Weeknd.
Check out the full thing HERE