Throughout his career, The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye) has preferred to stay mysterious and let the music speak for itself, but along with the release of his new album, Starboy, he agreed to sit down with Zane Lowe on Beats 1 for his first on-camera interview. Several short clips from the conversation were released yesterday, but today you can watch the interview in its entirety.
Explaining how the pursuit of wealth has shaped his career, he explained, "Trilogy was more like, the wealth was the motive. Then after Kiss Land, you finally have the wealth and we're enjoying it. And then, of course everybody wants to be rich but it comes with its negatives as well."
"Starboy is the next chapter in this chronicle, this saga," Tesfaye says. "I guess this is the fourth chapter. He's a character that we created. It's so funny, we want to create a comic out of him as well [...] He's a cool, dope character that makes appearances a lot on the album. He's definitely made his appearance in different records in the past as well. He's a more braggadocious character that we all have inside of us."
Touching on his substance abuse issues at the beginning of his career, he says "I used to go on stage drunk [...] I would drink a bottle of Hennessy on stage at my first shows. Coachella, the first show ever, I was drunk. Just to take the edge off. It wasn't until my first Coachella show that I actually watched it and saw how I performed and hated my performances [...] He just wasn't a star."
"You have to fight the nerves. You have to," Tesfaye continued. "You're singing to people, it's an emotional thing. You're not normal if you sing to people. You know what I mean? You're not a normal person. It's nerve-wracking. You're literally putting yourself out to hundreds and thousands of people [...] Any time you see your favorite artist and [they] are screwing up and aren't hitting notes, it's not because [they] can't sing, [they're] fuckin' scared."
He also revealed that he had plans to go to the studio with Prince right before he passed away and hinted at future collaborations with Drake.
Watch the full interview above, in which Tesfaye also discusses Daft Punk, Kendrick Lamar, Lana Del Rey, Future, originally thinking "Starboy" would be a throwaway song, cutting his hair, success, family, and more.