Non-Interview: The Weeknd Truly Doesn’t Know Where All These Topless Women Keep Coming From
The Weeknd appeared almost literally out of nowhere in 2011, releasing a trilogy of lavishly-produced mixtapes (House Of Ballons, Thursday and Echoes Of Silence) that set then-unknown Toronto singer/songwriter Abel Tesfaye’s soulful vocals and viciously nihilistic lyrics to a gloomy soundtrack of somber beats, early post-punk samples and haunting keyboard flourishes. Songs like “Wicked Games” and “High For This” describe a disaffected, gloomy lifestyle spent almost exclusively on clubs, pills, emotional detachment and, above all, an endless pile of faceless, nameless women stacked like dominoes between the sheets. Tesfaye, who turns just 23 later this week, remastered and re-released his three mixtapes as the Trilogy box set last year and is currently hard at work on his official full-length debut.
Though The Weeknd seldom grants interviews, he gracious made no exception with me over the phone last week, declining to discuss his success, the Trilogy mixtapes, his upcoming album and just how closely his real life resembles the bleak outlook of his songs. Check out our non-conversation below.
[Groggy] Yeah, hello?
Mr. Tesfaye, thanks so much for not taking the time to talk to me this morning. Can you describe where you are right now?
I’m in a studio apartment I’m renting, it’s next door to the studio where we’re working on the album. I’m making coffee. There’s a handful of girls from last night in the other room, they’ll probably be waking up soon.
That sounds like an exciting way to start the day.
Not really. They’re probably going to be hungry and I don’t know how to cook, like, a proper breakfast and I’m down to my last few boxes of Christmas Crunch. They’ll probably go through one whole box between the four of them. [Sigh] That stuff only comes out, like, once a year, you know?
Who are they? Do you remember where they came from?
Not really. I have a driver I pay to take me home from wherever I wind up. It’s this big Range Rover and usually a few girls spill inside before I can close the door.
Know any of their names?
One of them, the redhead, I thought she said her name was “Ashley” or “Ack-Eee” or something like that, but it turned out she was just vomiting into her mouth a little.
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