The Weeknd on his dark personality, his drug quitting and his Grammy snub

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The Weeknd on his dark personality, his drug quitting and his Grammy snub


It’s a mad rush.
Then I went on tour. Jimmy Iovine told me, and I’ll never forget it. He says, “You never want to finish an album, let alone do an album, on tour. This album, I did it on tour. Kiss earth was a very touring album. And you have to understand, I had never left Toronto before. I had been in Toronto my whole life. I had never taken a plane before I was 21.

You did Coachella when you were around 21, right?
Yes! The second time I got on a plane, it was the Coachella performance. I took an airplane trip before that to Costa Rica on vacation. Going on tour, seeing the world – I’ve been to Tokyo, America – there’s all this new information. And then on top of that, I wanted to keep making music. And I wasn’t quite becoming a full-fledged pop star yet, I was sort of in a middle ground. And I have the impression Kiss earth was. It was a very honest album. It was a lot of me being stubborn, not leaving a lot of entries. I had hit Writer’s Block, and my friend Belly helped me out. It was a lot of overcompensation to really say, “I don’t know. This is what I have, but I don’t know what it is. And it became Land of kiss.

What did you learn from this?
It reminded me that I will never stop taking risks. If it wasn’t for Land of kiss, I couldn’t have made this new album. That song you just heard? This is Land of kiss, man. It’s just me who understands how to use Kiss earth now in my job. But it’s definitely my most honest album. I was the most naked. The most vulnerable. And that’s what it is.

Were you disappointed with the response and the reviews?
Oh yes. I think people were confused. It wasn’t that it was bad music. I think people were just confused. As much as I was confused. And I like it.

Has that discouraged you at all?
No no. If anything, that encouraged me. I read every review. I read every comment. All. And I love the reviews, man. I like the reviews. Even the biased people who are against me, I like to read it. I think it’s interesting. I think it’s humiliating, which is always great. I can now understand when you read stuff. As I can see through the lines now. Between the lines.

Did it hurt you?
Sure. Yes.

Jacket, $ 6,490 and shirt, $ 830, by Tom Ford. Pants, $ 35, by Wrangler. Belt, $ 1,478, by Artemas Quibble. Boots, $ 1,050, by Celine Homme by Hedi Slimane. Sunglasses, $ 750, by Jacques Marie Mage. Ring, $ 650, by La Grande Grenouille.

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