The Weeknd – Starboy

The Weeknd doesn’t do a lot of interviews. Come to think of it, he really doesn’t say much at all aside from what he says in his music. Even the posts on his social media channels are usually shrouded in emoji and pictorial mystery.

So when he did an interview to help promote his next huge album, Starboy, fans were able to take a little deeper look into the life of music’s most dark and mysterious new hit-making character. So here are five new things we learned about the the twenty-six year old Abel Tesfaye after his recent interview with Billboard.

He’s down with the whole being unhealthy thing, as long as his face is still looking sharp
When showing the interviewer around the studio where he was working on Starboy, he pointed out the weights racked in one of the rooms, saying, “Here’s the gym I never use. I’d rather be unhealthy when I’m working. I’ll start working out when I go on tour. But as long as my face looks OK, I’m good.”

His confidence continues to build alongside the number of fans that come out and support him
He’s not a naturally confident performer. When asked where his confidence sits as a singer, Tesfaye admitted that his nerves about performing have gotten better over the years, but it fluctuates and grows depending on how many fans are at awards shows or television performances to cheer him on. Even with performing live and touring, he would go on to say, “I never wanted to tour, I just wanted to create music and make a diary I could put out into the world.”

He owns the rights to all his music, a rarity in pop music today
Part of what makes hip-hop phenom Chance the Rapper a special story, is that he’s refused to sign with any record label, allowing him to maintain all creative control of the recording side of his career. According to The Weeknd, he too still owns all the music he’s written. He explained it by saying, “My deal with the label is pretty much a partnership, it’s like a distribution deal. But you know they’re my label, they’re my partners, they ride for me. They really respect me as an artist. My sh*t is all mine. I own all my music.”

He wants to sing about more than just giving everyone music to hook up to
When asked about the different characters he portrays through the music he’s put out, he said, “It’s almost schizophrenic, who I portray in my music. The vibe just represents how I feel, what relationship I’m going through, what friendships I’m going through, the success in my life, the failures in my life … I’m not going to sit here and just sing about making love, even though my favorite artists, that’s all they sing about.”

Like his music, he embraces the darkness of his art when performing
Tesfaye is quite the musical vampire and hates performing when the sun it out. “Environment is very important to me. Sometimes I have to perform during the day for festivals, and my music does not work in the daytime,” he said. “It is nighttime music. When you come to my show, I want it to feel like opera, like a theater. The darkness is important for me.”