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"When people meet me, they say that I'm really kind — contrary to a lot of my music."When talking about his art and his career, Tesfaye is blessed with a towering self-confidence and has no hesitation about declaring his own greatness."People tell me I'm changing the culture," he says. I think I'm gonna drop one more album, one more powerful body of work, then take a little break — go to Tokyo or Ethiopia or some shit." Hearing him boast about talking shop with Bono, or name-dropping "Naomi Campbell, who's a good friend of mine now," you may be tempted to see a diva in the making; or you may see a 25-year-old guy who's stoked and incredulous to be in the position he's in.
Since starting this promo tour a week ago, he's been to Las Vegas, Paris, Berlin and now London. A press-shy Ethiopian kid from Toronto who has given only a handful of interviews, he has cultivated a near-mythical image as a bed-hopping, pill-popping, chart-topping cipher.That's when Tesfaye realized he "could run with the whole enigmatic thing," he says now."If it backfired, I probably for the rest of my life," he says. No one can do a trilogy again without thanking the Weeknd."Me not finishing school — in my head, I still have this insecurity when I'm talking to someone educated," he says."I don't want them looking at me like this fucking retard — no disrespect." For months, no one even knew if the Weeknd was a person or a group.
I was like, ' Dude, take anything.'" Today, he says he has nothing but gratitude for Drake, whom he calls "my closest friend in the industry at that time." Still, he says, "I gave up almost half of my album. I will always be thankful — if it wasn't for the light he shined on me, who knows where I'd be.