The Weeknd was picked to be on the cover of TIME's Next Generation Leaders issue. In his interview, he talks about how he recently trashed an entire album because it was just too damn happy.
The Canadian singer dropped the EP My Dear Melancholy in March. Before that, he made an entirely different project and then threw it away.
The Weeknd explains in Time that that particular album had a vastly different feel than the Melancholy EP.
“Prior to Melancholy, I had a whole album written, done, which wasn’t melancholy at all because it was a different time in my life. It was very upbeat, it was beautiful," he said. "I don’t want to perform something that I don’t feel.”
On another note, what do you think about the My Dear Melancholy EP? Are you feeling it?
Abel Tesfaye, 28, better known to the public as @theweeknd, has made a career out of hiding in plain sight. When he began releasing #music in 2010, he kept his persona intentionally vague, building buzz primarily via the Internet; fans grew to love him without knowing if he was a band or a solo singer. Now Tesfaye is a budding superstar, with a string of No. 1 hits (“The Hills,” “Can’t Feel My Face,” “Starboy”) and a new album, My Dear Melancholy, that tallied more than 25 million streams on @Spotify and @applemusic, respectively, during its first 24 hours of release—among the best digital debuts of all time. #TheWeeknd is one of three International covers showcasing the Next Generation Leaders. Read more about the rising activists, artists and athletes who are reshaping music, sports, fashion, politics and more on TIME.com. Photograph by @micaiahcarter for TIME