It's been a massive year for The Weeknd and his transition from R&B mixtape maestro to Top 40 hitmaker. Abel opened up about his wild year in the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine, offering up details about that infamous hair, meeting Taylor Swift and what he has next on his plate.
Check out some of the highlights and photos from the music heavyweight's shoot, which was shot by photographer Mark Seliger and styled by Billy Walsh and Fatima B.
On his hair: "I want to be remembered as iconic and different, so I was like, 'F*ck it — I'm gonna let my hair just be what it wants.' I'll probably cut it if it starts interfering with my sight. I can kind of see it right now. But if I cut it, I'd look like everyone else. And that's just so boring to me."
On meeting Taylor Swift: "She actually schooled me on my own sh*t. She was like, 'I've been listening to 'The Morning' [from House of Balloons] for years — it's one of my favorite songs ever!' I mean, she might have just Googled it. But she seemed genuine. But the whole time she was talking. She was kind of, like, petting my hair? I think she was just drawn to it — she must have been a little gone off a few drinks. And of course I'm not going to be like, 'Hey, can you stop?' I mean, it felt good! But when she started petting my hair, that's when I was like, 'I definitely need a drink.'"
On writing pop songs: "Some people are like, 'Oh, yeah, just sell out and do pop music.' So you f*cking do it, then! It's not easy. Can I be honest with you? What all these kids are doing right now? I could do that in my sleep. I listen to it, and it doesn't test me at all. I could make a girl go like this" — he does a little shimmy-dance — "with a beat. It's very easy. I did it so much I can't do it anymore. But pop music? That sh*t's hard, dude."
On girlfriend Bella Hadid declining to be on his album artwork: "I actually asked her to be on the artwork for Beauty Behind the Madness. My motive was literally to work with her," he said. Unfortunately, she declined, so he said: "I was like, 'All right, cool — we can meet up face-to-face.'"
On his next move: "I already can't turn on the radio. 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 sh*t."
Photo: Getty Images