The Weeknd: ‘Drugs Were a Crutch for Me’

The Weeknd
The Weeknd performs during the 2016 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the Grand Palais in Paris on November 30, 2016. MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images

The Weeknd opened up about his once-"heavy" drug use in an interview with The Guardian on Saturday, December 3.

Reflecting on the early days of his career, the two-time Grammy winner, 26, said that he often turned to destructive vices when he hit the recording studio. "When I had nothing to do but make music, it was very heavy," he told the British newspaper of his drug use. "Drugs were a crutch for me. There were songs on my first record [House of Balloons] that were seven minutes long, rambling — whatever thoughts I was having when I was under the influence at the time."

"I can't see myself doing that now," The Weeknd (born Abel Tesfaye) explained, before admitting that he still uses drugs recreationally when he's looking for inspiration for his music.

"I'll be completely honest with you. The past couple of albums, I do get back to that," he said. "Even on this new album [Starboy]. You have writer's block. And sometimes you're like, 'I can't do this sober.'"

Earlier this year, the Toronto native canceled his supporting act on Rihanna's Anti World Tour to write Starboy, which was released on November 25. "I canceled it and something happened to my inspiration," he told The Guardian. "I guess it was the weight on my shoulders. I'd canceled a tour — a lot of money. I had these ideas, but I couldn't put them on wax."

To overcome his creative block, The Weeknd says he turned, once again, to drugs to jump-start the writing process. "I had to get that little jump," he said. "And the ball started rolling. And then I didn't need it anymore.… Right now, I feel in control. Where it takes me after, I don't know."

Through it all, one of the Oscar-nominated singer's biggest supporters remains his ex-girlfriend Bella Hadid. Earlier this week, he performed at the 2016 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show as she made her debut on the VS runway. The 20-year-old model later gushed about her ex via Instagram, writing, "Thank you @theweeknd for being the best and most incredible performer on the planet. You KILLED it, as always."

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