The Weeknd Opens Up About His ‘Heavy’ Drug Use

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The Weeknd admitted he relied on “heavy” drugs in order to write music in the past.

The singer, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, got really candid about his past drug use in a new interview with The Guardian. “When I had nothing to do but make music, it was very heavy,” he explained to the newspaper. “Drugs were a crutch for me. There were songs of my first record that were seven minutes long, rambling — whatever thoughts I was having when I was under the influence at the time.”

He revealed he first smoked weed at age 11 before moving onto cocaine, MDMA, painkillers, Xanax, mushrooms, ketamine, and cough syrup back in his Toronto hometown.

Although his drug use has eased up since 2010, The Weeknd admitted he looked to drugs again to spark inspiration for his latest record, Starboy. “I’ll be completely honest with you,” he confessed. “The past couple of albums, I do get back to that. Even on this new album. You have writer’s block. And sometimes you’re like, I can’t do this sober.”

“I had to get that little jump, and the ball started rolling. And then I didn’t need it anymore,” the “Can’t Feel My Face” hitmaker continued.

Meanwhile, Starboy hit No. 1 on the Billboard Album 200 chart. The album sold 348,000 in equivalent album units, making it the third-largest debut of the year.

The Weeknd’s Starboy is out now. Stream it below.