The Weeknd’s first encounter with Taylor Swift — who he later appeared onstage with on her 1989 tour — was a strange one: In a Rolling Stone cover story, Abel Tesfaye recounts how Swift spent their first conversation touching his signature mane of hair.
“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,” he said. “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.'”
Tesfaye also talks about his connection to Drake, whom he first worked with on Drake’s 2011 album Take Care. “I gave up almost half of my album,” Tesfaye said, referring to the songs he handed over to Drake that were originally intended for his own mixtape, House of Balloons. “It’s hard. I will always be thankful — if it wasn’t for the light he shined on me, who knows where I’d be. And everything happens for a reason.”
And where he is now is a pretty good place: He just made his official Saturday Night Live debut as the NBC show’s musical guest Oct. 10, and his two most recent singles — “Can’t Feel My Face” and “The Hills” — have both peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.