The Weeknd graces the cover of TIME’s “Next Generation Leaders” issue. The cover story, done by Kara Brown, touches on the XO crooner’s rise to superstar status, headlining Coachella 2018, and the release of his The Weeknd – My Dear Melancholy, EP. Serving as his first interview since 2016, the Toronto singer touches on his music resonating with millennials, relationships, and scrapping an album prior to putting on his chart-topping EP.

“Prior to Melancholy, I had a whole album written, done,” Tesfaye says. “Which wasn’t melancholy at all because it was a different time in my life.” I ask if that album, presumably recorded while he was still with Gomez, was more upbeat. “Yeah,” he says. “It was very upbeat—it was beautiful.” But he scrapped the project because he’s moved past that part of his life. “I don’t want to perform something that I don’t feel,” he says. Will we ever hear it? “Never,” he insists.

Continue after the jump….

Read the full cover story by clicking here

Previously:
The Weeknd – “Call Out My Name” (Video)
The Weeknd’s My Dear Melancholy, Debuts No. 1 on Billboard
The Weeknd – My Dear Melancholy, (EP)
The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar – “Pray For Me”