The Weeknd Interviews 10-Year-Old AI Version of Himself, Tells Him ‘You Say Superpower a Lot'

Things got strange when The Weeknd used OpenAI to interview his younger self.

Samir Hussein / Samir Hussein / WireImage

The Weeknd thinks the 10-year-old "version" of himself says "superpower" a little too much.

That's what the pop star took away from an OpenAI-assisted interview with a fictional 10-year-old-self Abel Tesfaye for 032c in collaboration with SSENSE. The interview format and photoshoot was more experimental than a traditional editorial, given that The Weeknd's image was recorded and rendered by Harmony Korine's EDGLRD (also utilized in Korine's 2023 film AGGRO DR1FT).

According to the Dawn FM artist, the idea to revisit his past stemmed from a dream. "It wasn’t a nightmare, but it was really weird and haunting. It was about me at my childhood home [and] I couldn’t get in. I was locked out," he said. Later, he realized that the experience was "trying to tell me to tap into the past and who I was."

The two also had a playful banter about their favorite cartoons. While young Abel Tesfaye loved Tom & Jerry, Dragon Ball Z, South Park, and The Simpsons (which he later appeared in), the current Tesfaye prefers Daria, Duckman, and King of the Hill.

The Weeknd Interviews Abel Tesfaye

After reconfiguring his body with @EDGLRD and uploading his former self to @OpenAI, @theweeknd meets his (virtual) inner child.

— SSENSE (@SSENSE) June 11, 2024
Twitter: @SSENSE

Meanwhile, young Tesfaye dreamed up plans to make a future cartoon called Adventures in Daydreams: The Abel Chronicles, while his older self proposed that it be an "ultimate escape from reality," similar to the 2006 fantasy film Pan's Labyrinth.

Perhaps Young Tesfaye might've been a little too excited to speak to himself, as The Weeknd said, "you say 'superpower' a lot" after they briefly discussed laughter. The pair also chatted about God and their mother, Samrawit Hailu, who The Weeknd named his coffee brand, Samra Origins, after.

The article also follows a similar model when Donald Glover interviewed himself for Interview Magazine in 2022.

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