The cold caught up with him yesterday, during a signing for 500 squealing fans at the Oxford Circus HMV. "We live in an era when everything is so excessive, I think it's refreshing for everybody to be like, ' Who the fuck is this guy? "I think that's why my career is going to be so long: Because I haven't given people everything." Spend just five minutes with him, though, and he reveals himself: sweet, soft-spoken, surprisingly earnest.When I tell him he's not what I expected, he nods.Make friends, watch amateur videos and participate in LIVE webcam sex chats.

"I was everything an R&B singer wasn't," he says. Early Weeknd songs were atmospheric and chilly, their thick narcotic haze sliced by his broken-glass falsetto.

The lyrics were an addiction counselor's worst nightmare: pills, pain, shame, serotonin, danger.

"; Sal is a courtly charmer who grew up in Beirut during the Lebanese civil war and now dates a former Miss USA.

Right now, they're trying to figure out how to get from Norway, where Tesfaye will be for promo in a few days, to Texas, where he has a show. The tour manager says he'll check, but they're talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars.

A lot of artists started doing things faster and quicker after that: Justin Timberlake dropped two albums in a year, Beyoncé dropped a surprise album." He's equally proud of the music itself: "I'm not gonna say any names, but just listen to the radio.

Every song is As Tesfaye said in a 2013 interview, "I was hungry....

That's when Tesfaye realized he "could run with the whole enigmatic thing," he says now.

"If it backfired, I probably for the rest of my life," he says. No one can do a trilogy again without thanking the Weeknd.

Tesfaye, better known as breakout pop sensation the Weeknd, is at a rehearsal for , the BBC music show, about to soundcheck his smash hit "The Hills," a four-minute horror-movie booty call featuring more than a dozen f-bombs.

For Tesfaye, that's relatively clean, but he knows the pensioners in Twickenham might disagree.

"I just started being fancy, to be honest," he says. I didn't like the way I looked in pictures — when I saw myself on a digital camera, I was like, ''" Instead of his face, his album art and videos featured black-and-white photos of artful nudes — a topless girl in a bathtub, a woman's ass in a party dress.