The Weeknd has opened up about what he called his "dark" past growing up in Toronto.
The R&B star, who was born Abel Tesfaye, spoke to The Guardian for an interview published Sunday. Before creating such hits as "Can’t Feel My Face," "Earned It" and his current collaboration with Daft Punk, "Starboy," The Weeknd says he was a lonely kid being raised by his single mom.
"I didn’t have a father figure in the house," the singer told the paper. "No boys around. Just me and my mom."
At 17, he decided on a whim to move out of his mother's house and into a one-bedroom apartment with a friend. The pair partied and stole food from supermarkets, spending the money they had on alcohol and drugs, including Ketamine, cocaine, MDMA, mushrooms and cough syrup, The Weeknd said.
"When I had nothing to do but make music, it was very heavy," he said. "Drugs were a crutch for me. There were songs on my first record that were seven minutes long, rambling -- whatever thoughts I was having when I was under the influence at the time. I can’t see myself doing that now."
Yet, he later admitted in the interview to still using drugs while creating music.
"I’ll be completely honest with you. The past couple of albums, I do get back to that," he said, referring to his drug use. "Even on this new album. You have writer’s block. And sometimes you’re like, I can’t do this sober."
Asked about whether he ever sought treatment, The Weeknd responded, "No. Definitely not. I think that’s more when you’re privileged, you know? Going to a therapist is not something you do when you’re growing up as a street kid in Toronto. Sorry, bro."
The singer also admitted to having what the Guardian calls a “near miss with the law,” though he didn't go into detail beyond saying it was "bad enough for me to smarten up, to focus."
The Weeknd added that after wounding his mother -- who he said looked at him like he had "failed" the day he moved out -- he was motivated to make something of himself. The Guardian reports that his mother now has a new place and new car.
"I couldn’t ever go back home without being something. I probably would never have gone back home," he said. "That was definitely a big motivation. To get back home, and not empty-handed."
A rep for the Weeknd has not yet responded to ABC News’ request for further comment.