The Weeknd Bio
Abel Tesfaye is a Canadian born singer that goes by the name The Weeknd, and famously got his start by uploading to YouTube in 2010. Using the success of the social media giant to gain recognition, he followed it up by releasing several mixtapes throughout 2011 named “House of Balloons”, “Thursday” and “Echoes of Silence”. Through the success of touring and word of mouth Abel gained the attention of Republic Records, signing a contract that led to the compilation album Trilogy. This as an interesting first release with Republic since it was just a remastered version of all of his mixtapes, but with 3 additional songs. It was a risk that paid off big, as he managed to grow his fan base with this move, ultimately reaching platinum status.
Abel’s first studio album titled “Kiss Land was released in 2013, and featured collaborations with big name artists like Drake. His recognition continued to grow and he was even managed to get some play time on the Hunger Games soundtrack. The Weeknd is not your typical R&B crooner and has joined a legion of artists that have been pigeonholed in the indie R&B scene or more notably the PBR&B genre. The PBR&B was a term created by writer Eric Harvey, and it has a love hate relationship with the artist’s associated with the term. Much like the blue eyed soul genre, many see it as a way to further separate the roots of music directly from the core. In Abel’s particular case, he maintained an anonymous persona when releasing his earlier music, and at no point was it labeled as PBR&B. Since then not only has he grown as an artists, but is so versatile that labeling it as such is almost an insult to his music.
Besides getting praise from legends like Babyface, The Weeknd’s inspirations are Michael Jackson, Prince and R. Kelly. It’s an interesting mix of artists that despite their troubles and the changes in the music industry, have still remained relevant over the years. Abel has been in the game so long that he even served as inspiration for Nick Jonas’s sophomore solo album. One of the more notable albums to Abel’s name include “Beauty Behind the Madness”, which showed just how innovative the young superstar could be. The Weeknd will continue to make hit after hit, and will be in the industry for a long time if the legends have anything to say about it.