This is probably one of the few pictures of Abel Tesfaye, more commonly known as The Weeknd, that you’ll see floating around the internet. The Weeknd, being an artist that has gained attention mainly because of YouTube videos and pretty much social media publicity from his acclaimed mixtapes “House of Balloons” and “Thursday“, or maybe it’s because his friendship with Drake that has given him exposure, without a doubt, if there is one thing clear is that he is an artist that soon enough will be what everyone talks about.
I found out about The Weeknd a couple months back, one day while browsing music on Tumblr I found the song “What You Need” accompanied with black and white album artwork that seemed to be taken out from a French filmmaker camera, I clicked play. I was mesmerized by The Weeknd’s voice and production of the song, he made R&B a whole lot sexier, with a hint of electro and rock as well, the rawness of his vocals, the story behind the lyrics, that’s what drew me to his music. I downloaded every song by him, and soon enough I was jamming. I realized he’s an artist that has gained recognition while remaining incognito, his mixtape covers and singles all feature black and white pictures, but none of them feature his own self. And in a way, I think this is what makes him special, the fact that he’d rather have people recognize him because of his voice and the story behind the songs , not because of a picture of him.
This is the cover of The Weeknd’s second mixtape, “Thursday“.
Even though, lately there has been major exposure for The Weeknd (pronounced The Weakened) by Drake, I will consider him an unsung artist because not that many people know about the greatness of his music. Most of the topics of his songs have subjects such as lust/sex, morning afters, drug use, stories about that night you can’t remember, that’s what The Weeknd talks about, seems like a normal singer’s topics nowadays, but what makes his music special besides the amazing production team behind them (Illangelo and Doc McKinney) and the fact that The Weeknd’s falsetto will cautivate you and will want to make you (in most cases of course) want to immerse into Tesfaye’s darkest stories that if someone else would sing about them you’d turn around and say “stop it with your nasty thoughts you perv!“. In this case of course, it’s nothing but some of the best type of R&B, if it could even be considered that, it’s a type of music that you can easily play to relax or meditate, and think about those nights or moments you very well regret or want to live again.
Lately, if you have been paying attention to Drake, you’ve noticed his whole “Ovoxo” campaign, this is basically a collab group between Drake (October’s Very Own) and The Weeknd who often uses “XO” as his slogan and can be seen as his signature of sorts in his YouTube videos, which can as well stand for X (ecstacy) and O (oxycodone), who knows, point is that both of them are working together and as a matter of fact, their association is so far great, just check out “The Zone“. So what’s then to come? I’m thinking a ton of collaborations between the two, I’m expecting a song with The Weeknd for Drake’s upcoming album “Take Care”, and hopefully this would mean The Weeknd will get more acknowledgement within the music industry, and giving him his own spotlight which he so deserves.
In the meantime, I’m waiting for The Weeknd’s third mixtape, “Echoes of Silence“, and hopefully an upcoming album in the years to come because an artist which such quality voice and unique style, needs to step out of the incognito and be recognized.