|Often called the songbird of his generation, The Weeknd is an incredible sensation that you won’t want to miss.
Abel Tesfaye was born in 1990 in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada. His parent’s immigrated from Ethiopia in the 1980s?, so he is a first-generation citizen. His father was not part of his young life, and his mother was always working, so Tesfaye was raised mostly by his grandmother. Therefore, the first language he learned was Amharic. He grew up listening to all different genres of music including soul, quiet storm, hip hop, funk, indie rock and post-punk. He attended Samuel Hearne Middle School and later West Hill Collegiate Institute but dropped out of high school at age 17. This is when he adopted his stagename, “The Weeknd?,” after leaving one weekend and never coming home.
The start of The Weeknd
After dropping out, Tesfaye did his best to focus on pursuing a career in music. He met producer Jeremy Rose, who had an idea for a dark musical project. After pitching the idea to Curtis Santiago, Rose played an instrument that Tesfaye freestyled over. They impressed Santiago, and then began working on an album together. They recorded songs such as “What You Need,” “Loft Music” and “The Morning.” However, things did not work out with Rose. He let Tesfaye keep the tracks as long as he credited them to Rose if he released them to the public. Tesfaye went on to upload them to YouTube under the name “The Weeknd.” The tracks immediately took off on the Internet, drawing attention after rapper Drake posted the songs on his blog. In addition, Tesfaye received coverage from respected media outlets, such as Pitchfork and The New York Times.
After that, Tesfaye released the nine-track mixtape House of Balloons for free through his website and was met with critical acclaim.Throughout the rest of the rest of the year he embarked on a tour and even collaborated with Drake. On August 18, 2011 his second mixtape was released and was, again, received well by critics. His third and final mixtape hit the public on December 21, 2011, making for three mixtapes in one year, which became collectively known as the “Balloons Triology.” He garnered so much attention that his website crashed due to the large amount of downloads.
Rise to fame
After he signed with Universal Republic, Tesfaye remastered his mixtapes and bundled them with three new songs for Trilogy, which was issued in November 2012. He was featured on the song “Love Me Harder” with Ariana Grande, which reached the Top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100. In addition, his song “Earned It” was featured in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” film and was also a No.1 single. In 2015, Tesfaye released two songs that dominated the charts: “The Hills” and “Can’t Feel My Face.” They were the first two singles for his album Beauty Behind the Madness, which debuted in August 2015 and was widely popular around the globe.