Abel Makkonen Tesfaye aka The Weeknd has single-handedly changed the sound of Pop music.
Kicking the year off with his fifth studio album, “Dawn FM”, the artist shows no signs of cessation. Throughout a career that has spanned over a decade, there are many things the world needs to know about The Weeknd.
We’ve taken a deep dive into The Weeknd’s career, and here are five things we learned from him:
1) Synth-heavy Production
Whether it is his debut album, “Kiss Land”, or his latest, “Dawn FM”, The Weeknd has stayed true to his sound. Although some hurdles have been met, he has nevertheless evolved. His most prominent effort to recreate the 80’s sound is ‘Blinding Lights’. This track dominated Billboard’s list for the longest time, changing the course of global pop music.
A long-time collaborator and producer with a history of producing hits, Max Martin knows pop music well. His work goes beyond merely recreating the sound, to also converting it into an original piece of work. There is a good chance that 80’s history will be forgotten and the next generation will regard The Weeknd as the synth-pop pop warrior.
2) Lyrical Honesty And Vulnerability
Lyricism is one of The Weeknd’s most prominent characteristics. He has proven himself to be the most versatile singer-songwriter by exploring themes such as escapism, romance, melancholia, and his own experiences. Even though he has a list of co-writers for his songs, most of his music is written by him, as he says what he feels through the music. Despite their simplicity, his lyrics are loaded with hidden meanings and cryptic references.
3) Great Collaborations
Smart and genuine collaborations are probably one of his biggest factors in selling records. Having the world at his fingertips, The Weeknd has the option to collaborate with anyone he wants, but that’s not the case. His list of collaborators includes Daft Punk, Drake, Lil Wayne, Kendrick Lamar, Lana Del Rey, Future, Kygo, Swedish House Mafia, Quincy Jones, Tyler, the Creator, etc. It showcases how wisely and skillfully he selects his artists for collaboration, and that is what makes them so special.
In contrast to other collaborative artists who have equal shares in the track, we’ve noticed that The Weeknd collaborates with artists who complement and enhance his sound, rather than creating something completely different for the fans to figure out.
4) Cinematic Style Of Music Videos
As we discuss the sound, we want to mention the artist’s visual identity as well. The colossal scale of his dark, gritty, and edgy cinematic styles are evident in top-rated videos such as “Starboy”, “Blinding Lights”, “The Hills”, and “Save Your Tears”. All of his music videos are one step ahead of the curve. The videos also feature plenty of references to various subcultures, just as his songs do.
5) Giving Back To The People
His fans have been an important part of making The Weeknd who he is today, and he fully realizes this. In recognition of emotions, the artist established charitable institutions and donated to various organizations. As well as raising millions of dollars through his live performances, financings, and merchandise, he has also done a great deal of fundraising. His humanitarian work was recognized with the Quincy Jones Humanitarian Award, and he was also appointed a Goodwill Ambassador by the UN.
All in all, This Weeknd is the definition of what a true artist should be. Artists who incorporate these characteristics will surely see their careers advance.
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Feature Image via The Weeknd.