Verge’s Artist of the Week: The Weeknd

Now that we’ve all had time to check out (and fall in love with) his new album as we watched it sky rocket to the top of billboard charts, it’s clear why The Weeknd will close out the summer as our top artist pick of the week.

The Weeknd, Abel Tesfaye, has had quite the journey since dropping out of high school at age 17 to start a music career. After gaining popularity on his first three mixed tapes with his unique, ethereal voice and futuristic slow jams through word of mouth and eventually promotions by artists like Drake and top music publications, the R&B singer broke his way into the pop music scene.  Having a track on the Hunger Games, a featuring on Sia’s “Elastic Heart”, collaborating with Arianna Grande in “Love Me Harder”, and debuting a song on the 50 Shades of Grey soundtrack in the last couple years, he has been very successful but very scattered from his original sound. Dropping last week in the UK, his album, Beauty Behind the Madness, featured familiar radio hits of “The Hills”, “Often”, “Can’t Feel My Face”, and the infamous 50 shades featured track “Earned It”, soulful collaborations with Labrinth, Lana del Rey, and UK’s own Ed Sheeran, as well as many other debuted songs. This album, expected to compete with other pop artist and even featuring songs with them, happily surprised many fans by coming back to his roots of the darkly sensual, grimy, messed-up persona we fell in love with when he released his first tracks online for free in 2010. Through this album’s released tracks he also became the first person in history to hold the top 3 songs on the hot R&B sounds chart.

The Weeknd has had a busy summer full of touring major concert venues, music video releases, and album promotion. Fresh in our minds is his most recent performance at the VMAs that had even Kanye West, a major inspiration of his, out of his seat dancing. He also just announced that he will be playing at the Apple Music Festival at London’s Roundhouse on Sept. 23rd which was the icing on the cake of securing his spot as our Artist of the Week.

You can listen to all of his music on Spotify now and keep an ear out for European tour dates said to be coming soon!

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