The music world knows Abel Makkonen Tesfaye as The Weeknd. This Canadian singer, songwriter, and producer made a name for himself with hits like “Starboy” and “I Feel It Coming.”
Here’s how The Weeknd became a successful pop singer.
1. He got his start by releasing music anonymously online.
In 2010, Abel uploaded a few songs to YouTube anonymously. He posted his music under the name “The Weeknd,” which would become the name under which he rose to fame. The songs, which he created with producer Jeremy Rose, drew the attention of everyone from Drake to the New York Times.
Abel kept this anonymity for the first bit of his career.
2. He self-released his debut mixtape.
The Weeknd took his career into his own hands from the very beginning. He self-released his debut mixtape, House of Balloons, in 2011. He worked with several influential producers in Canada and then embarked on a tour of the local area.
Drake was in attendance at his first appearance, and the two worked together soon after.
3. He broke into mainstream radio with a number one single.
In subsequent years, The Weekend created many hit songs, becoming the first male artist to hold the top three spots on the Billboard Hot R&B Songs chart at the same time. He performed at several major music festivals, such as Coachella and Lollapalooza.
The Weeknd’s major break into mainstream, Top 40 radio came with “Starboy.” This hit from his third studio album of the same name made The Weeknd one of the most talked-about stars of the summer. He continues to stay in the spotlight, both for his music and for his high-profile relationship with fellow musician Selena Gomez.
The Weeknd is one of the biggest current stars in popular music. He rose from online anonymity to Top 40 hits by maintaining control of his own career.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.