Genre: Alternative Hip Hop
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
Albums: Trilogy (2012)
Other: Released 3 mixtapes in 2011 prior to his first album.
In late 2010, The Weeknd began uploading a series of R&B tracks to YouTube and other file-sharing services and instantly generated buzz in the music community. The artist, whose identity was originally unknown except for photos posted on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and other social media sites, finally dropped his official first album in March 2011 and fans were able to learn his real name - Abel Tesfaye. In addition to being one of the most popular voices in alternative R&B today, Tesfaye, who hails from Toronto, Canada, has managed to harness the power of the internet to gain a significant following and bring his music to an ever-expanding audience of listeners. He has also tapped into a unique formula that has revolutionized the music industry by offering free downloads to fans.
The Weeknd's first album, House of Balloons, was critically-acclaimed from all corners of the music scene, with pop star Drake being a notable celebrity who offered links from his Twitter page so his fans could check out the rising artist. Drake has been instrumental in growing The Weeknd's burgeoning following and has helped him book gigs and meet many artists in his genre.
After The Weeknd's first performance in July 2011, word continued to spread among the R&B community about his incredible talent. In late 2011, Tesfaye released another mix tape dubbed Echoes of Silence, a highly-anticipated release that initially crashed the artist's website from the amazing amount of downloads requested within the first few hours of is release. This not only proved that the artist had truly arrived, but how big of a role social media platforms can play in spreading the word about a new musician.
Since The Weeknd's unconventional debut, he has become one of the most popular artists on the music scene today and completed a series of huge performances in the United States, including gigs at Lollapalooza and Coachella. Fresh off his European tour, The Weeknd will soon get back into the studio to cut out another album. It's safe to say his fans are waiting with bated breath to witness the growth of one of the most compelling musical talents in the world today.