Sunday, 8 January 2012

The Urbanite New R&B Artist of 2011 - The Weeknd

"Bring your love baby I can bring my shame, bring the drugs baby I can bring my pain"

Such is the mystery that surrounds The Weeknd that few know what he actually looks like (FYI -the picture above is him, not some random guy we decided to put up there).  Take this review of his classic song High For This from The Guardian back in March 2011, in which the singer is described as being part of a duo whilst the writer admits that he is not really sure "who does what, and with whom".

This obscurity and mysteriousness is what sets The Weeknd apart from other singers in his field - put simply, he is not your typical all-singing, all-dancing, all-happy R&B singer.  His songs are filled with hurt, with a serious nod to the melancholy and pessimism that made Drake so appealing when he first came out.  The subject matters that he speaks of are also not so typical; take the mixtape House of Balloons, for example, which is basically the story of a series of nights (or maybe even one night) in the life of a serial playboy and drug addict.

The other notable feature that surrounds The Weeknd's music is the production; from sampling Siouxsie and the Banshee's Happy House on the song House of Balloons to sampling the chorus of Sandpaper Kisses on The Birds pt 2, the 21 year old Canadian songwriter has shown that he is not afraid to experiment musically.  For this reason, his sound is like no other in the industry today.

Along with Frank Ocean, The Weeknd is the most exciting act to emerge out of 2011.  The quality of his three mixtape releases (the aforementioned House of Balloons as well as Thursday and Echoes of Silence) was outstanding and it was of no surprise that when the third free release dropped in late December, his blog was shutdown to due server demands for the day and he became a trending topic on twitter in the US and UK.

Which all sets 2012 as the year that the singer becomes a household name in more ways than one.  It will be hard for him to keep his mysterious persona whilst his reputation grows and grows; but something tells me that won't bother him too much.  This is one year he will definitely want to stay high for.

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