We do all hear The Weeknd’s songs today on the radio, as the soundtracks in well-known movies, for instance, Fifty Shades of Grey, and the public is keen to know who truly the songwriter is. Songs such as Can’t Feel My Face, Starboy, and In Your Eyes are the most popular and the ones that let us easily identify whose song is it.
The Weeknd had kept himself in secret for quite a long time. In 2010, you could find the singer’s songs on Youtube, but they were published anonymously. He would later refuse to give interviews. Until 2012, the public was still wondering: So who’s the singer? Or is it a group under the name of The Weeknd? Eventually, a solo singer, Canadian, Abel Tesfaye was uncovered as the man behind the enigma of The Weeknd.
The first singer’s interview showed up in 2013. Little by little, more interviews appeared and so did the public got more information about the singer, songwriter, and producer Abel Makkonen Tesfaye. He calls his mystery mandatory. According to him, he looks ugly, doesn’t know what to say, thinks he is boring and wants people to care about his music instead of his personality, looks, or personal life. Also, in his opinion, he doesn’t give everything to people, doesn’t reveal all personal details, so it prolongs his career by the public being even more fascinated.
In the beginning, the peculiarity of the talented singer was spotted not only because of him being mysterious but also because of his one-of-a-kind hairstyle, which was kind of divided into four sections. Even Abel Makkonen Tesfaye itself thought that this kind of looks separates him from others and what he didn’t want to be was being boring. When people got used to his hairstyle and his friends were telling he wouldn’t be The Weeknd without it, the singer changed his hairstyle to prove that individuality can be maintained without any posh, odd hairstyle and his works are enough.
The family story of The Weeknd is not less unique. His mother originated in Ethiopia but emigrated. The singer was raised by his mother and his grandmother. His father left them when he was just one or two years old, but Tesfaye doesn’t judge him. He says, his father wasn’t abusive, he wasn’t an alcoholic, and wasn’t an asshole, he just wasn’t there. The singer was the only child, but he often wished he had a brother, and that’s the reason why sometimes he used to lie to people of having a brother. The roots of the family reflect in The Weeknd works. Though he was born in Toronto, Canada, he was always interested in Ethiopia. Despite his mother disliking to open up about Ethiopia, the singer grew up listening to the country’s songs, he liked meals and speaks the native language. The singer says that you can identify links to Ethiopia in his songs, in his voice, and it is especially felt in a song The Hills.
In childhood, Abel Makkonen Tesfaye was not only into music but also into cinema. He wanted to become a filmmaker. The singer does not deny that he still watches movies, likes, and cannot imagine his home without comedies. By watching movies, he sometimes creates songs about certain movie scenes or characters. It’s like practice to him, which will never see daylight. Though the singer chose music, he feels a strong connection with the cinema. He would love to be depicted as a guest in TV series The Simpsons and talking of his Kiss Land album’s song Kiss Land, its music video reminds of a horror movie with screams in it. As The Weeknd says, this visualization was selected to show the listeners, and in this case, the viewers, how he feels, and what is his inner state.
The musical career, which defeated the cinema, started quite early. First of all, his mother encouraged him to make music. She brought Abel Makkonen Tesfaye to piano lessons, where he understood that he is more interested in pop music. Michael Jackson was his idol. He started his journey to his goal by setting up a hip-hop group, called Bulleez n Nerdz, where he was rapping under the name of Kin Kane. Later, he wrote lyrics for Justin Timberlake, Drake, and others. Eventually, he started a solo singer career and called himself The Weeknd.
The Weeknd pseudonym was chosen on purpose. The Weeknd comes from a word weekend but without the “e” letter. This decision was made to avoid copyright issues with a Canadian band that also had the same name. The word “weekend” has a special meaning for the singer. He claims that when he was 17 years old, he decided to leave school and did not graduate. He packed his bags on one weekend and left his home with his friends and never came back.
The weekend, after the singer left his home, became the essential one in his musical path and why he decided to call himself The Weeknd.
Abel Makkonen Tesfaye calls his team XO and it does not mean what everyone thinks. On the contrary, instead of meaning kisses and hugs, it marks narcotic substances, such as ecstasy and oxycodone. The team motto is “XO ‘til we overdose”.
The famous singer has once said that his music, its visualization, and photoshoots are closely connected to his life. For instance, the name if his first album House of Balloons indicates his residence. The prototype of his album’s name is 65 Spencer Parkdale, Toronto, where he lived with his friends, when being 17 years old he left his home. Here he partied with his friends, got into drugs, and brought girls. He claims that he had a teen life there, living separately from his parents.
Abel Makkonen Tesfaye left Toronto only at the age of 21. Now he lives in Los Angeles, Hidden Hills. Here he has two Doberman pinschers – Ceasar and Julius. His dogs are trained and nurtured. He does not deny that Ceasar and Julius are like kids to him.
The latest album After Hours, which was released in 2020, is admired not only by the public but it is also his favorite. In his opinion, he had never released a better album than After Hours. Blinding Lights is one of the most popular songs on TikTok now. He admits that he cannot dance the Blinding Lights dance, which captivated so many people.
Though the singer has changed a lot – he is already 30, we know more about him and his looks changed, but people still listen to his songs and The Weeknd is one of the best-known singers in the world. His songs become hits in many countries. The singer doesn’t deny that he loves his popularity and enjoys being a famous person. He gained others acclaim by receiving these awards: 3 Grammys, 2 American Music Awards, 9 Billboard Music Awards, 2 MTV Video Music Awards, and 9 Juno awards. Rapidly increasing popularity and his music videos’ views count proves that The Weeknd reached his goal and charmed people with his music.