The Weeknd – Rolling Stone (Video)

Posted in music on October 4th, 2012 by urbanguy
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The Weeknd: Echoes of Silence (Review)

Posted in music on December 23rd, 2011 by urbanguy

As promised, R&B revolutionary Abel Tesfaye, aka the Weeknd, and his OVO XO team drop Echoes of Silence in autumn 2011, the last day of the fall season to be exact. Much like the previous effortThursday, his website servers ending up crashing due to the overwhelming audience demand to hear how the mixtape trilogy wraps up. Destined to be a fixture on many year-end lists, it’s a given that by now, you’re either down with Tesfaye’s plaintive falsetto or you’re not.

The Echoes of Silence mood remains shadowy, the lyrics unnerving and the production austere. If you’ve heard some of his pre-Weeknd efforts, you know that the 21-year-old appreciates him some Michael Jackson so the opening rendition of “Dirty Diana” doesn’t seem out of place. In fact, “D.D.” is a perfect cover in that it fits in with Tesfaye’s vibe and is arguably sung with more sincerity that MJ ever could have mustered. The bilingual, cathedral sound of “Montreal” is one of his brightest sounding efforts, “Outside” sounds like a lost House of Balloons cut while “Next” goes in on the meta tip: “You just

want me cuz I’m next.” Title track “Echoes of Silence” is representative of the entire musical oeuvre that Tesfaye’s presented all year: a boundary-pushing, genre-bending and progressive R&B sound that’s already transcended the typical “Canadian urban” sound and captured widespread attention. With rumblings of the Weeknd heading out on tour with Drake in 2012 and “not outside the realm of possibility” appearances on respective 2012 SXSW and Coachella line-ups, the Weeknd is on the rise — press/media and major record label rebuffs notwithstanding. Once the dust settles, however, music history will note that last March’s House of Balloons was the strongest effort out of all the three mixtapes the Weeknd released this year.

Make no mistake however: this was Tesfaye’s year and Echoes of Silence puts an enjoyable cap on a successful 2011 campaign. - Ryan B. Patrick (Originally published online at Exclaim! Magazine!)

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Waiting on the Weeknd…

Posted in music on December 3rd, 2011 by urbanguy

“On an unseasonably warm Sunday evening in November, local Toronto radio station Flow 93.5 FM has scored somewhat of a coup ― an exclusive live in-studio with Toronto’s own Aubrey Drake Graham as he pushes his new album, the soon to be platinum selling sophomore effort Take Care. It’s more love-in than actual interview ― Drizzy is gracious but humble to a fault as he gives props to touring DJ Future the Prince, shouts out crew members (of his massive creative team titled October’s Very Own or OVO XO) such as producer/engineer Noah “40″ Shebib, and casually dials up fellow Young Money mate and hip-hop heavyweight Lil Wayne. Surprisingly, Drake also calls up one Abel Tesfaye, aka the Weeknd, who is featured on five Take Care cuts.”

Head on over to read my Exclaim! Magazine cover story on the enigmatic Abel Tesfaye, also known as The Weeknd. Despite getting ZERO response from the XO camp, it turned out pretty well methinks.

It’s undoubtedly been a huge year for the Toronto-based Tesfaye. On the mixtape front, House of Balloons was a big record. Didn’t vibe to Thursday the same way but it was cool. Many industry peeps in the city are pulling for him (and for the urban music takeover movement the OVO XO crew seem to be building). The Weeknd is an intriguing artist for sure; 2012 seems to be his breakout year.

Now there’s that Echoes of Silence at?

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The Weeknd: Thursday (Review)

Posted in funky snob, music on August 30th, 2011 by urbanguy

If Abel Tesfaye is feeling the pressure, he’s not saying. As the Weeknd, the notoriously enigmatic and media-shy alt-R&B act, he’s owned summer with the initial House of Balloons mixtape, which had everyone scrambling to tell their best “I heard it first” tall tales.

Full review over at Exclaim! If you haven’t already (for shame!), check out what the fuss is all about over at the Toronto-based wunderkind’s site:

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