Music

The Weeknd’s new album reaches new popularity

The Weeknd’s new album “Starboy” was the No. 1 most streamed album internationally this past week, according to Spotify’s records. It features collaborations from Daft Punk, Lana Del Rey and Kendrick Lamar, and is just another step up on the artist’s catapult into fame.

The one word I would use when describing “Starboy” is unpredictable. The listener may think they know what kind of music The Weeknd produces, but on this album every song sounds and feels different, something a lot of artists have trouble accomplishing.

The Weeknd gets intimate and personal in this album, using lines such as “you’ve been scared of love and what it did to you, you don’t have to run, I know what you’ve been through,” or “I ran out of tears when I was 18, so nobody made me but the main streets.”

Pop music is best known for simple, universal lyrics. The Weeknd goes beyond this. He’s been doing something unexpected in pop, with his intensely deep, vulnerable and emotional lyrics, lines that are hard to forget and hit you hard.

The pop star’s sophomore album “Beauty Behind The Madness” contributed to a peak in his career. He received an impressive seven Grammy nominations and an Academy Award for his 2015 hit “Earned It.”

Abel Tesfaye is the man behind The Weeknd. Originally from Canada, Tesfaye sings, writes songs and produces records. He first began his career when he was 17 years old and he and a friend dropped out of high school.

“We grabbed our mattresses from our parents threw it in our friends shitty van and left one weekend and never came back home,” he wrote to fans on Reddit.

Tesfaye began anonymously uploading songs to YouTube in late 2010, and has experienced great popularity since then.

Something that sets him aside from other artists in this generation is his mysterious and secretive persona, which is nearly impossible to have given nosy and prying celebrity culture. During the beginning of his career he let his music speak for itself, but when he signed a record in 2013 he revealed himself as Abel Tesfaye from Toronto.

His notorious privacy, coupled with his status as one of the most well-known artists in the world right now, is what drives his fans and his fame. Not knowing is exactly what draws people to his music. The Weeknd also worked on Drake’s LP “Take Care” in 2011, which is what first put him on people’s radar. Now, The Weeknd is one of the major players in R&B and pop music, selling out his own shows and taking over the charts.

His ability to cover all kinds of genres attracts all kinds of people and is something that has added to his worldwide fame. Fans of leading pop artists such as Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande listen to his music, as well as fans of rappers such as Drake and Future.

The hype surrounding The Weeknd and his new album is well deserved. His journey and transformation from Abel Tesfaye to The Weeknd is one that is respectable, and it should be interesting to see what he does with the rest of his career.

 

Phoebe Smith is a junior public relations major. Her column appears weekly in Pulp. You can email her at phsmith@syr.edu or follow her on Twitter @phoebesmithh5.

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