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The Weeknd is a promising new R&B singer who has received much critical acclaim and praise.

Abel Tesfaye, known by his stage name “The Weeknd,” is a Canadian R&B recording artist and record producer.  In late 2010, Tesfaye anonymously uploaded several songs to YouTube under the name “The Weeknd.”  He released three nine-track mixtapes throughout 2011: “House of Balloons,” “Thursday” and “Echoes of Silence,” which were critically acclaimed.  The following year, he released a compilation album, “Trilogy,” consisting of remastered versions of the mixtape material and three additional songs.  It was released through Republic Records and his own label XO.  In 2013, he released his debut studio album, “Kiss Land,”  which were supported by the singles “Kiss Land” and “Live For.”

The Weeknd has received praise from several musical publications, including Pichfork, MTV, BET, Rolling Stone, XXL and The Source.  MTV’s John Norris has dubbed him “the Songbird of his generation” and the “best musical talent since Michael Jackson.

The Weeknd’s songs have been described by The Guardian’s Hermione Hoby as being “built around a fogged, crepuscular production,” and feature slow tempos, rumbling bass and forlorn echoes.  The Weeknd sings in a falsetto register and exhibits a pleading, anxious tone.  J. D. Considine of The Globe and Mail finds Tesfaye’s singing “tremulous quality” similar to Michael Jackson but writes so that he eschews Jackson’s “strong basis in the blues” for a more Arabic-influenced melisma.  His music incorporates samples that are unconventional in R&B production, including punk and alternative rock.  Marc Hogan of Spin says that The Weeknd’s samples tend “to draw from rock-critic approved sources, though generally ones that already share elements of his sexual menace,” with samples of artists such as “Beach House,” “Siouxsie and the Banshees” and “Aaliyah.”  The Weeknd worked mostly with producers Illangelo and Doc McKinney, whom Pitchfork Media’s Ian Cohen credits with developing “a state-of-the-art R&B template” with The Weeknd.  In concert, The Weeknd uses their digitized productions with a suit-like arena rock aesthetic.

The Weeknd is the future of R&B.  His vocal harmonies and singing prowess enable him to be able to sing anything and by mixing in samples and beats from genres that are normally not associated with R&B, he has the potential to change R&B for the better.  He is a pioneer in the R&B genre and has a very bright future ahead of him.  Check out some of his biggest hits below and keep an eye out for what The Weeknd will do next.  I’m sure it won’t disappoint.

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