Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Weeknd

'I Can't Feel My Face' hit #1 on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart last week.  He's just announced an arena tour of North America for the fall. He's playing a club show TONIGHT in his hometown of Toronto.  He just dropped a killer video for 'Tell Your Friends'.  His new album 'Beauty Behind The Madness' comes out this Friday. AND he's performing at The MTV Video Music Awards this Sunday.  The Weeknd is the KING of the World right now.

OH YEAH - Tom Cruise also lip synced to his song on Fallon calling it the song of the summer.

I first heard about The Weeknd around the online release of 'House of Balloons' in 2011.  I was part of the grand jury for that year's Polaris Music Prize to which this album had been shortlisted.  It never won the prize but local music journalist Anupa Mistry was there to champion the album and made many of the jury, myself included, take notice.  

The process of Polaris' grand jury calls for members to listen to the albums in their entirety while preparing to vote.  I chose to listen to the 10 albums while running in the early morning hours before going to work.  I remember this one vividly as it was on a rainy morning and I was running through the woods near my home at Davisville and Mount Pleasant in Toronto.  Haunting, beautiful, shocking and just god damn cool at the same time.  This album is still fire today.

For the next 3 years we tried various times to get The Weeknd to perform on The Much Music Video Awards to no avail.  The timing never worked out and or he wasn't ready.  Well this year he was more than ready and performed a medley of both 'Earned It' into 'The Hills' - Watch it here.  

When preparing for the release of 'Kiss Land' in 2013 Abel and his management came into the office to meet my team.  They wanted to say hello and show us the latest video for 'Belong To The World'.  Abel was super shy and very humble.  He told us how crazy the last year had been for a kid that grew up in Toronto being courted by everyone.  Everyone from P. Diddy to Jimmy Iovine.  He also told us that until then he'd never been outside of Ontario let alone on an airplane.  His team took him to Japan and it blew his mind.  I'm certain that a mere 2 years later it would take a lot more than a visit to Tokyo to blow his mind.  This man headlined Coachella this year and has fast become friends with the likes of Kanye West and admired by all for his talents.

Able won 4 MMVAs this year for his videos and artistry.  He's likely to win a few Moonmen this weekend and I'd hope a Grammy or 2 come February of 2016.  

I'm lucky enough to be going to TONIGHT's show and can't wait.  This is the exciting stuff in the music business watching artists become Superstars right before your eyes.

Here's my Spotify playlist entitled The Weeknd GH

Thanks for reading/listening.


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