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Top 5 Reasons we Love the Weeknd

VO: Lisa Yang
This Canadian artist has certainly made a name for himself. Not only is he a musical genius but he has so many qualities that make him such a gem. He highly respects his heritage, he’s not afraid of experimenting, he’s super loyal to his fans and his music videos are cinematic gems!

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Top 5 Reasons We Love the Weeknd

He’s the motherf***ing Starboy. Welcome to MsMojo and today we are counting down the top five reasons why we love the Weeknd.

For this list, we’re taking a look at some of the interesting facts and lesser-known stories that make us huge fans of this Toronto superstar.

#5: He Made a New Genre

Following the release of his debut mixtape, “House of Balloons,” many critics were left pretty much in awe. The furthest thing from a set of generic R&B tracks, the then-anonymous Abel Tesfaye brought with him an unconventional but wholly addictive sound. While his lyrical talents would only improve with future albums, his ability to create a moody and dark atmosphere in the music remained a staple of the Weeknd identity. The songs themselves still hit hard enough that you can easily blast them out at any party or club, but there’s also a sombre vibe to his tracks, which have since taken on the label of alternative or dark R&B.

#4: He Respects His Heritage

While born and raised in Canada, the Weeknd’s background extends all the way to Ethiopia. His parents emigrated to Scarborough, Ontario in the 80s. While also exposed to the multicultural scene of the time, Abel obviously has a great amount of admiration for his ancestral country. He’s gone on record saying how Ethiopian artists like Tilahun Gessesse and Aster Aweke had a great effect on him in his youth, serving as ‘subconscious inspirations.’ Fluent in Amharic, the mother language of northern and central Ethiopia, Tesfaye has incorporated this part of his cultural heritage in his work, as first heard on the chart-topping track “The Hills.”

#3: His Music Videos are Cinematic Gems

If you thought the Weeknd had a touch of darkness in his songs, then just wait unto you see the music videos. Hit tracks like “Starboy” and “The Hills” especially stand out in this regard due to stylistically resembling something you would see out of a horror movie. Starboy literally opens with the Weeknd killing a different version of himself via asphyxiation, while The Hills has him walking away from the wreckage of his overturned car, clearly injured, before walking towards a hellish looking room. You’d be forgiven for thinking the likes of John Carpenter or David Cronenberg had a hand in directing them.

#2: He’s Not Afraid to Experiment

Right from the beginning, the Weeknd has always showed zero fear of stepping outside musical norms, so is it any surprise he would go on to continually expand his musical horizons? He’s dabbled with the likes of trap and even mainstream pop in his own work and has collaborated with everyone from Daft Punk to Lana Del Rey to Drake, and even Ed Sheeran. Will he keep on bringing in more radical elements to his songs? Well, he’s only three albums in and already the musicological aspects of his work stand as an inspiration for both established and aspiring creators in the industry.

#1: He’s Loyal to his Fans

You know you’re dealing with a man with a whole lot of character when he goes out of his way to openly apologise and reassure his underground supporters that they won’t be forgotten, and even when signing onto major record labels will always give back to those who helped him get so far. This loyalty also extends to that of XO, his personal record label made up of friends, photographers and the rest of his crew, who are seemingly such an integral part of his life that for every new song, business venture and tweet the XO signature won’t be far behind. Nice to see that while he may be embracing his immense fame, the Weeknd still remains true to himself and those closest to him.


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