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The Lasso

The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

The Weeknd’s Meteoric Rise to Spotify Supremacy: A Musical Odyssey

Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, better known by his stage name The Weeknd, has emerged as an international sensation, gaining an audience with his special mix of R&B pop, and electronic music and born on February 16, 1990, in Toronto, Canada. The Weeknd’s experiences from underground mixtape artist to Spotify’s number-one, is a new challenge to keep his spot on top.

The Weeknd is playing the piano. (Entertainment Weekly)

The beginning of Roots of the Weeknd’s rise to fame all began with a lot of mysterious mixtapes which came out in 2011 named “House of Balloons,” “Thursday,” and “Echoes of Silence.” His astounding voice and creative lyrics initially caught the attention of music fans, especially because of the darkness of his R&B scene. The attentiveness of his persona in his songs is infused with the individuality of the dark themes in his earlier work. It started a buzzing around his work that attracted people to his music.

“The Weeknd is a great artist, but I would only really listen to him if he’s on the radio, or being blasted at a party,” says teacher Joshua Castro.

The Weeknd then had a mainstream breakthrough in 2012 when he released the album “Trilogy,” which promoted remastered versions of his mixtapes and extra tracks. And this was the breakthrough from being underground to becoming mainstream. After the release of this album, it went on to receive a lot of praise. His potential to seamlessly mix R&B, pop, and electronic music shows his capabilities.

The innovation and adaptability in the streaming era in which the Weeknd involved himself was rooted in the power that he has used in his music and lyrics. The level of engagement that his viewers/listeners have shown shows his fans who he is.

Album cover of “Dawn FM”

Some of his most popular songs/albums were “Kiss Land” (2013) and “Beauty Behind the Madness” (2015). His release of these songs/albums was the breaking point of his fame. After that he then released hit singles like “Can’t Feel My Face” and “The Hills.” He also started having very strategic collaborations with artists such as Ariana Grande, Daft Punk, and Kendrick Lamar. And with these collaborations, it has helped raise him from down under, to the top.

“The Weeknd is a very consistent artist who pushes himself to fame,” says sophomore Luke Castaneda.

As Spotify started taking over becoming a giant in the digital streaming world, The Weeknd joined them with open arms. The moments that he joined, he started his race to the top. Conjoined with the streaming platform algorithms, he allowed his music to reach a high number on the lists. With all of his creativity and infectious beats, he related to a lot of people who started becoming attracted to him.

This poster is showing some of his most popular songs.

On top of everything, The Weeknd’s appearance on Spotify has drastically changed the platform as a whole. And every time he posts a song or album he releases it on most social media including YouTube, where he has a total of 34.3 subscribers. He is also very consistent with all of his behind-the-scenes content-posting collaborations with fashion labels, luxury goods companies, and consumer electronics brands, lifting him off the ground and even more in popularity.

File:The Weeknd performing at Djakarta Warehouse Project in December 2018 – Wikimedia Commons

The Weeknd’s music started to resonate with the listeners, and then he started to see a global audience. His ability to preserve the music in his songs and when he would infuse some themes of love, self-discovery, and heartbreak showed that he could relate to the viewers. He also started spreading popular culture through collaborations with major brands, appearances in film and television, and a visually stunning halftime show performance at the Super Bowl in 2021.

So, his journey to becoming number one on Spotify’s number one, was a huge success. And with all of his hard work finally paid off and he got what he deserved. Music, technology, and culture are changing the industry in fresh, strange ways as The Weeknd grows as an artist.

In February of 2023, the Weeknd surpassed Taylor Swift, which started making him even more popular. The song that helped him the most to pass Taylor Swift was “Blinding Lights.” As of February 6th, that song has 4.048 billion streams, becoming the most streamed song in the world.

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About the Contributor
Peter Rocha
Peter Rocha, Writer
Peter Rocha is an amazing student who continues to excel in all his work. In his free time, he loves to play basketball and soccer. And he is now starting this new journey in the class of Journalism! He enjoys hard work and is always ready for a good work experience.
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  • L

    London CarterFeb 14, 2024 at 10:48 am

    This is amazing, I’ve never been more interested in reading about Abel’s rise on the app we all know as Spotify! #reallyamazing

  • C

    Che'Feb 7, 2024 at 1:45 pm

    Great Article Pedro Rocha!

    • P

      PeterFeb 8, 2024 at 2:46 pm

      Gracias Che:)

  • J

    JacobFeb 7, 2024 at 11:49 am

    I love The Weeknd so i also love this article to i want more of these articles

    • P

      PeterFeb 7, 2024 at 1:42 pm

      Okay sir I got you:)