Ladybrille Artist to Watch: Ethiopia’s Abel Tesfaye aka The Weeknd

It has been a minute since we narrowed in on talent to watch that will blow up in the next few years. Permit us to introduce you to the very talented 20year old Canadian-Ethiopian musician Abel Tesfaye. Tesfaye is part of a duo Canadian band called The Weeknd, made up of himself and band mate Jeremy Rose. Tesfaye has an angelic voice and very eclectic style that is hard to place in one category. Only officially on the music scene, professionally, since 2008 he is slowly but surely starting to turn heads among many industry insiders and fellow artists who hear his sound. See a full synopsis below. His latest album is titled “House of Balloons,” a mixtape. It is available for a free download below:

“The Weeknd is a Toronto-based R&B singer named Abel Tesfaye (born July 8, 1990). Songs recorded under The Weeknd name first leaked in late 2010, though the identity of the individual behind the project was initially unknown.The Weeknd released a nine-song album, House of Balloons, on 21 March 2011. The album is a part of a trilogy which includes Thursday and Echoes of Silence, to be released in the summer and autumn respectively.

House of Balloons (2011-present)

In late 2010, The Weeknd uploaded three songs – “What You Need”, “Loft Music” and “The Morning” – to YouTube. A nine-track album titled House of Balloons was digitally released on 21 March 2011 through the artist’s official website.Hip-hop artist Drake has been partly credited for generating public awareness for The Weeknd, after he quoted a line from the track “Wicked Games” via Twitter and linked to the singer’s music on his website. In a review of the House of Balloons album, Pitchfork Media’s Joe Colly wrote that “all the thematic and sonic pieces fit together – these weird, morning-after tales of lust, hurt, and over-indulgence … are matched by this incredibly lush, downcast music. It’s hard to think of a record since probably the xx’s debut … that so fully embodies such a specific nocturnal quality.” Frontier Psychiatrist’s L.V. Lopez claimed the album was “brilliant, disturbing, and not safe for work,” calling the song “Loft Music” a song that is “so unsafe it should come with a child-proof cap, so dirty that you’ll feel guilty the next time you see your wife.”

Tom Ewing of The Guardian said that although the singing and songwriting on House of Balloons “aren’t especially strong by R&B standards,” the Weeknd is receiving “so much attention” as a result of its “command of mood.” Sean Fennessey of The Village Voice called the album “impressive” and added: “It’s patient, often gorgeous, and consistently louche … with the sort of blown-out underbelly and echo-laden crooning that has already made Drake’s less-than-a-year-old Thank Me Later such an influential guidepost.”

Maegan McGregor of Exclaim! praised the album: “Packed full of sex, drugs and some downright killer production, this easily stands as one of the year’s best debuts so far, hipster, Top 40 or otherwise.” Sputnik Music’s Tyler Fisher said that “despite being a free mixtape, House of Balloons feels like a true album, a true labor of love.” The title track samples Siouxsie and the Banshees’ 1980 single “Happy House”.- Wikipedia

Download House of Balloons Free Mixtape.

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Ladybrille Magazine

Founded in 2007, Ladybrille® Magazine is a California based pioneer digital publication demystifying the image of Africans in the west through contemporary African fashion and celebrating the brilliant woman in business and leadership, with an emphasis on the African woman in the diaspora. Our coverage includes stories on capital, access to markets, expertise, hiring and retention, sales, marketing, and promotions.

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