The Weeknd has established himself as a credible, successful musician since first hitting the scene in 2010, but does he write his own songs?
The Weeknd certainly does write his own songs and lyrics. Not only that, but he has collaborated with many other writers and artists on various projects over the years.
Read on to learn more about The Weeknd’s marvellous musical talents.
The Weeknd – real name Abel Makkonen Tesfaye – was born into humble beginnings. He was raised without siblings, and with a father who he rarely – if ever – saw. In interviews, Tesfaye confirmed that from his childhood, he only has the briefest of recollections of his father being present.
He was born in 1990, and his parents split soon after. Following their separation, Tesfaye was raised by his mother and grandmother. He was Ethiopian by blood and descent, and lived according to their religion. Although his father abandoned the family very young, Tesfaye didn’t seem to harbor too negative thoughts toward him.
In a written piece, it’s explained that Tesfaye said: “I’m sure he’s a great guy. I never judged him. He wasn’t abusive, he wasn’t alcoholic, he wasn’t an asshole. He just wasn’t there.” However, the turbulence likely brought on by this broken home did cause issues in Tesfaye’s life.
By the age of just eleven, he was smoking weed and getting into trouble. In his later life, Tesfaye has taken opportunities to detail his battles with substances. As he grew up, he experimented with much harder drugs, such as cocaine, ketamine and ecstasy.
Tesfaye was influenced by the music he listened to when he was younger. Reportedly, he was impacted quite heavily by the music of Michael Jackson. This helped him gravitate into developing a singing voice, and learning how to write music – lyrics – himself.
It was in these teenage years that Tesfaye allegedly developed his ultimate musical persona: The Weeknd. He’s explained that he coined the name after dropping out of high school, quite literally, ‘one weekend’.
Entering The Industry
In 2010, Tesfaye had a chance meeting with a music producer with an idea for a ‘new’ genre of music. This producer was named Jeremy Rose, and wanted to spawn a ‘dark R&B’ project. The two men worked together, creating a small handful of demo tracks.
Shortly after the creation of these opening, debut titles, Tesfaye uploaded them to YouTube. He began to gain traction, being discovered slowly by other established artists in the industry. His work would be found by media outlets, and promoted further.
He started writing and producing music in earnest, and within a few short years was touring and performing. Tesfaye boasted great talent in songwriting, and penned dozens of titles. These weren’t just for him to perform, though. He also collaborated with other artists on tracks and albums.
One of Tesfaye’s most popular tracks was ‘Can’t Feel My Face’. This song was reportedly a metaphor for cocaine, but the lyrics are open to interpretation. You can see the music video for this track on YouTube, below.
Although, Tesfaye doesn’t work alone all the time. He’s known to have worked with a co-writer on numerous occasions. The most prolific among these is Swedish-born songwriter and producer, Max Martin. The two famously worked together on Can’t Feel My Face, the song listed above.
His musical talent and songwriting acumen propelled him upwards into the realms of success. His confidence and stage presence did nothing but further his career, also. In fact, by 2020, Weeknd would boast a staggering net worth of around one hundred million dollars.
He’d also have released four full studio albums by 2020, and have embarked on four tours, with another planned. For a high-school dropout with humble beginnings, Tesfaye had certainly made something of himself.