Welcome to our collection of quotes by The Weeknd. We hope you enjoy pondering them and please share widely.
Abel Makkonen Tesfaye (born February 16, 1990), known professionally as the Weeknd, is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and record producer. Noted for his distinctive singing voice with a soaring falsetto and its singular tremolo, Tesfaye is considered an influential figure in contemporary popular music. He has received numerous accolades throughout his career, including three Grammy Awards, five American Music Awards, nineteen Billboard Music Awards, two MTV Video Music Awards, fifteen Juno Awards, and an Academy Award nomination.
Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Tesfaye began his recording career in 2009 by anonymously releasing music on YouTube. Two years later, he co-founded the XO record label and released the critically acclaimed mixtapes House of Balloons, Thursday and Echoes of Silence. He quickly earned a following and recognition from several mainstream publications due to his dark style of contemporary R&B and the mystique surrounding his identity. In 2012, Tesfaye signed with Republic Records and re-released the mixtapes in the compilation album Trilogy. His debut studio album Kiss Land was released in 2013. His critically acclaimed single "Earned It", from the soundtrack to the film Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance and was nominated for Best Original Song at the 88th Academy Awards.
Tesfaye gained major critical and commercial success with his second studio album Beauty Behind the Madness (2015). It topped the US Billboard 200 and was among the best-selling albums of that year. With the Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles "Can't Feel My Face" and "The Hills", Beauty Behind the Madness won the Grammy Award for Best Urban Contemporary Album and was nominated for Album of the Year. Tesfaye's third studio album Starboy (2016) was a similar commercial success and included the number-one single of the same name. Starboy also won the Grammy Award for Best Urban Contemporary Album. His fourth studio album After Hours (2020) featured the worldwide chart record-setting single "Blinding Lights", and the number-one singles "Heartless" and "Save Your Tears".
Among the world's best selling musical artists with over 75 million records sold, Tesfaye is also one of the most-streamed artists on Spotify. His single "Blinding Lights" was the most streamed song on Spotify in 2020. He holds several Billboard chart records; which include being the first artist to simultaneously hold the top three spots on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart with "Can't Feel My Face", "Earned It", and "The Hills", and for having the longest-charting song of all time with "Blinding Lights". In 2020, Tesfaye was listed by Time as one of the world's most influential people.
My production and songwriting and the environment around those vocals are not inspired by RandB at all.
I was everything an RandB singer wasn't. I wasn't in shape. I wasn't a pretty boy.
I'm a studio rat.
I feel like I'm changing pop culture.
I want to produce the music to a movie that I'm working on, like what Prince did with 'Purple Rain.'
Nothing feels better than going onstage and everybody is singing every word -- and actually wanting to see you.
When you come to my show, I want it to feel like opera, like a theatre.
I love trying new things.
I couldn't ever go back home without being something. I probably would never have gone back home. That was definitely a big motivation. To get back home, and not empty-handed.
Literally wrote 'Starboy' in 30 minutes.
When I was born, that was the music my mother was listening to. Michael Jackson is a third parent to me.
The effect of music on fashion has been immense, especially hip-hop and urban music.
Going home helps the content.
I always use Michael as, first and foremost, a vocal inspiration, and 'Off the Wall' was definitely the one that made me feel like I could sing.
I feel like I'm the kind of guy that would have kids before getting married. The first thing would be kids.
Me not finishing school -- in my head, I still have this insecurity when I'm talking to someone educated.
'Eastern Promises' is great.
The game is changing with songs like 'Earned It' as opposed to it changing me.
People always say when they meet me that I'm not what they expect. I assume they think I'm this super dark and depressing guy, but I like to channel all of those emotions into my work.
A chorus is not easy.
Even though I've been putting out bodies of work for years, 'Beauty Behind the Madness' felt like the beginning.
The Internet, man, is a beautiful thing.
I just love Bowie. I think he's the ultimate inventor.
I want to make pop cool again, and the only way I can do that is by being ambitious and grand.
Alternative RandB is in my soul. It's not going anywhere.
Marriage is scary to me, man.
To be recognized for the hard work my team and I put into 'Starboy' is an honor.
I'm all about evolution. I'm the first person to judge myself.
I don't think I'd ever apologise for music I make, no.
Bragging just sounds good, man.
I just want to keep pushing the envelope without it feeling forced.
I didn't have a father figure in the house.
I want to be remembered as iconic and different.
I don't believe in icons.
'Kiss Land' is like a horror movie.
I've had sleep paralysis.
I'm a huge fan of R. Kelly's. He's a musical genius and probably the most prolific artist of the generation before mine.
The last thing you want is to not be recognized for all of the hard work you put in.
For the chorus of 'Secrets,' we used The Romantics' 'Talking in Your Sleep' and 'Pale Shelter' by Tears for Fears. It's like hip-hop: just grab it.
Nothing is stopping me from doing what I love to do.
I'm all about surprises. If you watch a horror movie, and it's called 'Kiss Land,' it's probably going to be the most terrifying thing you've ever seen in your life.
Taylor Swift's audience can listen to me, but so can the street kids. I want to touch it all.
I feel like the way I was raised was to be able to see through all the titles in this world -- from religion to race.
I wanted to drop three albums in a year because no one had done it. It was bold, unheard of.
It's hard to wrap my head around the fact that there are people who can't or won't see what Black Lives Matter is trying to accomplish.
I know you've been trying to get a hold of me, but I can barely get a hold of myself.
Thanks to my fans that have been with me from the beginning, I was able to sell out arenas on my own.
I sang a lot of low stuff on songs like 'Secrets' and 'Rockin',' almost like Toni Braxton. On 'Secrets,' I'm a different person.
I knew the second I finished the first record -- 'House Of Balloons' -- and had all this material leftover that a trilogy would be best.
'House of Balloons' was actually supposed to have more songs than it does.
For me, bomber jackets are smart, but they are also street and have a lot of attitude.
Image, lyrics, content, storytelling, cohesive body of work -- that's Prince to me.
I wrote a song with Ed Sheeran that was kind of spontaneous.
The whole 'enigmatic artist' thing, I just ran with it.
I've been singing my whole life. I'd randomly sing in the hallways at high school, and all my friends would be like, 'You should sing on 'Canadian Idol'! It definitely gassed me!
Once youve changed who you are or who youve portrayed in your music, the fans, theyll catch it... Once I feel like the world knows me for anything else but my music, then I feel like I failed.
They asked me why I don't quit drinking, I told 'em I'm not a quitter.
You know me, but you don't know me. I give you what I want to give you. I relate to villains like that -- but I'm not out to destroy the world.
I spend just as much time on how people hear my music as I do the actual music, no matter how long it takes. I'm such a visual artist as well that it always goes hand-in-hand.
In the beginning, I was very insecure. I hated how I looked in pictures.
I get naturally uncomfortable when I'm put under a magnifying glass.
What does it mean when your heart's already numb? You're a professional.
My purpose is to make exciting music, and I feel like I'll be doing that for the rest of my life, so there's no pressure.
You aren't normal if you sing to people. You aren't a normal person. It's nerve-racking.
Environment is very important to me. Sometimes I have to perform during the day for festivals, and my music does not work in the daytime. It is nighttime music.
It's almost schizophrenic who I portray in my music.
My closet is like Bart Simpson's.
I just kept touring and touring until it became second nature to go onstage, perform, and sing.
I'm too full to swallow my pride.
Happiness exist when you don't know a thing.
I wish I could make music about politics. I feel like it's such an art and a talent that I admire tremendously, but when I step into the studio, I step out of the real world, and it's therapeutic.
I probably could have toured off 'Trilogy' for the rest of my life. It definitely changed the culture. No one can do a trilogy again without thanking The Weeknd.
I've grown accustomed to hotels and drastic climate change.
The vibe on 'Starboy' comes from that hip-hop culture of braggadocio, from Wu-Tang and 50 Cent, the kind of music I listened to as a kid.
I'm trying to get to Mars before everyone else.
I was 14, and I fell in love with Pink Floyd.
My inspiration is R. Kelly, Michael Jackson, and Prince -- for the vocals, anyway.
I feel like my singing is not conventional. I mean, if you look at technique, I'm not a technical singer.
Some people are just born wack, you can't teach certain wackness.
I went from staring at the same four walls for 21 years to seeing the whole world in just 12 months.
Staying in a hopeless and miserable situation doesn't make you loyal, it just makes you miserable.
Straight to the top, rooftop glows. With a hand full of girls and they all so foreign. Brain so poisoned, rainbows flowing.
Make me remember you like you remember me.
Once you learn to hit, teach yourself to never miss again.
Ain't nobody gonna care enough to catch you fall.
Be loyal to your own piece of mind.
For an Ethiopian mother, if you have a chubby kid, it means you're doing something good.
From when I was born to when I was 21, I never left Toronto. That's why I'm such a city cat.
Going to a therapist is not something you do when you're growing up as a street kid in Toronto.
We're all insecure, aren't we? I'm not walking around like I'm macho man or anything.
The Joker is my favorite villain of all time: You don't know his past; you just know what his plans are.
'Thursday' is a conceptual album. Whatever that situation was, I spent the whole album focusing on that situation.