Why The Weeknd is GAWWWDD
Let me share with you a comprehensive formula on how to make gold. If you’re expecting the chemical formula for pure elemental gold [Au], then perhaps this isn't an article worth reading. I have laid out more of a motivational piece for those hungry for success in the music business; where gold is known to be a sales accolade and a classification for prime recognition.
Toronto native and singer/songwriter, Abel Tesfaye, best recognized under the moniker, The Weeknd, and his remarkable self-made success in music. The Canadian crooner released his compilation album Trilogy, which featured remastered versions of his three popular mix tapes; House Of Balloons, Thursday, and Echoes of Silence, all accompanied by three brand new songs. With the right ‘Do-It-Yourself’ attitude and support, Trilogy was certified gold in an instant by the R.I.A.A (Recording Industry Association of America) for the sales that have now surpassed five hundred thousand (500,000) copies.
For many efficacious music collaborations and projects, they all begin with “The Idea”. House of Balloons was an impressive and confident debut that stemmed from the idea of taking traditional R&B music into a darker territory—with an undeniably raw soundscape and lyrics that don’t shy away from the imagination of a provocative, hardedge, and drug-fueled nighttime adventure. This idea was spearheaded with an invasive approach and the act of mystery. Tesfaye wanted his music be heard on all existing online audio/video platforms and distributed for free, all while having his identity to remain unknown. Having executed this, Tesfaye garnered a small-profile acclaim from respected music critics, international filmmakers, and a certain Toronto performer with global prominence that eventually earned Tesfaye an immeasurable amount exposure and rapid ascendance within the industry.
But those are just the liner notes of The Weeknd’s accomplishments. All parts done in between were meticulously planned marketing stratagems—specifics not worth getting into, but more of the initial act of execution with doing things yourself. Seeing a project through to completion; whether it’s recording an album, writing a new song, or working with the right public relations agent to develop that unprecedented marketing plan, can be difficult for many inspired musicians, including those with the best intentions can succumb to procrastination, get involved with other ventures or simply lose steam. Committing to that idea is mostly a matter of mindset, rather than innate skill. Therefore, if you find yourself struggling to get a project done, focus on how much work remains; break it down into smaller attainable steps, and find yourself making that gold.
“You haven’t watched The Wire!?" Marco Pelayo