As the social media world hops from one trend to the next, Toronto-based the Weeknd, aka Abel Tesfaye, whose song “High for This” was featured in the ad campaign for HBO’s final season of “Entourage,” has proven he has a staying power that’s captivating bloggers.
After months of teasing the world with a mixtape and cryptic messages on his Twitter account, the 21-year-old R&B singer broke out in July. Following extensive word-of-mouth buzz, his stage debut exploded at a small Toronto club with local hip-hop powerhouse Drake in attendance — followed a week later by an opening slot at a high-profile amphitheater show.
Two more mixtapes are expected to materialize online sometime before year’s end as the Weeknd continues to inch toward the mainstream.
He has also been shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize, an annual critics’ kudo in Canada, with the winner announced Sept. 19.