At the moment I’m listening to music in my favorite setting- head phones in, music blasting, laying on my bed, typing this post on my phone. Recently I’ve found myself intrigued by the music of Abel Tesfaye. For those of you don’t know, he is the singer who goes by the name “the weeknd.” The first song I heard of his actually rubbed me the wrong way, but a few weeks ago, I heard another song of his that I liked a lot, and I decided to further investigate his music. Now his style is just the same in all of his songs as the first song I heard by him, but my outlook has changed. The messages in his songs are a little derogatory and misogynistic at first glance. Though I believe there is an underlying tone to his songs that hold some validity to them– then again, maybe I’m simply trying to find a reason to justify why they appeal to me. Though I don’t appreciate how he sings about sleeping around, and with multiple people at a time, I feel that his motives aren’t simply black or white. As many musicians probably experience, he’s faced with the prospect of encountering women who put him on a pedestal, or chase him for the status or money that comes along with him. In this situation, most could probably see how it would be difficult to truly connect with people, because it’s not very often that he’ll encounter someone who sees him for who he truly is- Abel tesfaye, the guy who skipped town one weekend, never looking back. He wasn’t raised in a perfect family- he earned his fame by being uniquely him, it wasn’t handed down to him, he wasn’t simply the son of people who had connections in the industry. He’s a complex character, and quite secretive on top of that. Though, he exposes little parts of himself, his personality, and his nature, in every single song. He doesn’t produce songs for the entire world to approve of. He creates them to express what he’s gone through, and what he’s going through.
But back to how he alludes to sleeping around with many women at a time. For all we know, he could be hung up on one girl, and since her, he’s been unable to connect with anyone in the same way. Maybe no one takes the time to truly get to know what comprises Abel tesfaye. I don’t know about you, but that would lead me to just sleep around for the rest of my life if I didn’t believe anyone cared to know who I was, or could even begin to compare to the love and connection I once felt for someone else.
I will say one thing though- even though his music is overtly sexual, and conveys an appeal of the forbidden, I actually enjoy that aspect of it. Like in his song “where you belong.” In this song, he basically tells this girl, it doesn’t matter who she’s with when he’s gone, because when he’s back in town, she belongs to him. There is a possessive tone the entire song that screams that she is all his. In general I would say that a loose grip on the one you love is the best approach (like how you wouldn’t want to grip to tightly on a handful of sand), but he approaches this differently. It’s not out of insecurity that he grips on tight. It’s more in a passionate, ownership, lustful kind of way. And though in some instances, ownership isn’t necessarily a positive thing to everyone, because autonomy and all of that, it’s in a different way. He doesn’t “own her” own her. It’s kind of like in the werewolf books. How they all have the one person that is their soulmate that they were destined for, and they say “mine” while gripping on tightly to their love. It’s ownership from a place of passion, not aggression or control.
I would say that “the weeknd” is an acquired taste for sure. He is dominant, overtly sexual, and uniquely himself, not bending for the approval of the masses.
The only complaint I would have is that he doesn’t do many interviews. Though that kind of adds an appeal to his whole persona. It challenges people to get to know who he is through his music, and not simply through random words he said in response to an interview question designed to trigger a controversial, or tabloid worthy answer.