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Here is a guy whose music I’ve come across about a year ago.
Sure, he has been in the music business much longer but I didn’t actually started following him until his single, The Hills hit number One on the Billboard and Earned It was featured in the ‘Fifty shades of Grey’ Soundtrack.
When I first heard about the weekend, I was expecting somewhat a kind of boastful poetry, house party beats, and uptown throw down vibe from his style of music but surprisingly he brings across a more mainstream, funky, soulful and high-flying vocal style borrowing from R.Kelly, Michael Jackson and Prince.
Coming from a successful tour in 2015, “The Madness Fall Tour”, I am looking forward to seeing him dominate at the Grammy this year, having earned 7 nominations.
Recently I was reading his cover story in the Rolling Stone and I find it a bit intriguing to see how he embraces the different personalities, which are behind his more popular yet mysterious persona.
The Weekend was everything that an R&B singer wasn’t
…This is in his words. He explained that he wasn’t a pretty boy and he was really awkward. This is a guy who is coming from a place where he didn’t like seeing himself in pictures where now he has to deal with seeing himself daily on TV.
Pretty much he struggled with self-esteem and in his story he expressed that he wasn’t well spoken, having dropped out of high school and turned to crossword puzzles to improve his vocabulary.
Considering himself a weirdo, he lived with much insecurity, wishing he was more articulate and not having to hide from interviews during his early career.
It was Michael Jackson’s music that made him want to be a singer
Besides Michael’s stage moves and lyrics, The Weekend also sees a link between Michael philanthropy and his (the Weekend) cultural background.
He confirmed that We Are the World was originally intended for Ethiopia, which is the birth country of his mother and where Michael is a popular icon.
‘I guessed maybe that’s where he also got the dread.’
His first language was Amharic, not English – taking from his Ethiopian background. Having grown up in the Ethiopian Orthodox church and practicing Ethiopian customs his perspective is shaped beyond the typical Canadian-American culture.
He had his own share of struggles
He didn’t really know his father. He said, “He wasn’t abusive, he wasn’t an alcoholic, he wasn’t an asshole. He just wasn’t there.” His father disappeared when he was around 2 years old.
And then he was kicked out of high school at 17 and didn’t talk to his mother for a year. He also struggled with drugs, explaining that he couldn’t get through a day without getting high.
Nonetheless, it is without doubt that The Weekend, having beaten his deepest fears and struggles is a true inspiration and one of the biggest superstars today and in his words, “I’m not really scared of failing, because I already know what it means to be on the ground.”
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