The Weeknd is one of the hottest up and coming artists in many years; he has been described as the new “songbird of his generation” and even the most promising musical talent “since Michael Jackson.” The Weeknd is best known for his unique musical style, emotional lyrics, and his stellar live performances. He is also well known for his mysterious persona, and his tendency to keep things private. It should come as no surprise that there is much more to this amazing artist than meets the eye. The following are some surprising facts about The Weeknd that may just surprise even his biggest fans.
His real name isn’t The Weeknd
Obviously, The Weeknd (yes, it’s pronounced the same way as “the weekend”) is a stage name! But did you know that his real name is actually Abel Tesfaye? Like many artists, he has chosen to create a stage name for his performance career. This is a common practice because it helps artists, particularly musical artists, establish a brand and sense of identity for the music that they release. The Weeknd revealed that he chose a stage name because he didn’t care for his real name, and felt that it wouldn’t give him enough credibility in the music industry.
Another surprising fact: his original stage name was actually The Weekend; however, he ran into some copyright trouble with a Canadian artist who uses the same stage name, and he decided to take off the “e” to create his own unique stage name.
He prefers to keep things mysterious
The Weeknd prefers to keep himself as private as possible. One of the ways that The Weeknd keeps up this mystique is by refusing to engage in the same level of media scrutiny as most artists. One of the main ways he achieves this is by never giving formal interviews; he only communicates with the press through Twitter, and has consistently refused to give regular interviews with any magazines, journalists or critics.
In one tweet, The Weeknd wrote that he didn’t want to “spoon feed” the audience for his music information about himself, his life, or his music.
He didn’t leave Canada until he was 21 years old
The Weeknd was born in Canada, but he never left the country until he was 21 years old; this was after he decided he wanted to pursue a professional career in music, and knew that if he wanted to become successful he would have to take his work outside of the country.
He apologized to his fans for signing with a major record label
For the first part of his career, The Weeknd only released his music independently through his own personal record label. After experiencing a lot of critical and financial success, however, he made the decision to sign with a professional and major record label for future releases. In a rare online statement, he apologized to his fans and explained his decision, noting that he felt it was the best move for his career—but most importantly, for his music.