(Befekadu Beyene) Yet, another Ethiopian superstar is rising from Canada. Abel Tesfaye better known by his stage name The Weeknd, is a courageous R&B singer, producer and song writer born in Canada on February 16, 1990. Both of his parents are Ethiopian. I met his cousin via facebook recently and he told me that Abel is becoming so famous throughout Canada. I start to Google about this young man and found out that he is real famous even beyond America. So many websites wrote about Abel. His songs on youtbue are having millions of hits and guess what? Abel Tesfaye is about to release a full album on November 13, 2012. Go Abelo!
Let me give you a glimpse of what some online publications said about Abel Tesfaye.
“The weeknd Takes New York: Bronx Crowd Treats R&B Singer like Superstar” (The Spinner)
With upstart crooner Abel Tesfaye, aka the Weeknd, the sinister side of the R&B lover-man persona lies right on the surface. Musically seductive and intoxicating, borderline sociopathic lyrically, the Weeknd’s version of R&B might be short for “Rohypnol and Bottle Service”—his first single was aptly named “High for This.” When he released a free nine-song album, “House of Balloons,” in March of 2011, the web traffic quickly crashed his site, leading him onto numerous end-of-year lists as a potent new talent. Two more free albums followed as well as a handful of festival performances. Come early November, Universal will compile the Weeknd’s three albums as “Trilogy.” Soon, Mr. Tesfaye will make the leap to larger venues, so this might be as intimate as he ever gets. (Wall Street Journal)
”Singer and producer Abel Tesfaye signed with Universal Republic in September and his long-awaited release, “Trilogy,” is due out Nov. 13. He writes: “I will not disappoint.” ( The Hollywood reporter)
The crowd at the Paradise Theater lined the sidewalk on Grand Concourse and filed into the atmospheric venue which was built in 1929 and now stands as an NYC landmark. By the time Abel Tesfaye’s band took the stage at 9:30 p.m., the fans who packed the orchestra and upper mezzanine seats roared to greet the Toronto singer who set the night off belting out “Lonely Star. (MTV)
Note From the Editor of Ethiopian Observer, I will provide you with more details about this Ethiopian young man in the future.
Tesfaye was disarmingly friendly and charismatic onstage. Anyone who has spent some time with any of his three mixtapes is likely aware of the sinister, nocturnal, almost predatory tone of many of his songs. Weeknd songs are typically equal parts catchy and creepy: you find yourself nodding your head to them, and then you realize what he’s actually saying. But live, Tesfaye is a charmer. He was extraordinarily gracious, and told the crowd that he was performing against his doctor’s orders because he had wanted to play in New York so badly. (The Examiner)
The following is also an amazing appreciation about Abel Tesfaye, by ANNELI L. TOSTAR, CRIMSON STAFF WRITER, Published: Tuesday, October 30, 2012
R&B singer Abel Tesfaye is often thought of less as a real person and more as a backdrop for sex. His voice, which is seductive enough to make your toes curl, is the centerpiece of a sound that epitomizes baby making music. But Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, arrived in the flesh last Monday at the House of Blues to assert his prowess not only as a singer but also as a live performer. He succeeded, showing off his enormous talent to a packed under-30 crowd that lapped up his sensuality with an appetite atypical for a Monday night.
Tesfaye’s vocal variety and range were beyond possible preconception. Because so much of his music is focused on melodies rather than lyrics, he was able to make significant alterations from the tracks on his albums simply by adding extra trills here and there. His voice was unbelievably high and clear for a male voice, and he also managed to avoid the breathy falsetto trend made popular by indie acts like Bon Iver. Even his ad-libbed improvisations like “Bo-o-osto-on,” came out as effortlessly as exhaling, the sweet vowels dripping with sensuality.
Somehow, he got the whole audience to sing along with his every wordless moan, cry, and cringe-inducing lyric. From the first note of his hit, “High For This,” the audience went wild. The penetrating patterns of his vocal riffs created a visceral experience for the crowd, causing everyone in the eclectic audience to sing and dance along to every soulful proclamation in each verse. Tesfaye himself was completely immersed in his music. Closing his eyes and singing into the microphone with conviction, he seemed to pour his soul into each word.
His songs, as many a song in his genre tend to be, are misogynistic in nature, as was the presentation of his music. Projector screens showed clips of different model-esque girls often wearing nothing but lingerie or revealing only a gap-toothed smile framed by cherry-red lips.
The artificial glamour of the projected vignettes and the images of troubled girls with mascara running down their faces often distracted from the movements onstage. His two female backup singers also did little to assert their presence, tilting their heads from side to side now and then as though they, too, were hypnotized by his performance. However, the concert experience was defined more by his voice than the vulgarity. Sure, he sang about “getting naughty” and “sex in a handbag,” but that didn’t matter in the moment. His voice was just too damn good.
Perhaps knowing how far his voice would take him, Tesfaye was not much of a showman. While many other hip-hop performers use their concerts as a chance to show off their flashy taste in fashion, Tesfaye wore a black puffy jacket and jeans. He rarely made eye contact with members of the audience, and he broke from his trance only to dance and jump around during “Crew Love.” He rarely used his regular speaking voice, if at all, treating the show more like an extended R&B opera. The continuity was interrupted only by a brief space before the encore, which, given the crowd’s response, was practically a guarantee.
As Tesfaye ended the concert majestically, I wondered how many couples were going to have a different kind of encore after the mood he set (indeed, I began to notice people leaving in pairs during the concert). I probably should have been studying for my upcoming midterm instead of going to a Monday night concert, but witnessing such a talented artist completely justified my irresponsible decision. He could have sung “Happy Birthday” and had the crowd weeping for joy.