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A Star Is Born? The Weeknd Live Performance at Mod Club

July 24th, a sweltering night at the Mod Club in Toronto, a star may have been born.

There has been a lot of hype for Toronto’s Abel Tesfayes R&B
project:  The Weeknd.  All of the hype was born from one short, 9-song
album that was a FREE download: HERE

Through word of mouth alone, this album, from a complete unknown began
to get some big time interest.  Blogs and music forums on the net were
abuzz with this completely refreshing RnB album from the unknown singer
out of Toronto.  Soon a Drake tweet appeared that got people really
talking.  Online publications like Pitchfork and Rolling Stone gushed
over it.  HBO even used a track High For This to promote the latest
season of Entourage.

The buzz was reaching Drake-esque levels in fact. July 24th might have been the tipping point…

The Weeknd took the stage for the first time. The Mod Club in Toronto
sold out in 90 minutes and people were paying hundreds of dollars to
scalpers for tickets.  Drake was enthusiastically cheering along form
the VIP area.  The same area rumored to be playing host to Diddy and
Justin Beiber as well.  A nervous Abel came out, stood in front of the
crowd and delivered what they wanted – He went right into the haunting
opening chords of his most popular song — High For This.

You don’t know what’s in store
But you know what you’re here for

He didn’t even have to sing it because the wildly cheering crowd knew every word from heart.

It went on like that all show – The crowd singing along with Abel who showcased that he had the pipes to go along with the hype.

A star born – is that just some cliched rhetoric from me?  Maybe.

…But maybe not.

This scenario is strikingly similar to his fellow Torontonian –
Drake.   Drake blew up largely based on So Far Gone…a free mixtape he
released.  I remember the exact second I knew he was going to be huge,
was a concert he had in Houston (I believe).  He was performing songs
off his free mixtape, and the equally enthused people knew every word.
Is The Weeknd the new Drake?  Impossible to predict, but so far he is
following a similar path.

With an appearance on Drake’s new record upcoming, as well as a spot
on Drakes OVO festival, I would not be surprised to see The Weeknd make
the leap from Toronto artist, to international superstar. If that does
happen, I think we are witnessing a seismic shift in how the music
industry works.  The free mixtape/album may become the trendy choice to break new artists.

Regardless of what this means for music as a whole, one thing is for
sure:  RnB hit the jackpot in 2011 with “rookies” The Weeknd and Frank
Ocean both releasing free BRILLIANT debut mixtapes.



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