The Weeknd Explains the Difference Between Abel Makkonen Tesfaye and His Stage Persona

From headlining the Tremendous Bowl LV Halftime Present to co-creating and starring in an upcoming HBO present to promoting out stadiums worldwide, Abel Makkonen Tesfaye — higher often known as The Weeknd — is definitely busy. The Canadian singer skyrocketed to fame in 2016 together with his hit “Starboy.”

Right here’s what the “Blinding Lights” singer says about the variations between his private life as Abel and his stage persona, The Weeknd.

The Weeknd, aka Abel Makkonen Tesfaye | Kyle Gustafson/For The Washington Publish by way of Getty Pictures

The Weeknd’s humble beginnings and rise to superstardom

Again in 2009, Tesfaye started anonymously importing songs to YouTube. The following 12 months, he met producer Jeremy Rose, who approached the up-and-coming singer with an thought for a recent R&B undertaking. Collectively, they created three songs: “What You Need,” “The Morning,” and “Loft Music,” in line with Vice.

These songs blew up on-line. And in 2011, Tesfaye then self-released his debut mixtape, Home of Balloons, underneath the identify The Weeknd.

“I started singing to girls and I was getting great feedback,” the singer defined to GQ in 2021. “The second instance was when ‘What You Need’ came out. It was the first song that came out from The Weeknd. Nobody knew what I looked like. I was not popping. I was struggling at the time. A good friend of mine hooked me up with a job at American Apparel, and I was folding clothes there when somebody at the store played the song. Mind you, nobody knew who The Weeknd was.”

Since then, The Weeknd has gone on to create the longest-charting music on the Billboard Sizzling 100 with “Blinding Lights,” per The Guardian.

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Abel Makkonen Tesfaye vs. The Weeknd: ‘Abel is someone I go home to every night’

In the GQ interview, Tesfaye opened up about his resolution to initially preserve his identification a thriller. He additionally defined the variations between his private life as Abel and his skilled life as The Weeknd.

The Weeknd is thought for his over-the-top performances, signature purple blazers, and iconic collaborations with artists together with Daft Punk, Ariana Grande, and Kendrick Lamar. However on a extra relatable word, Tesfaye admitted to binge-watching The X-Recordsdata throughout the pandemic.

“The lines were blurry at the beginning,” Tesfaye stated of his life as The Weeknd and Abel. “And as my career developed — as I developed as a man — it’s become very clear that Abel is someone I go home to every night. And The Weeknd is someone I go to work as.”

The “I Feel It Coming” singer admitted that it’s a “Jekyll and Hyde situation,” with The Weeknd being Hyde and Abel being Dr. Jekyll. To separate the two, Tesfaye usually “kills” his public persona in his music movies.

“I think it’s me removing The Weeknd from Abel,” he stated. “I think a lot of people are like, ‘Oh, he’s suicidal.’ It’s not that. I think it’s me removing The Weeknd from the world, but he still finds his way back. He keeps coming out. ‘Blinding Lights’ is obviously not going to have him disappear anytime soon.”

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Why The Weeknd was notoriously personal about his private life

GQ additionally requested Tesfaye why he needed to stay nameless early in his profession.

“I don’t know,” he responded. “Maybe there is a deeper issue with that, but I feel like with me it’s never been about the artist and the image of the artist. With House of Balloons, nobody knew what I looked like. And I felt like it was the most unbiased reaction you can get to the music, because you couldn’t put a face to it. Especially R&B, which is a genre that is heavily influenced by how the artist looks.”

As a celeb, Tesfaye additionally feels responsible about bringing a lot consideration to the non-famous individuals he dates. And he tries to maintain his relationships out of the highlight. 

I do feel guilty. For sure,” he instructed GQ. “That’s why I don’t… I try not to do too much. I just try not to bring attention to myself. And I just love being in normal situations, man. It’s such a great feeling. To be able to just like go on a walk and not being in a f***ing SUV.”

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