The Weeknd Shines Like A “Starboy” After The Release of His Two New Singles
By Sabrina Tibbetts NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., Oct. 18 - The Weeknd’s two new singles from his upcoming 18 track album signal a departure from his usual R&B and Hip-Hop influenced music in favor of a more experimental mix of dance beats that still maintaining his signature vocals and sultry melodies. Within the past few weeks, the Grammy award-winning artist has released the new singles “Starboy” and “False Alarm” in preparation for his third studio album “Starboy” which is set to be released Nov. 25. Twenty-six-year-old Canadian born singer, Abel Tesfaye, began his career in late 2010 but it wasn’t until 2015 when he released his first No. 1 album “Beauty Behind the Madness” that he made his mark on the mainstream music scene, selling more than 1 million copies. “I’m going to use this opportunity to make great music because I know the whole world’s listening. It inspires me,” Tesfaye said in a 2015 interview for Pitchfork “Now that I know people are expecting and anticipating great music, I’m going to make great music.” The acclaimed singer has a record of two No. 1 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 and has won two Grammy awards. The artist reached new heights when he received an Academy Award nomination for his song “Earned It” for the motion picture “Fifty Shades of Grey.” The Weeknd’s first promotional single “Starboy” off the upcoming album of the same name was released Sept. 22, which took fans by surprise because of its up-tempo electronic sound, influenced by a collaboration with French electronic duo Daft Punk. The song explores the fragility of celebrity lifestyle and Tesfaye’s success in the music industry, with a catchy hook like “Look what you’ve done. I'm a motherf***ing Starboy.” The song debuted at No. 40 on the Billboard’s hot 100, and jumped to No. 3 the following week while it reached No. 1 in France and the top 10 in various other countries like the United Kingdom and Australia. The stylistic music video for Starboy released days after on Sept. 28 and has already reached a whopping 85 million views and counting. The video contains lots of symbolism and showcases the metaphorical death of the artist we’ve come to know and love, murdered by the hands of the new reinvented Weeknd entering his new “Starboy” era, donning a much shorter hairstyle. By the end of the video, The Weeknd has destroyed all evidence of his past self along with his signature hairstyle, leaving his past behind as he drives off into the night. The singer’s second single “False Alarm” premiered shortly before the artist appeared on “Saturday Night Live’s” season opener where he performed the song and the album’s title track. “False Alarm” shocked fans even further with its dance-punk rhythm and its hyperactive tempo. The single peaked at No. 63 on the Billboard Hot 100 but still features Tesfaye's dulcet tones with lines like “Bathroom stalls for the powdered nose” and “You love her, but you’ll never be enough” but jumps into the frantic hook “False alarm (hey, hey, hey, hey).” ‘The production is grittier than the slick grooves of "I Can't Feel My Face" or "In the Night." The percussion is tight and relentless, while the spacey synths and guitars build to a blaring chorus, which The Weeknd introduces with a scathing scream.’ said a Rolling Stones article. The graphic action packed video for “False Alarm” was released on Oct. 13, and featured a cinematography style that mimics first person shooter games, making the video violently enthralling. “There are new inspirations on this album. The production feels aggressive but still sexy," the singer said in an interview for VMAN in September. "We wrote it all in Los Angeles. I think it’ll be the best-sounding album I’ve ever done. It’s hard to label the sound because, when I first came out, nobody would label it R&B. I just want to keep pushing the envelope without it feeling forced." With the successful release of the two singles “Starboy” and “False Alarm,” the R&B crooner is expected to launch more chart topping hits with his upcoming album.