I am not the kind of woman who is all rainbow and butterflies. I hurt. I feel pain. I contemplate suicide. I drink all the whisky I can find. I’m tattooed and lost in life. Most importantly, I listen to The Weeknd.
I remember the first time I heard his voice; soothing, eerie, enchanting, new. It carried pain and melody so easily as it bridged the gaps of all the musical genres I loved. His lyrics were emo dusted with the sensuality of r&b. The sounds; electric, rock, and rap. I finally felt there was someone else dark like me and it made me lighter.
I was in love. Better yet, call me an addict. For every life moment there was a song to describe it. My boyfriend cheated and I played “The Knowing” while contemplating and eventually deciding to bleach his clothes. I had my first one night stand to “High for This”. Suddenly my life had a soundtrack. The prospect of his new music and features eagerly pitted themselves against new chapters of my life at the time of their release.
Unlike any other artist I had ever listened to, I never googled him or searched for videos on YouTube. I got to know him one lyric at a time. Slowly and nervously letting his poetic combinations and druggie lifestyle undress me with the overwhelming fear of true love looking in the air. The music was all I knew and needed. I felt closer to him as I accepted the purity of knowing the art without the person behind it. I had become a fan.
Occasionally, I would share my love for him and play his songs for others. They couldn’t understand why his songs were on repeat. They didn’t see the beauty in “Wicked Games”. They were mainstream. I accepted our differences and my ears devoured The Trilogy more.
I went to see him at Radio City for the Kissland tour. The twisted faces in the crowd looked like the rejects of every highschool in America. I felt at home. I stood in the crowd awed by his live talent. Every note was the same but here he was in the flesh. I knew I’d never be the same.
He had become a recognizable name. He posted on Instagram. He had a Twitter account. The world was learning his name. They were trying to label and mainstream him. To mention his name would bring to life conversations about Drake, Juicy J, Michael Jackson…everyone felt like they knew him. I wanted to scream.
When did The Weeknd turn into pop aka popular music? Does everyone have a dark side? Did he lose his? Are other people writing for him? Am I fan or critic?
I don’t know what to expect on this new album. I’m scared that all the right things will happen; top 10 Billboard singles, incredible story telling through videos, performance at the Grammy Awards, world tour etc. I’m scared that I’ll lose the dark or that he’ll conform to the catchy yet rarely introspective music of today. I’m scared that he’ll grow up.
Often as a fan we find that album, song, chord, riff that speaks to us and we cling to it. We split our artist into before that moment and after. We lose the ability to go with the ebb and flow of artistry. We stifle ourselves and sometimes the artist by not allowing life. We kill the prospect of new art. This is when we become critics.
I want to be always be a fan of The Weeknd. His music has meant so much to me. I’m eagerly awaiting this new album with no preset notions or comparisons. I love the art and that is all that matters. theweeknd