The Weeknd whose real names are Abel Makkonen Tesfaye was born on February 16, 1990, to Makkonen and Samra Tesfaye in Toronto, Ontario.
His parents were originally Ethiopians and later migrated to Canada sometime in the 80s.
They raised him in Scarborough.
After a while in his life, his parents had to split up and his grandmother took the responsibility of raising him and it was then he began learning Amharic.
He attended Ethiopian Orthodox church services with his mother and grandmother though he was allowed to see his dad once in a blue moon.
One of these times was at his six years of age and another time was when he became 12.
In a press interview, he stated that he couldn’t point out his father’s exact place of residence though from the look of his calm attitude and discipline towards the bottle, he knew he was quite a gentleman.
Talking about his teenage life, he explained that he engaged in shoplifting at times and joined friends to use hard drugs like ecstasy, oxycodone, Xanax, cocaine, psilocybin, ketamine, and marijuana.
This showed its results too when he enrolled at West Hill Collegiate Institute and Birchmount Park Collegiate Institute in Scarborough but couldn’t graduate.
After dropping out in 2007, he moved away from home and settled in the Parkdale neighborhood of Toronto.
He explained too that as a result of his dropout and the fact he left home on a weekend, his stage name was born.
Though his producer Jeremy Rose claims to have been the origin of the name and went further to modify it because of a Canadian band known as The Weekend and issues that would have resulted in trademark infringement.
Related: Check out this article I wrote showing you how to sing like Post Malone
His music career
A performance by The Weeknd is enough to hint you that Michael Jackson made a huge influence on him.
He made a statement in the Showtime’s forthcoming documentary, Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall, where he said he found his falsetto because of the song “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” which is part of the album, “Off The Wall”.
He said that it made him have the feeling of a real musician as Michael was his inspiration vocally.
Tesfaye has a family with no musical background in any way and he was not buoyant enough as some of his peers or juniors in the field.
However, he listened to numerous Ethiopian kinds of music and this helped in building his music foundation and voice even though he couldn’t afford a good vocal teacher.
From birth, he already had the musical voice which was waiting to be harnessed into making good music and a platform on which it could project.
Most singers usually have this talent from birth just like Abel and that was why without a coach, he still made good music.
This states the reason why fans normally ask if his present coach is there for a good reason since he made it without one and thought himself to sing.
Tips on how to sing like The Weekend
If you have a natural high tenor voice like him, all you do is to cultivate it so that it has clarity upon hearing.
You would also have to imitate his singing pattern so you flow along with it and if possible, be friends with people with such language so that you do not have to force it when using it in music.
Additionally, there are some particular facts you could take into consideration to sing like him. These include;
Most times, The Weeknd isn’t singing or even talking or rapping.
With a little research, I realized that he does what the Germans call sprechgesang!
In English, it translates as a vocal style transitional between speech and singing.
In other words, it is a kind of vocalization involving singing and recitation where you sing the start of each note and then change the pitch to speech along the way.
Talking of the similarity in his singing with that of MJ, you will notice that the pop singer used an abundance of idiosyncrasies uniquely and in a way that those who tried to impersonate him failed terribly.
Vibrato is a small dissimilarity in pitch that gives out a stronger or richer tone than a distinctive straight tone and MJ takes his in a different approach that seems quite rapid most times.
He doesn’t sing like a normal singer as he makes his notes flow smoothly from one to another.
This feature is known as legato but when you are singing legato, he raises his higher that makes it a staccato meaning a short and detached pitch.
To ease the thoughts in your head, take a look at “Smooth Criminal” once more and see what I mean.
So, in The Weeknd’s case, he adapted this pattern of singing too and made a good similarity in “I Feel It Coming” where the vibrato sounded like MJ’s “Human Nature.”
Furthermore, you can hear the STACCATO in the “I” of every chorus and this is similar in other of his songs too.
Integrate rythymic bassline
Aside from sounding similar to MJ, there is other cool stuff about the song like the effortless, rhythmic bassline that appears at the first chorus and lingers all through the song.
This feature makes the song sound beautiful and to me, I see it as one of the most enthralling characteristics of pop music.
How the Weeknd rose from insignificance to celebrity in a few years
There are a lot of pop musicians these days like Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, Chris Martin of Coldplay, etc.
These singers strive to portray a deep soothe in their masculinity while linking their shiny hit singles to the substantial grit of American soul music.
In 2011, Abel Tesfaye also known as The Weeknd had the fate of pop falsetto resting on his vocal cords and in his debut mixtape, “House of Balloons,” you could sense him leaving his body to go assess the damages done when he began talking about how the nights went blurry with sex and drugs.
This was no transcendence or close to that. Instead of adding intensity, passion, and feeling to his soul music, he rather feigned detachedness and distrust of his desires.
That gave it a radical feeling and produced good music.
Five years later in 2015, he was a multi-platinum matter and his smash 2015 single, “Can’t Feel My Face,” ere he talked of a cocaine habit could be known to be the most popular song worldwide.
However, he continues to soar higher and doesn’t relent on his use of the vibrato, legato, and staccato and if you wish to be like him, simply tune in to the same method and taking it at a slow, practice frequently and watch the improvement.