The Weeknd Emerges From Anonymity Thanks To Social Media & A Little Help From Drake
Abel Tesfaye, aka The Weeknd, is one of a growing group of musicians, like iamamiwhoami, who have leveraged web to build buzz while initially maintaining anonymity. Now he's coping with trendy media frenzies, attempts to label him a hipster and continuing confusion over whether or not he's an individual or a perhaps an entire group.
The Weeknd is an interesting phenomenon whose elusiveness has created some confusion that doesn't seem to be going away. He's said to have started releasing music late last year without identifying himself as Abel Tesfaye and has gotten quite a bit of media attention since then. Yet a variety of media outlets still think of him as a group and some shift back and forth between "he" and "they" in what may be a form of trendster cheekiness.
Plus a website?
Certainly the existence of social media allowed for a new artist to be launched without having to reveal his identity. But did that also allow Drake to participate from the beginning without revealing his part in the game?
I'm in no way implying that The Weeknd is a creation of Drake's but I am wondering if The Weeknd could have gotten situated so strongly without that support. Whatever the real backstory, The Weeknd's emergence is yet another strong example of the potential power of social media tools to introduce and to continue to maintain the "true" identity of an artist who continues to speak through such tools after leaving anonymity behind.
Hypebot contributor Clyde Smith is a freelance writer and blogger. He is currently relaunching Flux Research to pursue his long-standing obsession with web business models. To suggest music services and related topics for review at Hypebot, please contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.