The Weeknd Signs to Universal Republic, Will Release ‘Trilogy’ in November
Well, this is certainly a surprise. Canadian singer/songwriter The Weeknd has officially signed a major label deal with Universal Republic Records. After an incredibly successful 2011, in which the singer existed solely off word of mouth and three free releases, The Weeknd (real name Abel Tesfaye) makes the jump to partner with a major label. Though it has been news for some time that The Weeknd planned to release music officially through iTunes, it almost seemed as though, if anyone could do it, Abel would be the one whose career would flourish entirely independently, perhaps even strictly releasing music for free. Though, this decision will probably work very well in Weeknd’s favor.
He will release Trilogy, a collection of his three mixtapes House of Balloons, Thursday, Echoes of Silence plus some new material, November 13, both physically and online. It will be interesting to see how fans approach the sale of his music. Yes, people will always support music they are passionate for, but how many people will buy what they already have? Interestingly enough, a week ago, links to his three mixtapes’ free downloads were removed from The Weeknd’s official website to prep for the official sale of Trilogy. Hopefully they got that credit/royalties mishap all settled by now.
Read the entire statement from XO and Universal Republic below:
“Critically-acclaimed Canadian ALT/R&B trailblazer THE WEEKND and the initiative behind him, XO, have forged a strategic partnership with REPUBLIC RECORDS (division of UMG). The artist/producer is set to release Trilogy, in stores and online November 13, 2012 as part of this high-profile partnership.
Trilogy contains his highly lauded mixtapes, House of Balloons, Thursday and Echoes of Silence, all mixed and mastered for the first time. In addition to the 27 original cuts, both the physical and digital editions will feature new, unreleased material. It’s an impressive collection and the perfect introduction to his enigmatic and entrancing sound.
Last year, House of Balloons instantly stirred up unparalleled excitement from tastemakers. Complex extolled the mixtape as the “best album of 2011″, and Pitchfork bestowed the “Best New Music” title upon it. Dominating year-end lists across the board, it claimed number 5 on Stereogum, number 6 on The A.V. Club, number 8 on The Guardian (UK), and number 13 on Spin. Other praise came from MTV, BET, Rolling Stone, XXL, and The Source who even named him the “Songbird of his generation”.
His peers have also embraced him just as enthusiastically. DRAKE, along with his team OVO, was the first A-list recording artist to publicly proclaim his adoration for THE WEEKND’s music. The two joined forces and collaborated on several tracks from his chart-topping album, Take Care. The most recognizable song from their work together, “Crew Love,” showcased THE WEEKND’s vocals throughout. “Crew Love,” which THE WEEKND also co-wrote and co-produced— instantly became a stand out hit single from the platinum-selling album. DRAKE returned the favor by lending his vocals to one of THE WEEKND’s most popular tracks, “The Zone,” from his Thursday mixtape.
Expanding across genres further, THE WEEKND was tapped to create official remixes for FLORENCE + THE MACHINE and LADY GAGA. His take on FLORENCE’s “Shake It Out” became the single’s first formal remix, and his interpretation of GAGA’s “Marry the Night” was a dark centerpiece of her release, Born This Way: The Remixes. You can also find THE WEEKND’s signature voice on 2 CHAINZ’s chart-dominating new album, Based on a T.R.U. Story. The rapper uses a sample from “The Birds (Part 1)” off the singer’s Thursday mixtape as a hook for his track, “Like Me”.
Trilogy will be preceded by the first single, “Wicked Games”, available on iTunes and other digital retailers soon. An ethereal keyboard entwines with the singer’s raw, confessional, cinematic lyrics just before he carries a massive hook through a lonely space. The song is honest and heartfelt.
In addition to “Wicked Games,” the collection boasts an array of diverse tracks. Another standout is the infectious and intoxicating “High For This,” which gained notoriety by being prominently featured in the advertising campaign for the final season of HBO’s popular hit series, Entourage.
THE WEEKND has become an international live draw with shows from coast to coast. His first headlining tour sold out across the United States. He’s also made surprise guest appearances on DRAKE’s Club Paradise tour, and has performed at high-profile festivals such as, Coachella, Primavera Sound Festival, and the Wireless Festival in London. Right now, you can catch him on the road with FLORENCE + THE MACHINE through October 10th. Concurrently, The WEEKND kicks off his own headlining tour, “The Fall Tour,” at the end of this month.
The joint venture between REPUBLIC RECORDS and the Canada-based XO sees THE WEEKND’s vision preserved and magnified on a much larger scale. The XO initiative has grown from a small collective— with roots based in the metropolitan streets of Toronto— to a marquee business partner, and it will only evolve further within this structure.
Together, REPUBLIC RECORDS, XO, and THE WEEKND are breaking new ground via their collaboration. This historic partnership sees one of the most unique independent entities in music, XO, ally with one of the most forward-thinking companies in the business, REPUBLIC spearheaded by the artist’s vision. It’s the beginning of what will undoubtedly become an influential paradigm and a paragon for trend-setting art.
Experience Trilogy and get to know THE WEEKEND November 13, 2012.
About Republic Records
A division of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company, Republic is home to an all-star roster of multi-platinum, award-winning legends and superstar artists such as 3 Doors Down, Amy Winehouse, Black Sabbath, Colbie Caillat, Eddie Vedder, Enrique Iglesias, Florence + the Machine, Godsmack, Owl City, The Voice (NBC-TV), Gotye, Of Monsters & Men, Mayer Hawthorne, among many others.
It is comprised of innovative imprints and digital business ventures including Republic Nashville (The Band Perry), Cash Money (Lil Wayne, Drake, Nicki Minaj), Indie Pop (Dev, The Cataracs), Lava Records (Jessie J, Black Veil Brides), SRC (Akon, Melanie Fiona), Aware Records (Mat Kearney), Brushfire (Jack Johnson, G. Love), Tuff Gong (Damian Marley), Downtown (Miike Snow), among others.”
Related: The Weeknd Live in Brooklyn (Video)