Elusive R&B singer The Weeknd finally broke his silence last night by speaking to NME at a London show.
Katy B was among the guests who turned out to watch the Canadian R&B internet sensation (real name Abel Tesfaye) play a rare gig at the Supper Club in London (November 25). The singer has made very few live performances other than appearances at Coachella, Primavera and Wireless Festival this summer, and has never done a full interview.
Thanking the crowd several times during the performance, the 22-year-old played a full-band set heavy on his first record with performances of ‘Loft Music’, ‘High For This’, ‘The Knowing’, ‘The Morning’, ‘Wicked Games’ and the Siouxise & The Banshees-sampling title track ‘House Of Balloons’.
He also had time for select cuts from his other two records, playing a version of new Smiths-influenced track ‘Enemy’ before showing off his Drake collaboration ‘Crew Love’.
Speaking to NME after the gig, Tesfaye said that up until the live shows he only existed in people’s bedrooms and iPods. “I make good music for long journeys,” he joked. About doing live shows he added, “There was so much pressure coming in. But I’ve played it well because being off the circuit has allowed me to practise with this band back home in Toronto for months.”
Citing the massive arena sound of the evening’s guitar solos, NME suggested that perhaps he had his sights set on stadiums to which he responded, “Absolutely, hell yeah.”
Last week saw The Weeknd’s first official release ‘Trilogy’ – which is a compendium of the records ‘House Of Balloons’, ‘Thursday’ and ‘Echoes Of Silence’, which have existed online since early 2011. When asked if a ‘Trilogy’ was something he always set out to do, he replied: “I knew the second I finished the first record – ‘House Of Balloons’ – and had all this material leftover that a trilogy would be best.”
Having had the opportunity to collaborate with a number of people off the back of the hype and buzz surrounding his records, NME wondered which collaboration had been his favourite. “Definitely Flo. Florence is a total rock star.”
The Weeknd played:
‘What You Need’
‘High For This’
‘House Of Ballons’