The Weeknd Dressed Like A Nerd Before He Was The Weeknd
Last year, The Weeknd embarked on his King Of The Fall tour, but he’s only now living up to the name. Beaty Behind The Madness is the number one album in the country for the third straight week and his single “The Hills” topped the Hot 100, overtaking the prior #1, his other single “Can’t Feel My Face.” That’s a pretty steep ascent for a guy who, just four years ago, was dropping mixtapes anonymously and refusing to do press.
Abel Tesfaye had a very tight handle on his shadowy Weeknd image during those late 2010-early 2011 mixtape days, so it’s tough to find images of him before the project materialized. But Pigeons & Planes has just interviewed one of Tesfaye’s earliest collaborators, and the dude shared what appears to be a photo of the two of them together before the House Of Balloons hype. Up top you can see what looks like Abel in thick frames and a close-cropped cut, almost unrecognizable when you look at the street-Basquait thing he’s got going on now. It’s like seeing the Daft Punk guys un-helmeted. My guess is the pic was taken any time between 2008 and 2010.
In the interview with Nixxon (who went by JesseRay until recently), we learn the two guys were tight for about a year in Toronto and made some music together as Bulleez N Nerdz, which Nixxon says was their name “because we were bullies, but we looked like nerds.” How nerdy? Girls were apparently shutting them down on Facebook all the time. So go read the full interview with Nixxon for an interesting peek at Abel Tesfaye before he disappeared into the cocoon of The Weeknd and reemerged four years later as the king of the charts.