The Weeknd has become one of the surprise musical stars of 2011 without so much as selling a single unit of music - the Toronto-based producer instead wowing ears around the world with two self-released online mixtapes, both of which he made available for free. 'House of Balloons', released on March 21st and its successor, August's 'Thursday' both made huge impacts and have featured heavily in various critics end of year lists, something indicative of a wider trend among hip-hop and R&B artists such as Danny Brown and Sacramento-based rap troupe Death Grips, who've put their best stuff out for free, relying on the exposure for greater success down the line.
Now, The Weeknd has dropped another with Christmas just around the corner, with 'Echoes Of Silence' being made available online today (December 22, 2011). Billed as the third in a trilogy, 'Echoes Of Silence' is made up of nine tracks, the latest collection of songs from the producer seeing fellow up-and-coming talent Clams Casino collaborate, as well as a rendition of Michael Jackson classic 'Dirty Diana'.
Although certainly not the way forward for every artist in these music industry shrinking times, there's no denying that The Weeknd - real name Abel Tesfaye - has reaped the rewards of his exposure-over-sales angle in 2011. The likes of Florence and the Machine and Lady GaGa have both approached him to remix their own tracks.