When The Weeknd entered the music scene in 2011, it was truly a surge like no other. The rise of Drake’s career after the release of his debut album Thank Me Later meant that a certain spotlight was cast on Toronto specifically, but also Canada as a whole. For the first time, music from this region was going to be accepted in the Hip-Hop community and now was the time to take advantage of the additional attention. Wide eyed and hopeful about the future, it would have been impossible to predict the path that a young Abel’s career ended up taking. Days after his affiliation with the OVO front man was made public at a JUNO afterparty, The Weeknd, an innocent 21, took to his own website for the premiere of House Of Balloons at the beginning of spring and he immediately caused a wave of curiosity amongst those lucky enough to hear it at the time, admittedly partially borrowing from Drake’s fan base. Paired with the then-mysterious aura around the singer, it created a substantial amount of authentic buzz, amassing 200,000 downloads from the site in just a few weeks. Fans were still unsure about whether The Weeknd was a solo act or a group but above all, they were intrigued by his moody music and wanted more than the 9 songs that lived on the tape. By the time his next mixtape Thursday came out in August of the same year, his fan base had grown tenfold and the reception was somehow grandiose despite still being somewhat underground. What Thursday crucially proved was that House Of Balloons was far from a fluke and that the man with no face was indeed one to watch in the space of R&B music. Following his contributions to and influence on Take Care putting him on a pedestal at a much larger, more mainstream level, Abel closed an incredible 2011 with the highly anticipated release of Echoes Of Silence to complete his trilogy of free bodies of work and quite frankly, one of the best debut years in the history of the genre. In a controversial move which many still see as him biting the hand that fed him, in September of 2012 The Weeknd signed to Republic Records rather than OVO Sound and soon afterwards, his three mixtapes were remastered and released as a compilation album titled Trilogy.