The Weeknd

The Weeknd – The Hills Feat. Amory (JR Nelson Remix)

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Covers are a tricky thing for an artist to pull off successfully, let alone a producer. Luckily for JR Nelson (who has made a splash with a pair of massive remixes), his cover game is just as on point as his remix game. Tackling The Weeknd is surely no easy task, and although the featured Amory isn’t as dynamic of a singer as Abel, JR puts his enough of his own unique “future” R&B flavor to make this cover interesting. With soulful strings and tight percussion, JR once again proves he’s a producer to watch out for this year.

Stream JR’s cover of “The Hills” below, and let us what you think in the comments!

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The Weeknd – Pass Dat (Jeremih remix)

the weeknd

While some of us were overdosing on holiday food and family gatherings, The Weeknd was off releasing new music for everyone to come back to. One of the tracks he shared with the world is a remix of Jeremih’s newest party hit off of his latest album Late Nights: The Album. “Pass Dat” is already a diamond in the r&b roof, but The Weeknd managed to make a collaboration match made in the heaven. Two catchy, soulful power houses on one track, something no one can complain about. Although the release of Jeremih’s Late Nights: The Album has brought controversy with his current label Def Jam, it’s clear that no one (including The Weeknd) can ignore the gem that Jeremih created with his latest album. Check out The Weeknd’s remix of Jeremih’s addictive track “Pass Dat” below and check out the original on Jeremih’s latest album Late Nights: The Album, out now.


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[Premiere] CHCKLK – Young Boy

CHCKLK

You might not know much about CHCKLK yet, but after giving his new single “Young Boy” a spin you’ll be plenty familiar. The New York-based indie R&B singer gives us his life story and more on this mesmerizing new record, which details his background and path to music.

CHCKLK (pronounced Check-leh-EK) blends genres effortlessly into a soulful, surreal concoction. Think Beach House meets early The Weeknd meets Marc E. Bassy. He’s an excellent storyteller with a sharp, understated delivery.

Speaking on “Young Boy,” CHCKLK said:

It speaks on the internal struggle I’ve always had, between the desire to chase success, and the mindset to fight for what I believe in.  For me, those are two totally opposite paths, because becoming successful in this world might mean the erosion of all my beliefs and everything I stand for.

The instrumental, provided by Rohme, churns along slowly creating a nostalgic, foggy soundscape that fits the track’s confessional lyrics perfectly.

“Here’s the story of a young boy, who looked at the world and was unsure/But made the choice to never conform,” CHCKLK sings.

With a unique sound and a captivatingly left-field take on R&B, CHCKLK has a great chance to move beyond the ranks of SoundCloud sensations and take the music world by storm.

As a bonus, check out the “Young Boy” music video teaser below, directed by Gabriel Lucido.

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The Weeknd – Earned It (Steve James x Jasmine Thompson Cover)

steve james the weeknd

You know you’ve made it as an artist when other artists start covering tracks that you put out – and it’s safe to say that The Weeknd has made some serious waves with his new-school take on R&B. His debut album, Beauty Behind The Madness, was riddled with hits, tempting both serious electronic heavyweights, like RL Grime, and respected up-and-comers, like Steve James, to take on the challenge of remixing and covering a Weeknd track.

Hailing from Philly, Steve James is making a serious claim as my favorite up-and-comer in progressive house thanks to his willingness to evolve his sound. After a few months of hibernating in the studio, James triumphantly announced his return with his cover of The Weeknd’s “Earned It,” alongside Jasmine Thompson, the UK’s leading cover artist.

If The Weeknd’s original is dripping in sex and lust, then Steve James’ re-imagination takes that and dunks it into a pool of vibe-y goodness. James lays a bed of heavenly piano melodies and refreshing percussion work as Thompson’s ethereal voice draws you in until you’re lost in the beauty of the track.

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Tim Vocals – The Pills (The Weeknd Cover)

Tim Vocals Pills

I’ll give you three guesses what “The Pills” is about.

Okay good, now that we’ve got that out of the way it’s time to sing the praises of Tim Vocals, who manages to take The Weeknd‘s hit “The Hills” and make it even more distorted and hazy than it is already.

“I know some sour that’ll blow your mind/Molly and liquor at the same damn time/And when you see me I be fucked up off them Xanny’s,” Vocals sings on a hook that practically comes with a prescription pad.

Still, the track is a blast, and while Vocals doesn’t quite have Abel Tesfaye’s pipes, he has an undeniable charisma and rides the beat perfectly.

Vocals is in the midst of his #TimTuesdays series, releasing a series of imaginative (and druggy) covers weekly. His last effort was “Where is the Loud” a leafy-green interpretation of Skrillex and Diplo’s “Where Are U Now.”

If “The Pills” is any indication, Vocals is certainly one to watch in the ever-expanding trap R&B wheelhouse.

 

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Lollapalooza 2015: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday Recap

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For the first time in what seemed like years, a drop of rain didn’t hit the Lollapalooza grounds. Sure, a looming thunderstorm threat caused the festival organizers to evacuate concertgoers Sunday afternoon for a bit (and they even shut down headliners that night 30 minutes early), but Lollapalooza 2015 looked more Coachella than Tough Mudder competition for once. It was three days overflowing with underdressed teenagers melding and moshing to classic rock, new age hip hop, electronic dance, and blissful pop while the sun beamed down and set to a perfect Chicago skyline each evening.

Between A$AP Rocky, Kygo, Paul McCartney, and everybody in between, #SunsetFam was represented over the long Lollapalooza weekend. Below, enjoy a day by day recap of the most righteous sets, and be on the lookout for an official Sunset SoundCloud playlist to relive the sounds from the festival over and over again in the coming days!


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[Download Mixtape] Tape Tuesday: The Hills Have Eyes

New Tape Tuesday!

The Weeknd has been on a roll in 2015. He has released two singles, “Can’t Feel My Face” and “The Hills,” both of which are currently sitting pretty in the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100. I convinced myself that he was going to name his third album The Hills Have Eyes, and when he didn’t (he went with Beauty Behind the Madness), I decided to name the Tape Tuesday that as an homage to his exceptional year.

The tape plays like an escape from summer camp. I imagine around track 7 (“Round Whippin’” by A.CHAL) the protagonists are whipping their shitty cars around the hills while on copious amounts of ecstasy. Through the rest of the tape, they get in trouble, fall in love, and honestly maybe have a brief stint in rehab. I don’t know. Something crazy must happen to explain the seriousness of “Mend” by Planetarian.

But I guess that is the point of the mix. You can do crazy shit in the Hollywood Hills or wherever you are, but that crazy shit will catch up to you because the hills are watching.

Do you ever feel like the only one? ’Cause I always feel like the only one

NOTE: The Soundcloud mix is missing track 8 (“The Hills” by The Weeknd).

Hit the jump to view the full tracklist…

DOWNLOAD ‘THE HILLS HAVE EYES’ HERE

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[Download Mixtape] Tape Tuesday: Rare Occasions

New Tape Tuesday!

This is the last Tape Tuesday before school starts back up again for me. Every summer I try to make that one mix that the few of you who religiously follow my mixes will look back and say, “That music defined my summer.” I think Rare Occasions is that mix. Looking at it from a strictly musical point-of-view, you can clearly see that R&B ruled summer 2014. It’s not even a question. From my personal point-of-view, I am hoping this mix will remind me of the rowdy nights in my new apartment that I only partially remember now. I hope it will remind me of the moments I shared with the people in my life. I hope in the future I will know which moments were significant and which were insignificant because in the moment, the view can be blurred. Maybe I will listen to this assortment of songs in ten years and regret something–or feel some type of way. That’s the beauty of songs. They are like vials for your bottled up emotions that can spill over at any given time. For example, when you are at the perfect level of drunkenness and “0 to 100″ comes on at your own party or when you are driving in the rain and a song comes on and you suddenly feel like you are the main character in a TV drama. In the moments when the rhythm of the music syncs up perfectly with the pace of your life, you get flooded with lost emotion and develop a true connection with a song. Those are the moments that will stay with you forever and give you perspective on the rest of stuff going on in your life. Those are the rare occasions.

For realla, baby

*Missing track 1 (“Her” by Majid Jordan) and track 3 (“On The Way” by Kilo Kish), not available on SoundCloud.

DOWNLOAD ‘RARE OCCASIONS’ HERE


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[Download Mixtape] Tape Tuesday: Superfriends

New Tape Tuesday!

It is really really really difficult to believe in love when you have not experienced it, yet it is so engrained in culture that it is instilled in even the most adamant nonbelievers. I set out to make out a mixtape that is as grimy and slimy (sorry for rhyming) as the ZHU smash “Superfriends” and somehow came out with this grand statement on love. I think the context of this love still comes from like a night out, “we found love in a hopeless place”-type scenario, so that is cool and interesting. Other than that, it is just a mix of 24 songs ranging from Mar‘s gorgeous “Ode to Her” (which makes the lyric “If I was born a girl, I would be just like you babe” endearing and not weird) to the addictive and danceable “Coast Is Clear” by the odd couple of Skrillex and Chance The Rapper.

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[Download MP3] The Weeknd – Drunk In Love (Remix)

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Immediately after Kanye drops his crazy-fun-white-girl-anthem-verse, The Weeknd releases his own rendition of “Drunk In Love” and sheesh. Who’s next? Ellie Goulding (yes plz)

Two awesome remixes in 24 hours? Is this allowed to happen? Are we in heaven? You could totes roll and get high to this.

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Songs of the Week: August 19 – August 25

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Another week, another batch of fabulous tunes that’ll have you feelin’ good.

1. [MP3] Lolo – Year Round Summer of Love

(Posted by Alicia)

Is Lolo a serious star in the making? I’m going to go ahead and say yes. “Year Round Summer of Love” is sassy, pop goodness. It’s basically impossible to not adore. I’m personally always ready for more powerful female artists, so let’s have some more of this!

 

2. [MP3] Ta-Ku – Closet Drake Fans

(Posted by Dusty)

We all love a bit of Drake deep down, whether we like to admit it or not. This revive of Drake’s “Over” is something anyone would probably go insane to in the club. It brings the original to life in a new way, in the best way possible. Thank you Ta-ku, you did this some serious justice.

 

3.[Stream + Lyrics] Sam Smith – Nirvana

(Posted by Andy)

Will Sam Smith ever disappoint? Sure he only has a couple of songs but DAMN are they amazing. “Nirvana” is sexy, smooth and just beautifully perfect. Anyone else want to be serenaded by this man? I know I do.

 

4.[MP3] Jaymes Young – One Last Time

(Posted by Lydia)

Jaymes Young has been getting our attention for the last couple of months and it’s not stopping now. He’s got that cool vibe and it definitely shows in a more tender way in “One Last Time”. It’s a calming, mesmerizing track that you can find on his equally awesome mixtape.

 

5.[MP3] Lorde – Royals (The Weeknd Remix)

(Posted by Arjun)

I think we can all agree “Royals” has become the soundtrack of the summer. Lorde is blowing up so it only makes sense someone remixes some of her pop anthems right? The Weeknd just happened to step up with this one and it sure did work out well. He takes “Royals” and gives it a new twist and flavor. Oh boy, do we love it!

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[MP3] The Weeknd – Live For (ft. Drake)

New The Weeknd!

I just moved in with three of my best friends, so obviously The Weeknd‘s lyrics “this the shit that I live for with the people I’d die for” is pretty relatable. Man, this is the second post about Abel in two days–right when I was about to write him off, too. So Kiss Land comes out September 10th (a week before Drake‘s Nothing Was The Same); hit the jump to read the tracklist.

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