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This was originally recorded by Abel Tesfaye under his stage name of The Weeknd for his 2011 mixtape House of Balloons. The song was later remastered and released as the lead single for his 2012 debut album Trilogy, which is a compendium of his first three mixtapes. When asked by NME if a 'Trilogy' was something he always set out to do, Tesfaye 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."
The Weeknd wrote the song with Doc McKinney and Illangelo. The two producers also performed all the instrumentation.
Raised in Minneapolis, Doc McKinney grew up in the heart of the Twin Cities indie scene playing in various punk rock and hip hop based groups there before settling in Toronto, Canada, in 1994 as an aspiring Producer. Before linking up with The Weeknd, McKinney has worked with a variety of artists ranging from Sting and Maroon 5 to Kelis and Santigold. In 2011 he linked up with Weeknd's Toronto associate Drake to co-write two Take Care
tracks, "Crew Love
"and "The Ride
Toronto native Carlo "Illangelo" Montagnese is a long-time collaborator of The Weeknd, having collaborated with him on all three of the mixtapes that Trilogy
is compiled from. Other credits include Wiz Khalifa's second O.N.I.F.C.
single, "Remember You
It was Drake who first generated public awareness for The Weeknd after he quoted a line from this track on Twitter and linked to the R&B singer's music on his website.
The Weeknd made his television debut on November 27, 2012, when he performed a censored version of this song on the UK's performance-based show Later... with Jools Holland.
Trilogy sold 90,000 in the US in its first week despite the fact that it was almost entirely made up of songs that are available for free on The Weeknd's first three Mixtapes.
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