Wicked Games

Album: Trilogy (2012)
Charted: 53

Songfacts®:

  • 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.
  • When he was 17, The Weeknd dropped out of school and left home. He and two friends moved into a one-bedroom house at 65 Spencer Avenue, in the Toronto neighborhood of Parkdale.

    65 Spencer Avenue inspired the title of House of Balloons. "We'd throw these s---ty parties and have girls over, and we'd try to make it celebratory, so we'd have balloons," The Weeknd told Rolling Stone.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Famous Singers' First Films

Famous Singers' First FilmsSong Writing

A look at the good (Diana Ross, Eminem), the bad (Madonna, Bob Dylan) and the peculiar (David Bowie, Michael Jackson) film debuts of superstar singers.

Kip Winger

Kip WingerSongwriter Interviews

The Winger frontman reveals the Led Zeppelin song he cribbed for "Seventeen," and explains how his passion for orchestra music informs his songwriting.

Philip Cody

Philip CodySongwriter Interviews

A talented lyricist, Philip helped revive Neil Sedaka's career with the words to "Laughter In The Rain" and "Bad Blood."

Francesca Battistelli

Francesca BattistelliSongwriter Interviews

The 2011 Artist of the Year at the Dove Awards isn't your typical gospel diva, and she thinks that's a good thing.

Bible Lyrics

Bible LyricsMusic Quiz

Rockers, rappers and pop stars have been known to quote the Bible in their songs. See if you match the artist to the biblical lyric.

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: '80s Edition

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: '80s EditionMusic Quiz

You know the scenes - Tom Cruise in his own pants-off dance off, Molly Ringwald celebrating her birthday - but do you remember what song is playing?