The Weeknd and Reps Talk About Clearing Samples, Bidding Wars, Doing Press, International ToursPosted by in News
The Weeknd and reps spoke with Billboard about the bidding war to sign Abel, clearing samples for Trilogy, profits from touring and eventually doing press. Excerpts from the article are posted below. Click here to read the full story on Billboard.
“But the press-shy Weeknd tells Billboard that although the Trilogy samples were “killing me,” he was able to get clearance from acts like Beach House (“The Party & the After Party”) and Siouxsie and the Banshees (“Glass Table Girls”). Only his use of Aaliyah’s “Rock the Boat” on fan favorite “What You Need” failed to make the CD.
In October 2011, William Morris Endeavor music head Marc Geiger famously told Topspin CEO Ian Rogers that the Weeknd was able to command $25,000 for a show-even though he’d yet to play a single proper gig. Joel Zimmerman, music agent and head of William Morris Electronic, clarified to Billboard that the figure was used more as an example of the quotes mentioned in the bidding war to sign the Weeknd and his management-a deal that remained in process through January 2012.
“I had just booked Coachella for his first U.S. show, and I didn’t know if we were hired. I still thought this could be a one-off thing,” Zimmerman says. “Right before they came out to L.A., I flew to Toronto to meet everybody and get a handle on who they were and how we could work together. It’s been one of the most rewarding experiences I ever had.”
The Weeknd’s initial U.S. shows, with a limited band and set production, grossed an impressive $335,000 across five dates with attendance of 8,352, according to Billboard Boxscore. For a fall tour that began in September and ran through last week, the Weeknd returned with a new band, backup singers and a full production complete with custom videos.
Zimmerman notes that the Weeknd has already begun recording new material, and that major touring plans will bring him to Europe in the spring, the festival circuit in the summer and even bigger U.S. venues next fall. The artist may even become more accessible in due time.
“At some point, he’ll start doing press,” Zimmerman says, “but right now it’s been more about the music and the performance and just evolving as an artist.”