There are a couple tricks to making a long career as an artist in music. The Weeknd has taken to the approach of reinventing himself to keep fans interested and his music relevant, a strategy that has earned him Kid’s Choice Awards, Grammy’s, and Super Bowl performances. From his mythical and sonically dark beginnings to the bloody-faced alter-ego he created as a character for 2020’s After Hours, The Weeknd defines the chapters, or phases, of his career rather iconically.
After over a decade of growth, The Weeknd’s character development is still in progress. In a press release this week, fans learned that his latest release, Dawn FM, will be reintroduced to them through an “immersive” television event. “I’m ecstatic to partner with Amazon to premiere the most elaborate live TV special I’ve ever done…Welcome to the next phase of Dawn FM—a purgatory otherworld where live performance, theater, and performance art collide for a night out at the club.”
While this may be the most ambitious project The Weeknd has unveiled on the screen, it is certainly not his first. Cinematics has always played a key role in his career, originating from the drug-fueled scenes he portrayed in his lyrics on 2011’s House of Balloons. His visual aspirations have grown since then, pairing his album After Hours with a short film that showcased his red-suited character on a sobering come-down from performative highs, soundtracked by his own songs. He then made his way to the big screen, appearing in the Safdie brothers and Adam Sandler’s Uncut Gems.
Now, The Weeknd has the chance to star in a creative endeavor of his own. Given the role of Jim Carey as narrator throughout Dawn FM, the project has cinematic ties in its characters, sonics, and narrative. Created by The Weeknd, La Mar C. Taylor of XO Records, and director Micah Bickham, the film will be available on Amazon Prime Saturday, February 26th.