Remember spring '11, the first time you discovered that Canadian kid with the fresh dreads and the angelic voice? It's been exactly 10 years since The Weeknd first tugged on our heartstrings and to celebrate the singer is reissuing his debut mixtape House of Balloons – with a little help from Daniel Arsham.
The Weeknd announced the release on social media earlier this week, confirming the reissue would feature original mixes and samples that didn’t make the final cut.
The nine-track project was the Canadian singer-songwriter’s breakout moment. Catapulting him to an international fan base, it also caught the attention of fellow Toronto native Drake, who in turn recruited him for a game-changing feature on his 2011 hit "Crew Love."
House Of Balloons was originally released online for free back in 2011 and features notable samples from Aaliyah, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Cocteau Twins, Beach House, and more. These samples hadn’t previously been cleared for a full official release – until now.
Not only did the tape give us one of the greatest pop stars of our time, but it also changed the sound of pop and R&B. Speaking on the project's legacy to Variety last year, The Weeknd revealed he was both flattered and upset by artists biting his sound. “House of Balloons literally changed the sound of pop music before my eyes,” he said. “I heard ‘Climax,’ that Usher song, and was like, ‘Holy fuck, that’s a Weeknd song.’ It was very flattering, and I knew I was doing something right, but I also got angry. But the older I got, I realized it’s a good thing.”
Following 10 years of the XO artist shooting to superstardom, we're coming full circle with the return of House of Balloons. To celebrate the moment, The Weeknd has teamed up with artist Daniel Arsham, who reinterpreted the iconic cover art for a limited-edition vinyl version of the mixtape and an exclusive merchandise drop.
"The summer of 2011 will always be marked by House of Balloons. Like a time travel device, the album transports me back to that specific moment in time every time I listen,” Arsham explained. “It is a great privilege to work with The Weeknd and the XO Team to reimagine the iconic album art of House of Balloons as an eroded sculpture for the 10 year anniversary."
Fans may purchase the new House of Balloons merch at shop.theweeknd.com beginning today, March 21 at 3PM EST for 48 hours only. And stream the tape in all its glory below.