Credited as primary performer and executive producer, The Weeknd’s debut, 'Kiss Land,' propelled him towards the spotlight, garnering critical acclaim and rapid stardom. The project was a mixture of modern R&B, club anthems, sultry croons, and clean falsettos. It also has moments of insight and candor; The Weeknd’s lyrical acumen allows him to starkly drift between aggressive intimacy, addiction, and vulnerability—leading to complex chaos in a modern world reflected in tiny, tightly strewn, modern love joints.
On the strength of monster singles “Belong to the World” and “Kiss Land,” the project caught fire, selling 95,000+ units in its first week and charting at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 (a mere couple thousand units behind that week’s top seller). On a global level, 'Kiss Land' broke the top 100 charts in several foreign countries including France, Australia, Germany, and Ireland. Its wide acceptance was coupled with visually catching music videos like “Live For (feat. Drake),”which is directed by Sam Pilling.
Its following singles like “Love In The Sky” and “Wanderlust” bolstered the album’s monumental success. Synthy, drum-driven, dark and dancey at times, the production duties were also shared by DannyBoyStyles, Sebastian Tellier, frequent Action Bronson collaborator, Harry Fraud, and the venerable Pharrell, respectively. While the Weeknd went on to create even larger projects accumulating wider acclaim, eventually working with Lana Del Rey, Future, Travis Scott, and Kendrick Lamar to name a few, 'Kiss Land' is a standout starting point to an avalanche of enormously celebrated success that was to come.