Vocal Range: F2 – E5 – G#5 (3 octaves and a minor third)
Vocal Fach: Light Lyric Tenor
Vocal Rating: Singer
Analysis: A very light and thin but nimble voice. The Weeknd’s voice is clearly a product of his musical influences, namely Michael Jackson, who he often stylistically imitates but also shares a similar natural tone. While he would succumb to his stage fright early in his career and deliver shaky live vocals, as he has gained experience and training (and fame), he has grown significantly into a respectable vocalist.
The Weeknd’s voice is naturally agile, allowing him to sing descending vocal lines with ease, even though they may sound unpolished (“Secrets,” 3:56). This is due to a variety of technical issues, but his current footing allows him to sing these passages without major discrepancies in pitch, and his work with vocal coaches has significantly developed this natural ease.
As a tenor, his lower register is naturally quite weak, and in the past, he has struggled with this area of his range. Now, it seems that he can carry his tone and color down to C3. Even then, however, his indie stylings particularly on the “aɪ” sound creates some tongue and jaw tension that dulls the sound (and this is true of all parts of his range).
As he ascends in his chest voice, he may pull too much weight which causes him to strain as he reaches for higher notes (“In the Night”), though based on recent performances, he now knows how to place and mix his voice to create a clean and relaxed sound. When he mixes and sheds weight, the slight nasality to his voice becomes more prominent. This, in combination with his very fast and uneven vibrato as well as his stylistic choices, can be grating to some. His head voice and falsetto are quite bright, and even sound androgynous at times, making his vocal fach even more apparent. The sound here is reliably clear, and he will rarely push beyond his natural limits here.
While his studio recordings are often tame with respect to vocal performances, the Weeknd will take more liberties when performing live, as can be seen from his recent Super Bowl Halftime Show performance, in which he took liberties with the melodies of his songs.
Overall, the Weeknd knows how to make the most of his instrument with his current technical footing, and his practice on the technical and performance aspects of his voice has been of noticeable benefit.
What do you think of The Weeknd’s voice? Would you add anything to our analysis? Let us know by commenting below!
The Weeknd has a vocal range spanning approximately three octaves, from F2 – E5 – G#5.
The Weeknd is a light lyric tenor.