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The Weeknd Animates His Dark Past in ‘Snowchild’

Canadian artist Abel Tesfaaye illustrates his journey to fame in an anime-style music video for his new single, produced by D’ART Shtajio, the first Black-owned anime studio in Japan.

Every day, the animation gods get a little more powerful. The most recent offering is The Weeknd’s video for his new single Snowchild, an animated journey through the artist’s dark chameleonic past that gives us serious anime/The Boondocks hybrid vibes. The tone is decidedly somber and nostalgic, using black and white imagery to show his early days at the ‘House of Balloons’ in Toronto.

The message seems cautionary: money doesn’t buy you happiness, and the grass isn’t always greener once you achieve your dreams. In the end, animated Abel finds his newest persona from the album After Hours donning the red jacket, chunky glasses, and nose bandage. Life goes on, and he keeps growing.

Snowchild was produced by D’ART Shtajio, Japan’s first Black-owned anime studio, established in 2016 by twin brothers Arthell and Darnell Isom in collaboration with animator Henry Thurlow. Their blend of both Japanese anime styles and American culture is both effortless and refreshing, and a fantastic addition to the animation industry. For more animated music videos perfect for an introspective quarantine afternoon, check out future me by Billie Eilish and The City by DJ Aktive ft. Common, Freeway, Bri Steves, and DJ Jazzy Jeff.

Laurén Alexa's picture

Cybersecurity specialist by day, investigative journalist by night.