The Weeknd forms “strategic partnership” with Universal Republic

It’s official…The Weeknd has gone major. It was announced today that Abel and his XO movement inked a deal partnership with Universal Republic. The first release will be Trilogy, a compilation of the Balloons mixtapes that will also feature new a few bonus tracks.

The lead single will be Wicked Games, which you can expect to hit iTunes soon.

Oh yeah…and Trilogy drops November 13! Congrats, my friends….xo.

UPDATE: Official press release now attached after the jump.

Critically-acclaimed Canadian ALT/R&B trailblazer THE WEEKND and the initiative behind him, XO, have forged a strategic partnership with REPUBLIC RECORDS (division of UMG). The artist/producer is set to release Trilogy, in stores and online November 13, 2012 as part of this high-profile partnership.

Trilogy contains his highly lauded mixtapes, House of Balloons, Thursday and Echoes of Silence, all mixed and mastered for the first time. In addition to the 27 original cuts, both the physical and digital editions will feature new, unreleased material. It’s an impressive collection and the perfect introduction to his enigmatic and entrancing sound.

Last year, House of Balloons instantly stirred up unparalleled excitement from tastemakers. Complex extolled the mixtape as the “best album of 2011″, and Pitchfork bestowed the “Best New Music” title upon it. Dominating year-end lists across the board, it claimed number 5 on Stereogum, number 6 on The A.V. Club, number 8 on The Guardian (UK), and number 13 on Spin. Other praise came from MTV, BET, Rolling Stone, XXL, and The Source who even named him the “Songbird of his generation”.

His peers have also embraced him just as enthusiastically. DRAKE, along with his team OVO, was the first A-list recording artist to publicly proclaim his adoration for THE WEEKND’s music. The two joined forces and collaborated on several tracks from his chart-topping album, Take Care. The most recognizable song from their work together, “Crew Love,” showcased THE WEEKND’s vocals throughout. “Crew Love,” which THE WEEKND also co-wrote and co-produced— instantly became a stand out hit single from the platinum-selling album. DRAKE returned the favor by lending his vocals to one of THE WEEKND’s most popular tracks, “The Zone,” from his Thursday mixtape.

Expanding across genres further, THE WEEKND was tapped to create official remixes for FLORENCE + THE MACHINE and LADY GAGA. His take on FLORENCE’s “Shake It Out” became the single’s first formal remix, and his interpretation of GAGA’s “Marry the Night” was a dark centerpiece of her release, Born This Way: The Remixes. You can also find THE WEEKND’s signature voice on 2 CHAINZ’s chart-dominating new album, Based on a T.R.U. Story. The rapper uses a sample from “The Birds (Part 1)” off the singer’s Thursday mixtape as a hook for his track, “Like Me”.

Trilogy will be preceded by the first single, “Wicked Games”, available on iTunes and other digital retailers soon. An ethereal keyboard entwines with the singer’s raw, confessional, cinematic lyrics just before he carries a massive hook through a lonely space. The song is honest and heartfelt.

In addition to “Wicked Games,” the collection boasts an array of diverse tracks. Another standout is the infectious and intoxicating “High For This,” which gained notoriety by being prominently featured in the advertising campaign for the final season of HBO’s popular hit series, Entourage.

THE WEEKND has become an international live draw with shows from coast to coast. His first headlining tour sold out across the United States. He’s also made surprise guest appearances on DRAKE’s Club Paradise tour, and has performed at high-profile festivals such as, Coachella, Primavera Sound Festival, and the Wireless Festival in London. Right now, you can catch him on the road with FLORENCE + THE MACHINE through October 10th. Concurrently, The WEEKND kicks off his own headlining tour, “The Fall Tour,” at the end of this month.

The joint venture between REPUBLIC RECORDS and the Canada-based XO sees THE WEEKND’s vision preserved and magnified on a much larger scale. The XO initiative has grown from a small collective— with roots based in the metropolitan streets of Toronto— to a marquee business partner, and it will only evolve further within this structure.

Together, REPUBLIC RECORDS, XO, and THE WEEKND are breaking new ground via their collaboration. This historic partnership sees one of the most unique independent entities in music, XO, ally with one of the most forward-thinking companies in the business, REPUBLIC spearheaded by the artist’s vision. It’s the beginning of what will undoubtedly become an influential paradigm and a paragon for trend-setting art.

Experience Trilogy and get to know THE WEEKEND November 13, 2012.

About Republic Records

A division of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company, Republic is home to an all-star roster of multi-platinum, award-winning legends and superstar artists such as 3 Doors Down, Amy Winehouse, Black Sabbath, Colbie Caillat, Eddie Vedder, Enrique Iglesias, Florence + the Machine, Godsmack, Owl City, The Voice (NBC-TV), Gotye, Of Monsters & Men, Mayer Hawthorne, among many others.

It is comprised of innovative imprints and digital business ventures including Republic Nashville (The Band Perry), Cash Money (Lil Wayne, Drake, Nicki Minaj), Indie Pop (Dev, The Cataracs), Lava Records (Jessie J, Black Veil Brides), SRC (Akon, Melanie Fiona), Aware Records (Mat Kearney), Brushfire (Jack Johnson, G. Love), Tuff Gong (Damian Marley), Downtown (Miike Snow), among others.