Illangelo – Canadian hitmaker behind the Weeknd’s murky sound
Canadian hitmaker behind the Weeknd’s murky sound
Most are familiar with The Weeknd’s cryptic yet melodic sound that has reinvented R&B in the past few years. From the eerily distorted sub-bass on the chorus of his 2015 hit ‘𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘏𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘴’ to the catchy sadistic tone on the recent ‘𝘈𝘧𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘏𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴’, a song by The Weeknd has a melodramatic mood that is all of it’s own. This image was in large part constructed by his long time collaborator and fellow Canadian Carlos Montagnese (illangelo), a Grammy Award-winning producer/song writer/engineer/DJ from Calgary.
Montagnese grew up in Alberta, Canada where he developed his sharp craft for 8 years before making the jump out to Toronto in 2010. In December of that year, Carlos was working at Dream House studios in Toronto when Abel (The Weeknd) walked in to record. The two struck up an immediate chemistry, with Montagnese playing a few sounds for Abel who was began singing a “beautiful melody” over them, as Carlos would tell FactMag in 2013. Less than an hour later, they had conceived what would become Drake’s OVOXO anthem ‘𝘊𝘳𝘦𝘸 𝘓𝘰𝘷𝘦’. Illangelo would go on to executive produce all three of Abel’s early mixtapes that would become ‘𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘛𝘳𝘪𝘭𝘰𝘨𝘺’ in 2012.
Since his early musical roots in Toronto, the multi-talented Illangelo has grown beyond his XO’ , producing for the likes of Post Malone on ‘𝘐 𝘍𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘈𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵’ and Lady Gaga on ‘𝘔𝘢𝘳𝘳𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘕𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘙𝘦𝘮𝘪𝘹’. He also released his own concept-album titled ‘𝘏𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘔𝘢𝘯’ in 2013. Following a brief break from production on The Weeknd’s ‘𝘚𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘣𝘰𝘺’ & ‘𝘔𝘺 𝘋𝘦𝘢𝘳 𝘔𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘩𝘰𝘭𝘺’, Illangelo’s precise strokes can be heard throughout ‘𝘈𝘧𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘏𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴’, creating the sinister yet sexy sound we’ve become accustomed to.