XO (record label)

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XO
XO - 2.gif
Parent companyUniversal Music Group
Founded2011; 10 years ago (2011)
Founder
Distributor(s)Republic Records
Genre
Country of originCanada

XO (also known as XO Records)[1][2] is a Canadian record label co-founded by singer The Weeknd, Sal Slaiby, Amir Esmailian, both also managers of the artist, and his creative director La Mar Taylor.[3] Sal Slaiby serves as CEO.[4]

As of 2012, it operates as a subsidiary of, and is distributed through, Universal Music Group's Republic Records.[5] The label's current acts include The Weeknd, Belly, Nav, and Black Atlass. The label has had six projects debut at number one on the Billboard 200: Beauty Behind The Madness, Starboy, My Dear Melancholy, Bad Habits, After Hours and Good Intentions, with the latter two both achieving this in the first half of 2020.[6]

History[edit]

XO was created by Canadian singer-songwriter The Weeknd, Sal Slaiby and Amir Esmailian, as an unofficial imprint to release three mixtapes in 2011. The three releases, House of Balloons, Thursday, and Echoes of Silence, helped grow the singer's profile, and began promoting the "XO" moniker through various on-stage performances and references within songs. The Weeknd also began conducting advertising deals via the label to multiple outlets, namely collaborating with PAX Labs to release a limited edition version of the PAX 2 vaporizer, an electronic cigarette that could be used in shows during The Madness Fall Tour.[7]

Upon securing a major recording contract with Republic Records in 2012, XO was also assumed as a subsidiary of Republic, and also acted as the distributors and manufacturers of any music created by XO. Belly was signed as the label's first artist in 2015, and Derek Wise was signed later that year. Nav was signed by the label in 2016. Upon entering classification as a subsidiary, the label has released seven projects by their artists (discluding The Weeknd). |

XO signed 88Glam in 2017,[8] following the independent release of their self-titled mixtape.[9] 88Glam departed from XO in 2020.[10]

On February 2, 2018, Montreal-born singer Black Atlass released a new song, "My Life", distributed by XO Records.[11] Black Atlass had previously appeared alongside The Weeknd in his "Secrets" music video and in some ads involving the Puma x XO collections that dropped in 2017.[12]

Roster[edit]

Current acts[edit]

Act Year
signed
Releases
under the label
The Weeknd 2012 10
Belly 2015 5
Nav 2016 6
Black Atlass 2018 2

Former acts[edit]

Act Year
signed
Releases
under the label
88Glam 2017–2020 2

In-house producers[edit]

Act Year
Illangelo[13] 2011
DaHeala[14] 2013
DannyBoyStyles[15] 2013
Belly[16] 2013
Nav[17] 2016

Discography[edit]

The label has officially released twelve studio albums, two EPs, and two compilation albums. Unofficially, the label has released eleven mixtapes.

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Details
2013 The WeekndKiss Land
  • Released: September 10, 2013[18]
  • Label: XO, Republic
  • Formats: CD, download
  • Chart position: #2 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: Gold
2015 The Weeknd – Beauty Behind the Madness
  • Released: August 28, 2015[19]
  • Label: XO, Republic
  • Formats: CD, download
  • Chart position: #1 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: 4x Platinum
2016 The Weeknd – Starboy
  • Released: November 25, 2016[20]
  • Label: XO, Republic
  • Formats: CD, download
  • Chart position: #1 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: 3x Platinum
2018 NavReckless
  • Released: May 18, 2018
  • Label: XO, Republic
  • Formats: download
  • Chart position: #8 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: Gold
Black Atlass – Pain and Pleasure
  • Released: July 12, 2018[21]
  • Label: XO, Republic
  • Formats: download
  • Chart position: uncharted
  • RIAA certification: uncertified
BellyImmigrant
  • Released: October 12, 2018
  • Label: XO, Roc Nation, Republic
  • Formats: CD, download
  • Chart position: #169 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: uncertified
88Glam88Glam2
  • Released: November 16, 2018 (initial) April 5, 2019 (2.5)
  • Label: XO, Republic
  • Formats: download
  • Chart position: uncharted
  • RIAA certification: uncertified
2019 Nav – Bad Habits
  • Released: March 22, 2019
  • Label: XO, Republic
  • Formats: download
  • Chart position: #1 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: Gold
2020 The Weeknd – After Hours
  • Released: March 20, 2020
  • Label: XO, Republic
  • Formats: CD, download
  • Chart position: #1 U.S
  • RIAA certification: 2x platinum
Black Atlass – Dream Awake[22]
  • Released: April 3, 2020
  • Label: XO, Republic
  • Formats: download
  • Chart position: uncharted
  • RIAA certification: uncertified
Nav – Good Intentions[23]
  • Released: May 8, 2020
  • Label: XO, Republic
  • Formats: download
  • Chart position: #1 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: uncertified
2021 88Glam - Close to Heaven, Far from God
  • To be released: TBA[24]
  • Label: XO, Republic
  • Format: Digital download

EPs[edit]

Year EP details Details
2018 The Weeknd – My Dear Melancholy,
  • Released: March 29, 2018
  • Label: XO, Republic
  • Formats: CD, download
  • Chart position: #1 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: uncertified
2019 Nav – Brown Boy[25]
  • Released: March 14, 2019
  • Label: XO, Republic
  • Format: Digital download

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album details Details
2012 The Weeknd – Trilogy
  • Released: November 13, 2012
  • Label: XO, Republic
  • Formats: CD, download
  • Chart position: #4 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: 3x Platinum
2018 The Weeknd – The Weeknd in Japan
  • Chart position: Did not chart
  • RIAA certification: Uncertified
2021
The Weeknd – The Highlights
  • Released: November 21, 2018 (Japan)
  • Label: XO, Republic
  • Formats: CD, download
  • Chart position: #2 US
  • RIAA certification: Uncertified

Mixtapes[edit]

Year Album details
2011 The Weeknd – House of Balloons
  • Released: March 21, 2011
  • Label: XO
  • Formats: download
The Weeknd – Thursday
  • Released: August 18, 2011
  • Label: XO
  • Formats: download
The Weeknd – Echoes of Silence
  • Released: December 21, 2011
  • Label: XO
  • Formats: download
2015 Belly – Up For Days
  • Released: May 7, 2015
  • Label: XO, Roc Nation
  • Formats: download
2016 Belly – Another Day in Paradise
  • Released: May 27, 2016
  • Label: XO, Roc Nation
  • Formats: download
Belly – Inzombia
  • Released: November 11, 2016
  • Label: XO, Roc Nation
  • Formats: download
2017 Nav – Nav
  • Released: February 24, 2017
  • Label: XO, Republic
  • Formats: download
Nav and Metro BoominPerfect Timing
  • Released: July 21, 2017
  • Label: Boominati, XO, Republic
  • Formats: download
Belly – Mumble Rap
  • Released: October 6, 2017
  • Label: XO, Roc Nation
  • Formats: download
88Glam – 88Glam
  • Released: November 16, 2017 (initial) April 20, 2018 (re-released)
  • Label: XO, Republic[9]
  • Formats: download
2020 Nav – Brown Boy 2
  • Released: May 11, 2020
  • Label: XO, Republic
  • Formats: download
Nav – Emergency Tsunami
  • Released: November 6, 2020
  • Label: XO, Republic
  • Formats: download

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Who Is Signed To XO? Dissecting The Weeknd's Canadian Collective". Umusic. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  2. ^ "The Weeknd (@theweeknd)". Instagram. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  3. ^ "The Weeknd on the Crew That Boosted Him From 'Basically Homeless' to the Super Bowl". Billboard. 2021.
  4. ^ "XO Records CEO Wassim 'SAL' Slaiby Cancels Annual Birthday Party Due to California Wildfires". Billboard. November 15, 2018. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  5. ^ "Republic Records". universalmusic.com. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  6. ^ Caulfield, Keith (May 17, 2020). "NAV's 'Good Intentions' Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart". Billboard. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  7. ^ Keating, Lauren (November 4, 2015). "The Weeknd Launches A Vape That Plays His Hit Single 'The Hills' As You Smoke". Tech Times. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  8. ^ "88GLAM ANNOUNCE FIRST HEADLINING CANADIAN TOUR". Umusic. Retrieved June 28, 2020.
  9. ^ a b Berry, Peter. "88GLAM SIGN TO XO RECORDS, DROP '88GLAM: RELOADED' PROJECT". XXL. Retrieved April 28, 2018.
  10. ^ Gheciu, Alex Nino. "88GLAM Talk 'New Mania,' Leaving XO, and That 'Independent Flex'". Complex. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  11. ^ Goddard, Kevin. "Did The Weeknd Sign R&B Singer Black Atlass To XO Records?". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  12. ^ Marsh, Ryan. "The Weeknd signs Black Atlass to XO Records". Rap Wave. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  13. ^ "The Weeknd on the Crew That Boosted Him From 'Basically Homeless' to the Super Bowl". 2011.
  14. ^ "The Weeknd Co-Manager SAL Joins Guy Oseary's Maverick: Exclusive". 2016.
  15. ^ "DannyBoyStyles, Producer for Beyonce, The Weeknd & Belly, On His Rise to Grammy Success". 2017.
  16. ^ "DannyBoyStyles, Producer for Beyonce, The Weeknd & Belly, On His Rise to Grammy Success". 2017.
  17. ^ "Who Is Signed To XO? Dissecting The Weeknd's Canadian Collective". October 24, 2017.
  18. ^ "Kiss Land by The Weeknd on Apple Music". iTunes Store. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  19. ^ "Beauty Behind the Madness by The Weeknd on iTunes". iTunes Store. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  20. ^ Lynch, John (September 22, 2016). "The Weeknd released a new single with Daft Punk and revealed a release date for his album". Business Insider. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  21. ^ "Pain & Pleasure by Black Atlass on Apple Music". iTunes Store. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  22. ^ "Black Atlass Announces 'Dream Awake' Album". exclaim.ca. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
  23. ^ "NAV ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM 'GOOD INTENTIONS'". Rap-Up. April 27, 2020. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  24. ^ "88 Glam Announces 'Close to Heaven Far from God' Album with Their New Boastful Single". March 6, 2020.
  25. ^ Giulione, Bianca (March 14, 2019). "NAV's 'Brown Boy' EP Surprise Released by Cash XO". Highsnobiety. Retrieved March 16, 2019.