Calling the The Weeknd’s After Hours-Dawn FM run “dominant” would be an absolute understatement.
The Toronto artist has been simply inescapable from the limelight in recent years — all since sharing the first chapter of his second album trilogy, After Hours, in 2020. Following a legendary Super Bowl Halftime Show, multiple record-breaking tracks and even earning the highest streamed track in Spotify history with “Blinding Lights,” Abel Tesfaye didn’t let the light blind him in the afterlife purgatory of Dawn FM.
After delivering multiple remixes from his otherwordly “sonic universe” — which includes “Out of Time,” “Moth to A Flame” and “Sacrifice” — The Weeknd recruited legendary producer-engineer Mike Dean for the long-awaited “Starry Eyes” remix (July 1).
This Dean-mix comes less than a day after Abel announced new guests for his forthcoming “After Hours Till Dawn” tour, which previously featured Doja Cat until she dropped out due to medical issues. The tour will now open with Snoh Aalegra, Kaytranada and none other than Mike Dean. The remix will most likely serve as the version used on tour.
“Starry Eyes” keeps The Weeknd’s lusciously transportative vocals but adds more of a ethereal, freestyle twist in the production. While the original has a lighter and more angelic feeling, the remix adds more of a grand production style — transforming it into a full track rather than an in-album transition. Fans also get a plethora of synths and a unforgettable solo from Dean himself. The track overall is a spectacular love letter to a special someone Abel has had “starry eyes” for, as the title suggests.
“Make it my responsibility
I’ll be there every step of the way, uh
I’ll get you back on your feet
Let me love you
Let me love you like you need”“Starry Eyes” – The Weeknd and Mike Dean
The 2020s have been extremely kind to Tesfaye. Jot only dropping off his Grammy-winning effort After Hours — which included hits in “Blinding Lights” and “Save Your Tears” (both sitting over billions of Spotify streams) — Abel’s Dawn FM served as a testament to the prime of radio — wafting through the immersive narrative with frequent radio timeouts as Abel deals with an existential crisis of sorts.
The album features a star-studded crew in Lil Wayne, Tyler, The Creator and Jim Carrey as its narrator. Dawn FM debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 100, selling 148,000 copies in its first week. Additionally, as part of the After Hours and Dawn FM trilogy experience, he announced the “After Hours Till Dawn Tour” will combine both albums for a live tour experience.
Mike Dean has been busier behind the scenes, working on some of the biggest projects with new and old stars alike. Captaining projects with 070 Shake, Weiland, Fivio Foreign and more, his most notorious work has come from working on Kanye West’s Grammy-winning album Donda, and its work-in-progress sequel Donda 2.
After dropping off some of the biggest hits of the decade, The Weeknd and Mike Dean have proven that their fingerprints on the music industry will never be erased.
Listen to ‘Starry Eyes – Mike Dean Remix’ below!