the weeknd, la mar taylor & ahmed ismail
CIVIC boosterIsm has traditionally been Drake’s thing, but this spring, the Weeknd got in on the act. Along with his artistic director and longtime friend, La Mar Taylor (they met on the first day of high school), and marketing guru Ahmed Ismail, the Weeknd launched HXOUSE, an incubator for creative young people based out of the Artscape Daniels Launchpad on the waterfront, doing for artists what already exists for tech. Musically, the Weeknd’s hitmaking ways continued, with “My Dear Melancholy” reaching number one on the U.S. Billboard top 200. Up NEXT: Touring the HXOUSE model to cities around the world.