Photo by Brian Ziff

The Weeknd’s 80s-inspired hit song ‘Blinding Lights’ has become the most-streamed song on music-streaming platform Spotify.

‘Blinding Lights’ has attracted over 3.336 billion streams on Spotify since its release in November 2019, beating the record previously set by Ed Sheeran’s 2017 hit ‘Shape Of You’ which now has 3.334 billion streams.

The Weeknd—whose real name is Abel Tesfaye—co-wrote and co-produced ‘Blinding Lights’ with Swedish ‘hit machine’ Max Martin, along with co-writers Ahmad Balshe, Jason Quenneville and Oscar Holter.

The total number of streams of ‘Blinding Lights’ has been boosted by the song’s three official remixes: one by electronic band Chromatics, one by electronic dance music group Major Lazer, and one featuring singer-songwriter Rosalía.

In an Esquire interview, The Weeknd explained: “‘Blinding Lights’ is about how you want to see someone at night, and you’re intoxicated, and you’re driving to this person and you’re just blinded by streetlights. But nothing could stop you from trying to go see that person because you’re so lonely. I don’t want to ever promote drunk driving, but that’s what the dark undertone is.”

The song is written in the key of F Dorian with a tempo of 171 BPM. The F Dorian scale has a key signature of three flats (B♭, E♭, and A♭). It is similar to the Fm scale except its 6th note is a half-step higher (D). Chord progressions in the Dorian mode also have a characteristic dreamy sound due to the quality of the chord built on the 4th scale degree.

‘Blinding Lights’ has a distinct 80s synth-pop vibe and leans on Max Martin’s highly successful “melodic math” approach to song construction.

In a Billboard interview, The Weeknd expressed his appreciation for music of the 1980s: “I’ve always had an admiration for the era before I was born,” he revealed. “The 80s play such a huge role in my sound. Sometimes it helps me create a new sound and sometimes it’s just obvious. I’m just glad the world’s into it now.”

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