Arts

If you like R&B, Daniel Caesar may be someone you should have listened to. Photo: Courtesy of Golden Child.

Why you haven’t heard it

Ashton Simmonds, better known by his stage name, Daniel Caesar, released his debut album Freudian just over a year ago, on Aug. 25, 2017. Having amassed a following over the past few years through EP releases, Freudian created an uproar amongst his fanbase with the drop of 10 new and mesmerising tracks.

While some may not have heard of Caesar because he is Canadian born and raised, others may not recognize him due to the music genre. If you are a pop fan who tends to exclusively listen to top hit lists, trying out R&B, and Freudian, might seem strange the first couple of times that you listen to it. Unlike its upbeat rival, R&B tends to be more subtle and soulful—after all, the genre is called rhythm and blues.

Why it might be tough to get through

R&B may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Plus, if you have recently gone through heartbreak, then Caesar’s soulful and love-filled album is almost definitely not for you. The lyrics are highly relatable, and may just cause further pain and tears.

Caesar’s music can be seen as a more modern rendition of gospel music, so if this style of music does not interest you, then Caesar’s Freudian probably shouldn’t be the first album you queue up on Spotify. With his soft voice lulling you to a drowsy sleep-like state (in the good way—that is), many may prefer a more upbeat and energetic song—which Freudian definitely does not feature.

Why you should listen to it anyway

Not a single bad track is featured within this masterpiece of an album, with each song’s crooning lyrics that pack a punch to both the soul and heart. Joined by other artists such as Kali Uchis, H.E.R., Syd, and Charlotte Day Wilson, who bring higher female voices to contrast with Caesar’s, listeners can expect an intertwining melody that blesses the soundwaves.

Having only just discovered this absolute gem, I will unashamedly admit that it is the only music I have listened to for a solid week. Most of his work is heavily influenced by religion, upbringing, and unrequited love—the latter being one which many of us can relate to, right?

Fun facts

  • Caesar got an endorsement from Barack Obama, earning two spots on Obama’s list of favourite songs of 2017 for his single “Blessed” and his feature on Chance the Rapper’s “First World Problems”.
  • Caesar was expelled from a private Christian high school in Oshawa for selling weed to a fellow classmate.
  • Caesar ended up sleeping on his friends’ couches and park benches when he moved to Toronto to pursue music.

Best lines and songs

“When your fragile world was crashing down around you, you realised your place, and the darkness that you try so hard to subdue, it causes you to change.” (“Neu Roses.”)

“Ever since the day that I met you, I knew you were the girl of my dreams, but we could never be.” (“We Find Love.”)