Over the past few years, R&B has experienced several changes, one of them being the increasing influence of gospel in the genre. From Kanye West’s spoken word interludes on The Life of Pablo, to the gospel choirs and religious verses on Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book, slow, tender soul music has slowly been making its comeback. One of the most promising new voices who made their presence known this year was Toronto born singer/songwriter Daniel Caesar.
In 2017, we’ve seen a forceful new wave of R&B musicians arrive with incredible projects, such as SZA’s CTRL, Kehlani’s SweetSexySavage, and H.E.R’s Vol. 2. But perhaps the most compelling new R&B artist to drop an album this year was Daniel Caesar, with his expertly produced, slow-burning record Freudian. The album singles include, the crooning love balled “Blessed”, the gospel choir fueled “We Find Love”, and the Kali Uchis assisted track “Get You”. You can check out an official video for “Get You” below.
Daniel Caesar hasn’t only been recording and promoting his own music, but has been collaborating with some of the music industry’s most prominent musicians. Mary J. Blige brought in Caesar to assist on “Telling the Truth”, a track from her latest album Strength of a Woman. More recently, Daniel Caesar was seen performing beside Chance the Rapper on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show. Chance’s new song, titled “First World Problems” is a low-key ballad that was written just days before the taping of the show and features Caesar on guitar and vocals.
It’s hardly surprising that Daniel Caesar and Chance the Rapper found each other. In his interview with NOW, Caesar explained that he’s not interested in signing to a major label, preferring to remain a free agent much like Chance in the early phase of his career. Caesar and his team have been leaning on Chance’s manager, Pat Corcoran, for advice. “He has been a big help to us – mentoring us,” Caesar said of Cocoran. “All the little ins and outs that you have to figure out when you don’t have a label. You have to be able to dance the line of being an artist and a businessman. They’re very opposing ways of being.”
To date, all of Daniel Caesar’s EP and LP releases have been met with critical acclaim, especially Praise Break, which was crowned the Best Canadian Project of 2014 by Noisey, and one of the 20 Best R&B Albums of 2014 by Rolling Stone. Caesar’s debut studio album Freudian has been lauded as a zeitgeist of human emotion, an emblazoned and soulful testament to what it means to love and lose and love again. Daniel Caesar, not only for his authenticity, but his ability to transfer inspiration to and from his contemporaries such as Chance the Rapper and Frank Ocean, is definitely one of the most promising voices of this genre in flux.
Daniel Caesar begins “Freudian, a North American Tour” in Philly on October 16th. The Freudian Tour will bring him to New York City at the end of November, performing at both Highline Ballroom and the Music Hall of Williamsburg. Don’t miss out on hearing this incredibly exciting voice in R&B on the small stage. Considering his quickly rising fame, we suggest getting your Daniel Caesar tickets soon.