Ashton Dumar Norwill Simmonds[1][4] (born April 5, 1995), known professionally as Daniel Caesar, is a Canadian singer and songwriter. After independently building a following through the release of two critically acclaimed EPs, Praise Break (2014) and Pilgrim's Paradise (2015), Caesar released his debut studio album, Freudian, in August 2017, which garnered widespread critical acclaim.[5] He released his second studio album, Case Study 01, in June 2019. In March 2021, Caesar was featured alongside Giveon on Justin Bieber's single "Peaches", his first number-one song on the US Billboard Hot 100. Caesar released his third studio album, Never Enough, in April 2023 as his first release under Republic Records.

Daniel Caesar
Caesar performing in 2018
Caesar performing in 2018
Background information
Birth nameAshton Dumar Norwill Simmonds
Born (1995-04-05) April 5, 1995 (age 29)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada[1]
OriginOshawa, Ontario, Canada
Genres
Occupations
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Years active2014–present
Labels
Websitedanielcaesar.com

Life and career edit

Ashton Dumar Norwill Simmonds was born on April 5, 1995, in the Scarborough district of Toronto, Ontario, and raised in Oshawa. He is the second eldest of four children to his mother Hollace and father Norwill Simmonds, a pastor and gospel singer who released his first album as a high school student in Jamaica. Caesar attended the Seventh-day Adventist Church and private school in Oshawa.[6][7] He is of Bajan and Jamaican descent.[8]

Caesar grew up in church, singing before his father's congregation in Oshawa.[9] He was raised listening to soul and gospel delivered through musicality and religion, even though his parents were cautious of temptations that came with music.[9] Caesar longed for the city, which was an hour’s drive from his home.[9]

At the age of 17, Caesar was kicked out of the house after a fight with his father on the weekend of his high school graduation; he was briefly homeless during this time.[10] He felt no choice but to pursue his calling as a musician.[9] After leaving his home, he began doing gigs. He connected with producers and future collaborators Jordan Evans and Matthew Burnett and began writing and recording what would be his debut EP Praise Break in 2014;[10] it was No. 19 on the "20 Best R&B Albums of 2014" by Rolling Stone and the top projects of 2014 by Noisey Canada.[11][12]

Caesar's career gained notability in 2015, with the release of his second EP, Pilgrim's Paradise.[9] The album received positive critical acclaim and, while not immediately a commercial success, tracks like "Streetcar", the cover of Kanye West's 2008 song "Street Lights", have become fan favorites.[13][14]

On August 25, 2017, Caesar released his debut album Freudian, which includes the singles "Get You", "We Find Love", and "Blessed". The album was a shortlisted finalist for the 2018 Polaris Music Prize.[15] At the 60th Annual Grammy Awards, Caesar received two nominations for Best R&B Album and Best R&B Performance for "Get You".[16] At the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, Caesar won Best R&B Performance for his single "Best Part".[17] On March 19, 2021, Caesar was also featured alongside American singer-songwriter Giveon on fellow Canadian singer Justin Bieber's single "Peaches", from the latter's sixth studio album, Justice, which became his first chart-topping single on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Caesar released his third studio album, Never Enough, through Republic Records on April 7, 2023.[18]

Artistry edit

Caesar's music is influenced by soul and gospel. His music draws from his childhood experiences and integrates them with R&B and electronics, while his lyrics explore subjects of religion, philosophy and unrequited love. In his music, he often references concepts of philosophy. His singing voice reshapes itself on each track, often veering into a hushed, introspective lilting style.[9] According to Caesar, "In my religious surroundings growing up, the point is to be still, to direct as little attention to yourself as possible and instead, direct all attention to what you’re saying. Now, it’s kind of the opposite."[9] Caesar cites Frank Ocean, Kanye West, Beyoncé, and The Doors frontman Jim Morrison as musical and stylistic inspirations.[9]

Caesar works in close collaboration with producers Matthew Burnett and Jordan Evans, with whom he co-founded his independent label, Golden Child Recordings, and has co-produced almost all of his music with since 2015.[19] Caesar is also part of an informal collaborative of Toronto-based musicians and songwriters that includes River Tiber, BadBadNotGood, and Charlotte Day Wilson, among others.

Personal life edit

In March 2019, Caesar received backlash for defending his friend Julieanna Goddard via an Instagram live stream.[20][21][22] Goddard had been criticized for her racist comments on Black people, particularly those regarding Black women.[23][24][25] He later apologized for his comments.[26][27]

Discography edit

Awards and nominations edit

Award Year[a] Work Category Result Ref.
American Music Awards 2021 "Peaches"(with Justin Bieber and Giveon) Collaboration of the Year Nominated [28]
BET Awards 2017 Daniel Caesar International Viewers' Choice Award Nominated [29]
2018 Best Male R&B/Pop Artist Nominated [30]
Best New Artist Nominated
Billboard Music Awards 2022 "Peaches" Top Collaboration Nominated [31]
Top R&B Song Nominated
Grammy Awards 2018 Freudian Best R&B Album Nominated [32]
"Get You" (with Kali Uchis) Best R&B Performance Nominated
2019 "Best Part" (with H.E.R) Won [33][34]
2020 "Love Again" (with Brandy) Nominated [35]
2022 Justice (as featured artist and songwriter) Album of the Year Nominated [32]
"Peaches" Record of the Year Nominated
Song of the Year Nominated
Best R&B Performance Nominated
Best Music Video Nominated
iHeartRadio MuchMusic Video Awards 2017 Daniel Caesar Best New Canadian Artist Nominated [36]
iHeartRadio Music Awards 2019 Daniel Caesar R&B Artist of the Year Nominated [37]
2022 "Peaches" Song of the Year Nominated [38]
Best Collaboration Nominated
Best Music Video Nominated
Juno Awards 2017 Pilgrim's Paradise R&B/Soul Recording of the Year Nominated [39]
2018 Daniel Caesar Artist of the Year Nominated [40]
Freudian R&B/Soul Recording of the Year Won
2020 "Case Study 01" Nominated [41]
2022 "Peaches" Single of the Year Nominated [42]
2023 "Please Do Not Lean" (feat. BadBadNotGood) Traditional R&B/Soul Recording of the Year Nominated [43]
MTV Europe Music Awards 2021 "Peaches" Best Song Nominated [44]
Best Video Nominated
MTV Video Music Awards 2021 "Peaches" Best Pop Won [45]
Best Collaboration Nominated
Best Editing Nominated
Song of Summer Nominated
People's Choice Awards 2021 "Peaches" The Song of 2021 Nominated [46]
The Music Video of 2021 Nominated
The Collaboration Song of 2021 Nominated
Soul Train Music Awards 2018 Daniel Caesar Best New Artist Won [47]
Best R&B/Soul Male Artist Nominated
"Broken Clocks"(as songwriter) The Ashford And Simpson Songwriter's Award Nominated
"Best Part"(featuring H.E.R.) Nominated
Best Collaboration Performance Won
2019 Daniel Caesar Soul Train Certified Award Nominated [48]
Best R&B/Soul Male Artist Nominated

Other awards edit

Year Ceremony Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2016 Polaris Music Prize Pilgrim's Paradise Longlisted [49]
2018 Freudian Shortlisted [50]
2020 Case Study 01 Longlisted [51]
2023 Never Enough Shortlisted [52]
2016 SOCAN Songwriting Prize "Paradise" (featuring BADBADNOTGOOD) Nominated [53]
2017 "Won't Live Here" Nominated
2021 MTV Millennial Awards "Peaches" Global Hit Nominated
MTV Millennial Awards Brazil Nominated
MTV Video Play Awards Winning Videos Won
NRJ Music Awards International Song of the Year Nominated
2022 ASCAP Awards Winning Songwriters & Publishers Won

Concert tours edit

Headlining

Notes edit

  1. ^ Indicates the year of ceremony. Each year is linked to the article about the awards held that year, wherever possible.

References edit

  1. ^ a b Bin Shikhan, Amani (August 30, 2017). "Daniel Caesar's Holy Devotion to Love on 'Freudian'". Noisey. Retrieved February 4, 2018.
  2. ^ "Toronto neo-soul phenom Daniel Caesar is on the rise". The Globe and Mail.
  3. ^ "Canadian Artist Daniel Caesar Signs Deal with Republic Records, Talks New Album". Billboard.
  4. ^ Mistry, Anupa. "Stripped-Down Soul Music Sounds Like Home". thefader.com. The Fader, Inc. Retrieved February 4, 2018.
  5. ^ "Stream Daniel Caesar's Impressive Debut Album 'Freudian'". Complex. August 26, 2017. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  6. ^ "Daniel Caesar's Mother, Hollace Simmonds, On Love (Interview)". January 16, 2018.
  7. ^ "Ten things you need to know about Daniel Caesar, the Toronto R&B singer who got a shout-out from Barack Obama". January 4, 2018.
  8. ^ "Toronto's Caesar has eye on the throne". Toronto Star. May 2, 2016.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h Green, Alex (October 6, 2017). "Get to know Daniel Caesar, the Artist Baring His Soul on Gospel-tinged R'n'B". Mixmag.
  10. ^ a b Pastuk, Slava (October 2, 2014). "Daniel Caesar's Reign of Freedom". www.vice.com. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
  11. ^ "20 Best R&B Albums of 2014". Rolling Stone. December 15, 2014. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
  12. ^ "Noisey Canada's Top 10 Projects of 2014". www.vice.com. December 19, 2014. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
  13. ^ "Daniel Caesar's Stripped-Down Soul Music Sounds Like Home". The FADER. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
  14. ^ Pastuk, Slava (November 12, 2015). "Daniel Caesar's "Streetcar" is a Polished Take on a Kanye West's "Streetlights"". www.vice.com. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
  15. ^ "Polaris Music Prize Reveals 2018 Short List". Exclaim!, July 17, 2018.
  16. ^ "60th GRAMMY Awards: Full Nominees List". The Recording Academy. November 28, 2017. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  17. ^ "61st Annual Grammy Awards". The Recording Academy. February 11, 2019. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  18. ^ Kenneally, Cerys (March 1, 2023). "Daniel Caesar shares release date for new album Never Enough". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  19. ^ Ritchie, Kevin (August 16, 2017). "Independent soul: Daniel Caesar is staying DIY... with a little help from his friends". Now. Archived from the original on March 7, 2021. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  20. ^ "Daniel Caesar Defends Yes Julz And Gets Slammed By Twitter". Vibe. March 20, 2019. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  21. ^ "Daniel Caesar Calls Black People 'Too Sensitive' In Controversial Rant". iHeartRadio. March 20, 2019. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  22. ^ "Daniel Caesar under fire for 'drunk' video: 'Why are we being so mean to white people?'". Global News. March 20, 2019. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  23. ^ "Dear YesJulz: Keep Black Women's Names Out Of Your Mouth". BET. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  24. ^ Kwateng-Clark, Danielle; Ibrahim, Shamira (October 22, 2018). "YesJulz, Voluntourism, and the White Savior Complex". Broadly. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  25. ^ "YesJulz Dropped From Two Toronto Events After Controversial Tweet". The Fader. May 3, 2017. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  26. ^ "YesJulz Tried To Say Sorry For Her Trash Racist Bars, Twitter Slandered Her All Over Again". Hip-Hop Wired. February 1, 2019. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  27. ^ "Daniel After a 4 year hiatus Caesar finally apologized for his controversial and inflammatory comments about race". Global News. March 25, 2019. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  28. ^ "Nominations Announced for the 2021 American Music Awards". American Music Awards. October 28, 2021. Retrieved April 10, 2023.
  29. ^ Marcus, Emily (June 26, 2017). "BET Awards 2017: Complete List of Nominees and Winners". Us Weekly. Retrieved January 25, 2022.
  30. ^ Amatulli, Jenna (May 16, 2018). "The 2018 BET Awards Nominations Are Here And DJ Khaled Must Be Screaming". HuffPost. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  31. ^ "The Weeknd & Doja Cat Lead 2022 Billboard Music Awards Finalists: Full List". Billboard. March 8, 2022. Retrieved April 10, 2023.
  32. ^ a b "Daniel Caesar". www.grammy.com. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
  33. ^ "Toronto's Daniel Caesar Wins 1st Grammy For 'Best Part' With H.E.R." HuffPost. February 10, 2019.
  34. ^ "Toronto-raised R&B singer Daniel Caesar wins first Grammy Award". CTV News. February 10, 2019.
  35. ^ "2020 Grammy Awards: The Full List Of Winners". NPR. January 26, 2020. Retrieved April 10, 2023.
  36. ^ "iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards 2017 Winners: The Complete List". E! Online. June 19, 2017. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
  37. ^ "iHeartRadio Music Awards: Full List of Winners". The Hollywood Reporter. March 14, 2019. Retrieved April 18, 2021.
  38. ^ "2022 iHeartRadio Music Awards: The Complete Winners List | Entertainment Tonight". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved March 23, 2022.
  39. ^ "Submissions". Juno Awards. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  40. ^ "Junos 2018: the complete list of winners". CBC News, · March 25, 2018
  41. ^ Wallis, Adam (January 14, 2020). "Jann Arden to be inducted into Canadian Music Hall of Fame". Global News. Retrieved January 15, 2020.
  42. ^ Jackson Weaver, "Charlotte Cardin, The Weeknd, Justin Bieber lead 2022 Juno Award nominees". CBC News, March 1, 2022.
  43. ^ "The Weeknd picks up 4 wins on Junos 2023 opening night". CBC News. March 11, 2023. Retrieved April 10, 2023.
  44. ^ "Justin Bieber Leads 2021 MTV EMA Nominations". Billboard. October 20, 2021. Retrieved April 10, 2023.
  45. ^ Martoccio, Angie (August 11, 2021). "2021 MTV VMAs: Justin Bieber, Megan Thee Stallion, Olivia Rodrigo Lead Nominations". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 11, 2021.
  46. ^ "Here are the nominees for the 2021 People's Choice Awards". Entertainment Weekly. October 27, 2021. Retrieved April 10, 2023.
  47. ^ "Soul Train Awards 2018: Here's the complete winners list". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. November 26, 2018.
  48. ^ "Soul Train Awards 2018: Here's the complete winners list". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. November 26, 2018.
  49. ^ "2016 Nominees". Polaris Music Prize. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
  50. ^ "2018 Nominees". Polaris Music Prize. February 18, 2019. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
  51. ^ "2020 Nominees". Polaris Music Prize. May 19, 2021. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
  52. ^ "Here's the 2023 Polaris Music Prize short list". CBC Music, July 13, 2023.
  53. ^ "Past Winners". SOCAN Songwriting Prize. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
  54. ^ Hughes, Josiah (August 25, 2017). "Daniel Caesar Brings 'Freudian' on North American Tour". Exclaim!. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  55. ^ Chan, Louisa (January 9, 2018). "Daniel Caesar announces world tour — Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines confirmed". Bandwagon Asia. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  56. ^ Daly, Rhian (March 21, 2023). "Daniel Caesar Announces 'Almost Enough: The Intimate Sessions' 2023 Tour". uDiscover Music. Retrieved June 25, 2023.
  57. ^ "Grammy Award Winning Artist Daniel Caesar Presents Superpowers World Tour – Leg 2: U.S. & Canada". Live Nation Entertainment. June 12, 2023. Retrieved June 25, 2023.

External links edit