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Ashton D. Simmonds[2][3] (born April 5, 1995),[4] 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 album Freudian in August 2017, which also garnered widespread critical acclaim.[5]

Daniel Caesar
Daniel Caesar 2017.jpg
Caesar performing in August 2017
Background information
Birth nameAshton D. Simmonds[1]
Born (1995-04-05) April 5, 1995 (age 24)
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • guitar
LabelsGolden Child
Associated acts
Websitewww.danielcaesar.com

Early lifeEdit

Ashton Simmonds was born on April 5, 1995 in Oshawa, Ontario, the second eldest of four children to parents Hollace and Norwill Simmonds, a gospel singer who released his first album as a high schooler in Jamaica. Simmonds attended a Seventh-day Adventist church and private school in Oshawa.[6][7] He is of Barbadian and Jamaican descent.[8]

CareerEdit

Caesar received widespread critical acclaim for his debut 2014's EP Praise Break, which was ranked number 19 on the "20 Best R&B Albums of 2014" by Rolling Stone. His body of work is influenced by religion, which played a large role in his upbringing, as well as unrequited love.[9]

On August 25, 2017, Caesar released his debut album Freudian, which included singles "Get You", "We Find Love", and "Blessed". The album was a shortlisted finalist for the 2018 Polaris Music Prize.[10] At the 60th Annual Grammy Awards, Caesar was nominated for two awards for Best R&B Album and Best R&B Performance for his single "Get You". [11] At the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, Caesar won the Grammy for Best R&B Performance for his single "Best Part". [12]

ArtistryEdit

As a singer-songwriter raised on the sounds of soul and gospel, his music draws from the experiences of his childhood and supplements them with a modern R&B and electronics while lyrics explore the subjects of religion and unrequited love. Caesar cites Frank Ocean, Kanye West and Beyoncé and The Doors frontman Jim Morrison as sources of musical and aesthetic inspirations.[13]

ControversyEdit

On March 19, 2019, Caesar posted a video, in which he repeatedly confesses to be drunk, to defend his friend, Julieanna 'YesJulz' Goddard via an Instagram live stream[14][15]. Goddard has been called a 'culture vulture' for her use of Black culture and subsequent disregard for African Americans, especially black women.[16][17][18][19] Goddard was specifically called out for her recent (January 2019) freestyle in which she infers black people take and do not give back and murder other black people.[20] Crime across all groups is inherently predominantly intraracial, that is, within the same ethnic group.[21][22][23][24] Caesar came to her defense asking why black people were "being so mean to white people," specifically Goddard, saying it was not "a quality."[25][26] His comments were received negatively as while Goddard claimed the lyrics were about corporations,[27] she also has a rocky history with race relations.[28][29] His video stemmed from an interaction with Dave Chappelle on John Mayer's Instagram Live stream where Caesar thought he was being too sensitive when Chappelle called his singing 'very gay'.[30] He then extrapolated that black people en masse, and specifically call out culture, were overly sensitive.[31]

To [Caesar], he may see a case of his friend [Goddard], who has always been nice to him, making an honest mistake. To the larger social sphere that she regularly engages, though, [Goddard] is a habitual line stepper, who uses her problematic actions[32] to provoke reactions then hides behind a facade of victimhood[33] — the very thing that Caesar accuses Black fans of doing. The “jokes” he says that we can’t take, individually, don’t seem to be a problem, but they minimize any issue we may have and accusing us of sensitivity undermines us when we do speak up.[34]

Caesar would apologize for the way in which he gave his opinions, a manner in which no one could respond, but not for the comments themselves stating, "I was talking down to you guys. I apologize for how I expressed my idea, [t]here was no one there to challenge my ideas. That’s also dangerous. That’s why it’s tyrannical... that is where I went wrong. I believe in what I said. A real man can admit when he’s wrong. I can admit when I’m wrong.”[35]

April 2018 Caesar retweeted and deleted tweets from conservative Candace Owens. He noted that he did not want to 'martyr' for the tweets and that people should hear opposing arguments.[30] He would later backtrack his comments.[36]

DiscographyEdit

Studio albumsEdit

List of albums, with selected chart positions and sales figures
Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
CAN
[37]
AUS
[38]
NZ
[39]
US
[40]
US R&B/HH
[41]
US R&B
[41]
UK
[42]
UK R&B
[43]
UK Ind
[44]
Freudian 16 39 25 16 6 15 40
Case Study 01
  • Released: June 28, 2019[48]
  • Label: Golden Child Recordings
  • Formats: CD, digital download, streaming
6
[49]
26 17 10 3 89

Extended playsEdit

Title Details
Praise Break
  • Released: September 22, 2014
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Streaming
Pilgrim's Paradise
  • Released: November 12, 2015
  • Label: Golden Child Recordings
  • Formats: Digital download, Streaming
Up Next Session: Daniel Caesar
  • Released: August 16, 2017[50]
  • Label: Golden Child Recordings
  • Formats: Digital download, Streaming

SinglesEdit

As lead artistEdit

List of singles as lead artist, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
CAN
[51]
NZ
Hot

[52]
US
[53]
US
R&B
/HH

[54]
US
R&B

[55]
US
R&B/HH
Airplay

[56]
US
Adult
R&B

[57]
"Violet"[58] 2015 Praise Break
"Death and Taxes"[59] Pilgrim's Paradise
"Streetcar"[59]
"Won't Live Here"[60] 2016 Non-album single
"Japanese Denim"[61]
"Get You"
(featuring Kali Uchis)
93 41 5 7 1 Freudian
"We Find Love" 2017
"Blessed"
"Best Part"
(with H.E.R.)
75 32 4 11 1
  • MC: 2× Platinum[46]
  • RIAA: 2× Platinum[47]
"Who Hurt You?"[63] 2018 86 40 Non-album single
"Love Again"
(with Brandy)[64]
2019 95 15 124 101 22 6 Case Study 01
"—" denotes items which were not released in that country or failed to chart.

As featured artistEdit

List of singles as featured artist showing year released and album name
Title Year Album
"West"[65]
(River Tiber featuring Daniel Caesar)
2016 Indigo
"Matthew in the Middle"[66]
(Sean Leon featuring Daniel Caesar)
I Think You've Gone Mad (Or The Sins Of The Father)
"Forever Always"[67]
(Peter CottonTale featuring Rex Orange County, Chance the Rapper, Daniel Caesar, Madison Ryann Ward and YEBBA)
2018 Non-album single
"Beauty & Essex"[68]
(The Free Nationals featuring Daniel Caesar and Unknown Mortal Orchestra)
"HER Love"
(Common featuring Daniel Caesar)
2019 Let Love

Other charted songsEdit

List of other charted songs, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
NZ
Hot

[52]
"Entropy" 2019 29 Case Study 01
"Cyanide" 25
"Superposition"
(featuring John Mayer)
22

Guest appearancesEdit

List of non-single guest appearances, with other performing artists, showing year released and album name
Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"Pacific Coast Highway"[69] 2013 Sean Leon Ninelevenne, The Tragedy
"Track Ten"[69]
"F****d Up"[70] 2015 Jiin Cult Hymns
"God"[70]
"Fill the Void"[71] 2016 Stwo D.T.S.N.T.

Songwriting creditsEdit

List of songs written or co-written for other artists, showing year released and album name
Title Year Artist Album
"Telling the Truth"
(featuring Kaytranada)
2017 Mary J. Blige Strength of a Woman
"Saturn"
(featuring Kwabs)
2018 Nao Saturn


Awards and nominationsEdit

BET AwardsEdit

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2018 Himself Best Male R&B/Pop Artist Nominated
Best New Artist Nominated

Grammy AwardsEdit

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2018 "Get You" (with Kali Uchis) Best R&B Performance Nominated
Freudian Best R&B Album Nominated
2019 "Best Part" (with H.E.R) Best R&B Performance Won[72][73]

iHeartRadio Music AwardsEdit

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2019 Himself R&B Artist of the Year Nominated

Juno AwardsEdit

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2017 Pilgrim's Paradise R&B/Soul Recording of the Year Nominated
2018 Himself Artist of the Year Nominated
Freudian R&B/Soul Recording of the Year Won[74]

iHeartRadio Much Music Video AwardsEdit

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2017 Himself Best New Canadian Artist Nominated

Soul Train Music AwardsEdit

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2018 Himself Best New Artist Won[75]
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

Concert toursEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ https://www.ascap.com/repertory#ace/search/workID/895854101
  2. ^ Bin Shikhan, Amani (August 30, 2017). "Daniel Caesar's Holy Devotion to Love on 'Freudian'". noisey.vice.com. Vice Media. Retrieved February 4, 2018.
  3. ^ Mistry, Anupa. "Stripped-Down Soul Music Sounds Like Home". thefader.com. The Fader, Inc. Retrieved February 4, 2018.
  4. ^ "Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
  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".
  9. ^ "20 Best R&B Albums of 2014". Rolling Stone Magazine. December 15, 2014. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
  10. ^ "Polaris Music Prize Reveals 2018 Short List". Exclaim!, July 17, 2018.
  11. ^ "60th GRAMMY Awards: Full Nominees List". The Recording Academy. November 28, 2017. Retrieved November 28, 2017. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |website= (help)
  12. ^ "61st Annual Grammy Awards". The Recording Academy. February 11, 2019. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ nointroduction1 (March 19, 2019), Daniel Caesar Defends Culture Vulture YesJulz & Says Black People Need to Stop Being Victims, retrieved April 17, 2019
  15. ^ "Daniel Caesar under fire for 'drunk' video: 'Why are we being so mean to white people?' | Globalnews.ca". globalnews.ca. March 20, 2019. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  16. ^ "Dear YesJulz: Keep Black Women's Names Out Of Your Mouth". BET.com. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  17. ^ xojai (May 8, 2017). "#NoJulz & The Mass Silencing of Black Women in America". Medium. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  18. ^ Kwateng-Clark, Danielle; Ibrahim, Shamira (October 22, 2018). "YesJulz, Voluntourism, and the White Savior Complex". Broadly. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  19. ^ "YesJulz Dropped From Two Toronto Events After Controversial Tweet". The FADER. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  20. ^ "YesJulz Sparks Backlash With Radio Freestyle About Being Labeled A Culture Vulture". Genius. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  21. ^ "White supremacists' favorite myths about black crime rates take another hit from BJS study". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  22. ^ "NCJRS Abstract - National Criminal Justice Reference Service". www.ncjrs.gov. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
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  27. ^ "YesJulz Tried To Say Sorry For Her Trash Racist Bars, Twitter Slandered Her All Over Again". The Latest Hip-Hop News, Music and Media | Hip-Hop Wired. February 1, 2019. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  28. ^ Vincent, Alice (October 18, 2018). "No thanks, YesJulz: who is the idiot influencer behind Kanye's doomed Africa trip?". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  29. ^ "A Candid Conversation About Rap Culture's Pervasive Disrespect Against Black Women". The FADER. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
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  32. ^ "Footage Of YesJulz Saying 'N----' Is Making Its Way Around Twitter". UPROXX. May 5, 2017. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
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  60. ^ "Won't Live Here - Single by Daniel Caesar on Apple Music". iTunes. February 29, 2016. Retrieved October 31, 2017.
  61. ^ "Japanese Denim - Single by Daniel Caesar on Apple Music". iTunes. October 21, 2016. Retrieved October 31, 2017.
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  63. ^ "Who Hurt You? - Single by Daniel Caesar on Apple Music". iTunes Store. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  64. ^ "Love Again – Single by Brandy & Daniel Caesar". Apple Music. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  65. ^ "West (feat. Daniel Caesar) - Single by River Tiber on Apple Music". iTunes Store. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  66. ^ "Matthew in the Middle (feat. Daniel Caeser) - Single by Sean Leon on Apple Music". iTunes Store. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  67. ^ "Forever Always (feat. Rex Orange County, Chance the Rapper, Daniel Caesar, Madison Ryann Ward & YEBBA) - Single by Peter CottonTale on Apple Music". iTunes Store. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  68. ^ "Beauty & Essex (feat. Daniel Caesar & Unknown Mortal Orchestra) - Single by Free Nationals on Apple Music". iTunes Store. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  69. ^ a b "Ninelevenne, The Tragedy by Sean Leon on Apple Music". iTunes Store. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  70. ^ a b "Cult Hymns by Jiin on Apple Music". iTunes Store. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  71. ^ "D.T.S.N.T. by Stwo on Apple Music". iTunes Store. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  72. ^ "Toronto's Daniel Caesar Wins 1st Grammy For 'Best Part' With H.E.R." HuffPost. February 10, 2019.
  73. ^ "Toronto-raised R&B singer Daniel Caesar wins first Grammy Award". CTV News Toronto. February 10, 2019.
  74. ^ "Junos 2018: the complete list of winners". CBC News, · March 25, 2018
  75. ^ "Soul Train Awards 2018: Here's the complete winners list". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. November 26, 2018.
  76. ^ Hughes, Josiah (August 25, 2017). "Daniel Caesar Brings 'Freudian' on North American Tour". Exclaim!. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  77. ^ Chan, Louisa (January 9, 2018). "Daniel Caesar announces world tour — Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines confirmed". Bandwagon Asia. Retrieved January 9, 2018.

External linksEdit