Daniel Caesar Is Another Star In A New Wave Of Complex R&B. Freudian Goes Deep (Video)
To coincide with his Grammy nominations for Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Album, 22-year-old Canadian underground Soul singer, Daniel Caesar has released the moody visual that accompanies his song, “Freudian.”
The Toronto native has had an unbeatable few years, receiving chart success and critical acclaim for his debut album of the same name. The record came out via Golden Child Recordings late 2016. The Best Performance Grammy nod is for the single “Get You,” featuring Kali Uchis that reached the Billboard top 20 and has since notched up millions of views.
Many have noted the deep Gospel influence in Caesar’s music, attributing this to his growing up within a religious family. Yet Caesar’s gift lies in the way he updates this musical heritage, transforming it into something new.
The song “Freudian” is, Caesar says, like the rest of the album, about love. But this is a confusing kind of love – directed both at his mother and a former partner, while shaped by expressions of regret and anger. Appropriately too, the visual is pretty ambiguous and hard to work out. Directed by Keavan Yazdani and Sean Brown, it starts with Caesar’s eyes staring back at us. The screen then splits in two: Caesar on one side seemingly distressed and in the other surrounded by women as he sings direct to the camera, isolated within the group.
Midway a sample has a man speaking about “barriers” in our minds protecting us from “hidden and unwelcome impulses” and then we see the lanky Caesar in a military-style uniform walking alongside a group of women jogging in matching clothes and the music softens.
Recent R&B has been credited with giving new life to the contemporary music scene. With artists such as Solange and Frank Ocean setting both the direction and the standard of what we listen to now. Daniel Caesar’s cerebral music, with its strong personality and heart, surely means that he is now worthy of joining their company and also deserves a seat at the table.