Name: Daniel Caesar, née Ashton Simmonds
Hails From: Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Résumé: Two critically acclaimed EPs (“Praise Break” and “Pilgrim’s Paradise”); a Grammy-nominated album (“Freudian”)
Why We Care: Three short months after self-releasing a debut studio album in August, Daniel Caesar scooped up two Grammy nominations. Not bad for a 22-year-old who — purposely — hasn’t signed a record deal.
Caesar was raised Seventh-day Adventist and grew up listening to guitarists like John Mayer and Jason Mraz. His album “Freudian” is led by piano and guitar melodies with an unmistakable gospel inspiration that stems from his Christian roots. Sonically, the album is cohesive — even more so due to the way in which he uses song transitions, making them as essential to the track as the melody itself.
Caesar is up for Best R&B Performance (“Get You”) and Best R&B Album (“Freudian”) at the Grammys on Sunday. He’s booked for Coachella in April, as well as Boston Calling and Bonnaroo in May and June, respectively. It also helps that he’s gotten some social media love from model and apparent talent curator Kendall Jenner. She dubbed him a “legend in the making” over the summer.
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