Daniel Caesar is a busy man. Calling me as he runs to catch an Uber to head to rehearsal, he’s already getting ready for his next project having only just released his debut album, Freudian, a week before we speak. “I go crazy on most release days,” he laughs when I ask if he’s found time to celebrate the drop. “They stress me out!”
Luckily his worries have been quashed and Freudian is deservedly being dubbed as one of the best albums of the year. A stunning blend of soul and R&B, Caesar’s voice glides effortlessly through revealingly honest tales of love and loss, to create a wildly touching and heart-wrenching record. “The inspiration was just the turmoil I was going through in different relationships with different women in my life,” Caesar explains. “I was just feeling like I wasn’t doing a good enough job or wasn’t trying hard enough or didn’t care enough. I was trying to figure myself out. Like, ‘Why am I the way that I am?’” I ask if he ever finds it difficult writing and singing about such personal moments and he pauses. “It depends.” He continues, “it’s only really difficult if it’s, like, really personal and when I’m recording it my friends are probably going to figure out what I’m talking about...”
Raised in a religious household, although singing about trials of the heart is clearly what Caesar was destined to do, his parents weren’t so sure. “They didn’t really approve,” he explains. “They would rather me use my talents for [singing about] the glory of God. But they’re always there for me.” Focused on making it, his parents original disapproval led to Caesar leaving home, spending a few less than ideal nights sleeping rough on park benches, imagining the future. “I think I always dreamt of this,” he reflects endearingly. “Me and my friends talked about it all the time and plotted on it and planned towards it. There were high moments and there were low moments, you know, sleeping outside and stuff like that, but this just feels like a relief more than anything.”
Although Caesar dared to dream of getting this far, he is still very much in awe of the response to Freudian. “I feel just a little bit of stress because there’s so many positives it’s got to be balanced out at some point,” he exhales, “so I’m waiting for the day when someone’s like, ‘this is the worst thing I’ve ever heard.’” Don’t hold your breath.
Photography - Grace Pickering
Fashion - Shawn Lakin
Grooming - Rachel Vang
Wonderland Magazine Autumn 2017 Issue