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Daniel Caesar


Ashton Dumar Norwill Simmonds, best known as Daniel Caesar, is a Canadian singer-songwriter. His music is influenced by soul and gospel. His music talks about childhood experiences and integrates them with R&B, while his lyrics explore various subjects including religion, philosophy, and unrequited love. 

Ashton Dumar Norwill Simmonds was born on April 5, 1995, to his mother, Halice, and his father, Norwill Simmonds, who was a pastor and gospel singer who released his first album as a high school student in Jamaica. He was born in the Scarborough district of Toronto, Ontario, and was raised in Oshawa. He is also the second oldest of his 3 siblings. In Oshawa, Caesar attended a private school and the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He is of Bajan and Jamaican Descent. 

Caesar grew up in a church since his father was a pastor and he would sing in his father’s congregation in Oshawa. He was raised listening to soul and gospel delivered to musicality and religion, although his parents were cautious about the temptations that came with music. Caesar wanted to go to the city and live there, which was only a one-hour drive from his home.

When Caesar was 17, he was kicked out of the house after a fight that he had with his father on the weekend of his high school graduation. During this short time, he was homeless, which was an event that made him start to pursue his love for music and become a musician. This is where he began to do gigs and started connecting with producers and future collaborators, Jordan Evans and Matthew Burnett. He began writing and recording what would later become his debut EP Praise Break in 2014. Once released, it hit off really well as it landed No. 19 on the “20 Best R&B Albums of 2014” by Rolling Stone and also the top projects of 2014 by Noisy Canada. 

Shortly after, Caesar’s career started to gain notability in 2015 with the release of his second EP, Pilgrim’s Paradise. This album received a lot of positive critical acclaim, and while not immediately blowing up, other tracks like “Streetcar”, which was the cover of Kanye West’s 2008 song “Street Lights”, have become fan favorites. 

On August 25, 2017, Caesar released his debut album Freudian, which includes songs like “Get You”, “We Find Love”, and “Blessed”. The album did really well as it was shortlisted for the 2018 Polaris Music Prize. During the 60th Annual Grammy Awards, he received two nominations for Best R&B Album and Best R&B Performance for his song “Get You”. Then at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, he won Best R&B Performance for his song “Best Part”. Caesar’s most recent, Never Enough, was released through Republic Records on April 7, 2023.

Daniel Caesar’s songs have such a touching feeling as many are relatable to teenagers nowadays. His impacting words and calming music have really made a big impact on many people’s lives and those who have realized the impactfulness of his lyrics.

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About the Contributor
Jessica Aguilar-Resendiz is a student who lives in Cornelius Oregon. She likes to bake, listen to music and hang out with friends.

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