Ashton Simmonds, 23 years of age, from Ontario, Canada has made a big impression in his short career thus far. Better known as Daniel Caesar, he broke into the music scene in 2014 where he released his first EP entitled ‘Praise Break’. No more than a year later, he increased his buzz with another EP entitled ‘Pilgrim’s Paradise’. Both EPs were self-released and with the likes of the Rolling Stones adding his EP to their 20 best R&B albums of 2014, Caesar was heavily sought out before signing a deal with Golden Child record label, where since he has earned millions and millions of streams worldwide.
More recently, in 2017, Daniel released his first studio album with his new record label making waves around the world with the single ‘Get you’. The album ‘Freudian’ may not be the most traditional piece of R&B but that is what brings me to the visual for the song Freudian itself. The pace of the song immediately makes you feel rhythm and blues, and then from the first line of the song, you know the subject will be love.
With a minimal drum pattern and vibrant, yet, mellow set of chords. The instrumental to this song is set up beautifully for Caesar to cast his smooth vocals over the top, notably making sure that the two main audio tracks were distinguished for left and right speakers, making the visual all the more entertaining to watch.
The first half of the video, shot in the same room, identically, only dawned on me toward the end of the scene. Directed by Kaevan Yazdani & Sean Brown for the ENDS, this video shows the art of simplicity being art in itself. With the screen split, the directors used the same room, the same angle and the same techniques to pan away from Daniel in the video. One screen showing one day, with the sun shining in a way to leave a natural tint on his room, and the other screen perhaps on another day allowing the sun to shine through a little more makes you as a viewer want to watch it again.
Not mentioning the lovely women he used in this video, what they bring to this video is priceless. Again, not on my first viewing of this video, did I notice the role in which the ladies in this video played. More obvious in the second part of this video, whilst trooping beside the group of women jogging, you can see that they are in fact performing the song as well. Subtle things like someone walking from one screen to another, or every woman looking at the camera when the chorus breaks out, are some of the finer details in which I love about this video.
But finally, after the very mysterious clip added in between the two sections of this video, the end scene produces a surprise that forced this to be my favourite video of the year so far. Everyone knew their role in this cleverly put together piece of work. But it is the end scene in which one of the ladies decides to take it upon herself to perform the end of Daniel’s verse in which he sings the female perspective at this point of the song. She performs brilliantly, and suddenly, which is why I will keep this video as one of the most untraditional videos I’ve seen. Along with his debut single ‘Get You’ which provided visuals, again, I was not expecting, I can look forward to further visuals to accompany Daniel’s nostalgic music.