The New Face Of R&B
Keavan Yazdani

In the past few years, R&B has experienced a change. Though the genre still has its roots in the sounds of yesteryear, it’s now blended with more complicated production, various other genres and singers whose influences are pulled from unexpected places.

Daniel Caesar is the latest artist to set the musical style aflame. With his intimate lyrics, smooth melodies and fusion of the best in pop, R&B and gospel—he jokes that “Kirk Franklin is the Michael Jackson of gospel”—Caesar is poised for a breakout.

The Toronto-born singer already counts Mary J. Blige, whom he recently worked with on Strength of a Woman’s “Telling the Truth,” as one of his fans. Blige even admitted on ESSENCE’s Yes, Girl! podcast that she can’t get enough of Caesar’s 2016 single, “Get You.”

“I don’t do writing for other people very well,” Caesar, 22, says of his collaboration with Blige, “but that one definitely worked.” It’s no wonder Caesar’s debut album, Freudian—which includes standout tracks “Best Part” featuring H.E.R. and “We Find Love”—is full of praise. Now, with Blige in his corner and a headlining tour set to kick off, Caesar is riding a wave with no end in sight.

This feature originally appeared in the October 2017 Issue of ESSENCE Magazine.