“In my religious surroundings growing up, the point is to be still, to direct as little attention to yourself as possible and instead, direct all attention to what you’re saying,” he says. “Now, it’s kind of the opposite.”
After gigging since leaving home at 17, the turning point came after the release of his second EP, 2015’s ‘Praise Break’. At a gig in New York around November 2016, fans arrived early, queuing around the block. Caesar found the size of the crowd who had come to see him “shocking”. Yet what truly marks him out is the unsettling ease with which he bares his soul. “The music is definitely about me. That’s all I have to go off,” he says. “I want to make people feel the same way I feel about my favourite musicians.”
If he took a glance at the thousands of gushing comments racking up on his YouTube videos, he’d see that’s happening already.
‘Freudian’ by Daniel Caesar is out now on Golden Child Recordings
This feature is from the October 2017 issue of Mixmag
Alex Green is Mixmag's Weekend Editor, follow him on Twitter