Interviews

Ten Questions With Upcoming Reggae Soul Singer Cezar

Written by Xavier Murphy

Upcoming singer-songwriter & talented producer Cezar is one to watch. He has written songs for other artists such as Tami Chynn, Wayne Marshall and Machel Montano to name a few. His “guitar” can be heard on the popular”Stepz” rhythm. He has collaborated with quite a few artists including Flabba, Master Lee, Gee-Jam studios Alborosie & Grammy nominated producer David Kennedy, with whom the soon-to-be-released ‘Keep On’ was recorded. Among his newer releases are ‘Wasted Seasons’, ‘Take the Fall’ produced by Zero Gravity, is a lilting ballad about letting go of ones fears & giving into the vulnerability of being in love.

Q: Tell us the amazing story of your birth where you were not given a chance to live?

Cezar: I was born with a serious medical condition. My parents were told I was going to die and that they should call a priest to give me last rites. They never gave up though and brought together friends and family to pray while the doctors did what they could. As far as I believe – those prayers saved my life.

Q: What effect has this had on your life?

Cezar: It’s made me spiritually aware and conscious of God’s importance in our lives even since I was a very young boy. Secondly it’s made me become defiant in terms of pursuing my own paths. Because of what I went through I know life is a gift and I never take it for granted.

Q: Your father was involved in the music industry. Was it assumed you would go into the arts or were you told to stay away from the industry?

Cezar: It was never assumed. My dad was a producer; my mom professionally speaking was a nurse. They (especially my dad) realized I had an artistic and musical inclination, but never pushed me toward the arts. I ended up doing a degree in architecture before going into music.

Q: Describe your flavor of style of reggae?

Cezar: I call it reggae-soul, which simply means reggae with an R&B/soul feel. It still encompasses dancehall and traditional “one drop” but because of my background it tends to be fused with other genres, R&B, soul, hip-hop etc.

Q: Reggae is now moving into different era where the beat is now fused R&B, rap, and rock and just about every musical style. Do you think reggae will lose its identity?

Cezar: I don’t think so. Reggae was always influenced by – and influencing – other genres; R&B, rock’n’roll, British ska, and us drum n bass, garage etc. When the wailers began singing in the 60’s they were directly emulating groups like Curtis Mayfield and the impressions harmonically. The music evolved to be uniquely our own. Reggae has an R&B component in its lineage; hip-hop has a reggae-dancehall lineage. It’s all connected and dynamic. Music isn’t stagnant, but we take the influences and create our unique forms of expression. Jamaican music will always be that, and usually “Jamaican music” in global references falls under the banner title of “reggae”.

Q: You have written songs and collaborated with quite a few reggae artists. Can you list a few of these and also which one were your favorites?

Cezar: Written with Tami Chynn, Wayne Marshall, Machel Montano, Delly Ranks, Craig from voice mail and others. I can’t say I have a favorite, they’re all immensely talented but if I had to choose one it would have to be Tami since it’s always great to be around a beautiful woman!

Q: Tell us about your involvement in the Stepz rhythm which has now famous by Sean
Paul’s “We‘ll be burning”?

Cezar: When I first voiced “sexyways” for renaissance on the thundaclap riddim, I asked Delano if I could play some guitar over the track. He allowed that and it ended up adding a really nice flavour to it, so when Stepz was being produced Delano called and asked me to play some guitar on the riddim. I jumped at the opportunity and the rest is history. Alot of hits came off that riddim, and I’m always grateful to Delano for allowing me to be part of that. Every time I hear ‘we’ll be burning’ it’s a proud moment for me.

Q: What inspires your song writing? Is there a special lady that inspires your love songs?

Cezar: Special ladies…

Q: Who is your favorite reggae artist of today?

Cezar: There are many favourites, top of the list is probably Beres Hammond.

Q: What type of music would I find in your i-pod right now?

Cezar: Everything from alternative to classical. Lots of reggae, R&B and classic soul. I have a very eclectic ear.

Q: Most popular style of reggae today is dancehall. Have you ever thought of changing to achieve mainstream popularity?

Cezar: No. I sing on dancehall tracks often. I’m not a dj though. I try to fuse dancehall with my style and do what comes naturally to me. Hopefully the honesty connects with listeners musically. I believe people know when you’re faking it, so if for example gun tunes running the place I’ll still be singing bout love – I don’t know nutn about guns. I feel if I stay true, then even if I differ from the current trend, it will be accepted in its own right.

Q: You have released a few singles, when can we expect your first album?

Cezar: In the next few months I’m hoping, but that’s contingent on the business side of things.

Q: Any final words to the jamaicans.com audience?

Cezar: Just a word of thanks to everyone who took the time to read this and to support me in any way at all. I definitely count on the support of listeners to hit up the radio stations and make requests or check out the music online. Continued guidance and blessings to the jamaicans.com family and audience worldwide.

To learn more about Cezar you can visit his website at: cezarmusic.com or myspace.com/cezarmusicpage

About the author

Xavier Murphy