Ending out this week with Spotlight – Ceesar. We got to chat with this Ottawa local about his music and thoughts on Ottawa’s Top MCs. His new EP Hustle and Passion is now out and we expect nothing but good things coming from Ceesar moving forward. Check out what he has to say now
Most people do not think of Ottawa as a heavy hip-hop city, but venues like Babylon, 27 Club, and Mavericks have really been integral at keeping the scene alive. What was your experience like here in Ottawa?
Ottawa actually has a history of creating some of the best talented hip-hop/urban artists in Canada. Artists like Belly put Ottawa on the map and I believe that led to the amazing scene Toronto has now. Ottawa is great. It is a good place to develop yourself as an artist. I personally have a great ongoing experience here in Ottawa, I will never forget where I came from.
Who are some of the artists growing up you admired, or influenced your sound?
There are so many amazing artists out there that influenced me. What makes me admire other artists is their work ethic and how far they have gone in their career. To see anyone start from the bottom and overcome many obstacles all the way to the top how can that not inspire you? The artist that inspired me to get into music is Post Malone. I heard “White Iverson” and it triggered me in a good way. It impacted me in a way that I wanted to share that same good feeling with as many people as I can just like I felt when I first heard that song. That was back in 2018 and I have never looked back, fast forward to 2020 here I am as Ceesar.
Is there something on your playlist that might surprise people?
I guarantee this will surprise most people…Frank Sinatra!
Who would be your dream collaboration or feature and why?
For me when it comes to features, I feel that it depends on the song or idea. For example let’s say I have this dope Latin inspired song .. I would look for a Latin artist as a feature because it will blend well and make sense. Another example would be maybe I have this EDM inspired song in my catalogue … I would turn to EDM to find an artist that would fit perfectly.
Who would you have on your Top 3 Ottawa MCs list?
Tough question. Most definitely Belly the OG, I like what Night Lovell is doing and the late Bender. RIP
August of this year saw you dropping your debut EP “Hustle & Passion,” what was the creative process like for you to pick and choose what tracks would go on?
Because this is my first project, I incorporated different genres to see where I fit as Ceesar, I feel that is a big factor in the creative process of Hustle & Passion. I would start off by finding other songs that inspired me and with that inspiration I would have a beat made off that inspiration. After the beat is made that would lead into the song writing process. It has definitely been an amazing experience learning new things that come with the creative process behind a project.
Was it difficult coming up with that many tracks?
Not at all to be honest but now that I have completed my first project and currently working on my second, I have a different outlook on how many tracks and what kind of songs go into a project. You can call it a learning process I guess but now I make sure all tracks are reflecting my sound as Ceesar and make sense to be on a project together.
I’ve listened to it a few times now, and I really like the song “Drunk Textin,” was that about anyone in particular? What was the inspiration for that track?
The record wasn’t about anyone in particular, but I feel that anyone can relate to the lyrics on some level. I’m sure most of us have felt alone without another person who was once special to us and during that time alone we turn to things to numb that uncomfortable feeling. The inspiration behind this was to create something that most people can relate to at some point in our lives.
You helped produce the EP as well. What was it like being behind the scenes and not just being the one performing?
I loved the experience. This EP was my debut EP so there wasn’t a volume of music I can compare to. The journey of creating music and producing sounds is never ending. The learning process was the most valuable element of it all and with everything I learned along the way with this EP, the next project is heating up really fast.
With 2020 winding down, can we expect any more surprises from you?
I’m working on a new project so it’s looking like new music will be coming this year! The new record and sound is like nothing you’ve heard before.
As a newly emerging artist, what are some words of advice you would love to share, or wish someone had told you when you were first starting?
Be careful who you surround yourself with. Choose wisely who you have on your team and who you give your energy and time to. Make sure everyone you have around you is on the same mission and on the same page, everyone needs to always be elevating each other. There is no room for bad energy.
How have you been keeping busy and sane during Covid?
Covid won’t be here forever so once things go back to normal it’s go time. I will have lots of tools and moves to make as life moves forward in a normal way. With regards to being sane, as long as I am improving myself and taking time here and there to relax whether that be watching movies or playing PS4 I’m good.
With things slowly reopening is there any of your local favourite bars/restaurants/hangouts you are especially looking forward to getting back to or want to give a shout-out to?
Booster Juice is one of my favourite spots to get a meal from, S/O Booster Juice. I know Covid has been very tough on a lot of businesses so hopefully most places can find a way to survive and keep pushing forward.
Spotlight – Ceesar is a wrap. I want to give a big thanks from one Ottawa local to another for taking the time to chat.
Check out Hustle and Passion out is out now.
Keep up with all things Ceesar here
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