Grammy-winning R&B artist Daniel Caesar has signed to Republic Records, the label tells Billboard exclusively.
“I felt like I was becoming a label executive and an artist at the same time,” Caesar says. “I wanted to keep artistry and business separate with a major label as my partner.”
Leading up to the Republic signing, the Canadian-born-and-bred singer was signed to indie label Golden Child Recordings, which he co-founded in Toronto. As an independent artist, Caesar achieved noteworthy feats alongside his business and creative team — including Jordan Evans, Matthew Burnett, Keavan Yazdani, Sean Brown and Iva Golubovic — bringing home a Grammy win for best R&B performance alongside H.E.R. for their track “Best Part,” a trio of No. 1 hits on the Adult R&B Airplay chart, and most recently, a Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 shared with Justin Bieber and Giveon on Bieber’s “Peaches,” and a subsequent Grammys performance of the track.
Historically, the singer, born Ashton Simmonds, was a fierce advocate of remaining independent, stating in 2020 that signing to a label at that point in his career “would be a bad business decision.” He went on to add, “As soon as you sign, you give over your ideas, your potential, to somebody else to do how they see fit. You’re no longer the big boss.”
Today, as the singer prepares for his upcoming Coachella performance, his stance has shifted. “I did as much as I could on my own and I experienced a lot as an independent artist,” he explains. “I wanted to feel the difference of having such a large machine behind me.” Caesar–who is now managed by Jeffrey Azoff, Shawn Holiday and Cara Moser of Full Stop Management–says he was “struck” by Republic CEO and co-founder Monte Lipman’s leadership and the label’s “message and culture geared toward winning,” which can be seen through Republic’s other Canadian signees, Drake and The Weeknd.
In recent years, the elusive singer has been mostly mum, save a few features and quickly archived Instagram posts, leading to much speculation over if and when another album is coming. He confirms to Billboard that he is working on his highly anticipated third studio album, arriving three years after his top five Top R&B Albums project Case Study 01. The upcoming album is executive produced by Dylan Wiggins (Lucky Daye, The Weeknd) and Caesar himself. “Each album, I’ve become more myself, and I’m zeroing in on what I want to say. You’ll hear more introspection, honesty and I’m playing most of the music myself,” Caesar tells Billboard. “I’ve never been in the driver’s seat more than I am now.”
Caesar has opened up about his strict Seventh-day Adventist upbringing and delayed exposure to R&B music, by way of his Toronto-based team. The upcoming album will be less R&B-focused and include early influences in the singer’s life, including folk and country, he says.
“I want to say more and take more risks,” Caesar continues. “I can’t wait for my fans to hear it.