Gianna Charles, a gospel and soul singer who made a name for herself as one of Austria’s most sought-after session vocalists, is making her debut as a solo artist under the stage name Gianna. Her new single, a synth-heavy slow jam titled “Heart,” was released yesterday on Caesar Caesar Records, a new dance label based in Brooklyn.
The track was produced by label co-founders Gregory Henits (a.k.a. Gregory Free) and Chris Cerny, two multi-instrumentalists who worked together in the indie-dance band Folding Legs. The pair has multiple projects across two cities; Henits, based in New York, is also in the outfit Pink Murder, while Cerny is based part-time in Vienna. They developed Caesar Caesar earlier this spring as a way of pulling together music that had been shelved or needed extra branding structure. Similar to Fool’s Gold’s and OWSLA’s early days, Henits said establishing a label was more about marketing and promotion than distribution.
“It’s an umbrella,” he said. “We’ve been working with super talented people, like Gianna, and producing music that we love, but there was no packaging so these stray releases kind of got lost in the thick of things. We needed a common thread.”
Caesar Caesar’s thread is tropical dance music with an urban edge (it’s along the same lines as Tokimonsta and Gavin Turek‘s disco-soul collaboration), so “Heart” a solid first statement. The label has a few more summer releases in the pipeline, including the debut of Sunbabi, a production duo helmed by Henits and Michael Vara that sounds like if the Beastie Boys let loose at a Tiki bar. “It’s a concept project, kind of like Gorillaz, except our character is a little less defined,” Henits said. “For now, it’s about good vibes.”