Today, August 14, marks the release of Ceesar’s Hustle & Passion. The Ottawa-based artist blends R&B, pop, and hip hop on his debut six-track EP. Back in April, Ceesar dropped singles Day 2 Day and Drunk Textin’, while the video for Hustle & Passion’s lead track About You already has over 200,000 views on YouTube. An impressive feat for a new artist who only started his musical career two years ago.
Hustle & Passion’s narrative speaks of pushing through adversity – whether it’s a broken heart or battling failure and stagnation to stay focused on your goals. By working through the steep hill of learning to be a DIY independent artist with more determination than experience or the commitment, sacrifice and dedication he found training as a bodybuilder, Ceesar pours his experiences into this EP to truly live the ideals of the title. Speaking to his maturation as an artist, Ceesar says “I literally had no vocal training prior to February 2019, but the skills I developed as an entrepreneur apply to both the craft and the business of music, and to working with others. My recording process is very collaborative, and I’m never afraid to ask for advice and mentorship along the way and try different things. That’s how I learn and how I’ll get better as an artist.”
Quickly breaking down the EP, Hustle & Passion opens with the minimalistic dark and droning About You, a love and loss song introducing the listener to Ceesar’s affected vocals and monotone delivery, supported by his and producer Lynx’s instrumentals and beats. The EP lightens up with All Me, a standard hip-hop brag track with an infectious Latin vibe. The melodic and dreamy Day 2 Day follows, where Ceesar delivers a sermon promoting positivity and hard work. As Ceesar explains this track “Whatever path you’re walking, there’s a lot of little shiny objects that can distract you, but day-to-day, if you work on yourself you have better chances of achieving your goals.” I Need You is another song of the loss of love that opens with a fluttery electric piano. Make It continues telling Ceesar’s story which weaves through his successes and his struggles. Certified lovesick banger Drunk Textin’ closes the EP.
Speaking to ADDICTED, Ceesar told us more about himself and his EP.
Is there a common thread between the songs on Hustle & Passion?
I would say the common thread is what the title says; hustle and passion. Each record I recorded I put my blood, sweat, and tears into. I had to hustle my way into the music business and my passion is what fuels my music. Perseverance is something I strive for every day and my music speaks to that.
Tell us about your working relationship with Hustle & Passion producer, Lynx
Lynx is continually helping me develop into an artist. The growth I have experienced with him is such a blessing and because of the growth, I’m able to record the type of music I do now. I’m very happy and blessed to be in this position with him. Lynx is part of a group called The Aurists. Together they are producers, songwriters, musicians and engineers. They’ve achieved top 10 status in North America, Europe and Africa. Their roster is extremely versatile to include all genres including film scoring, specializing in Hip Hop, R&B, Pop and Afrobeats.
How have you been spending time during quarantine?
Honestly working on new music and adjusting to how life is at the moment. I’m living life day by day and just focusing on the positive. Music is the universal language and it helps me get through these crazy times.
What’s up next?
Finishing up my second project! I already started working on it and the level of this production has gone way up! I’m incredibly excited about it. Also working on myself as an artist to improve and overall as a person…. the growth never stops.
Have a listen to Ceesar’s Hustle & Passion via the links below.