Daniel Caesar has rapidly become one of the must-watch rising stars of 2017. It’s a short list of artists that includes both Khalid and Cardi B, whom he joined in celebrating his first-ever Grammy nomination. His video for “Freudian,” from the debut album of the same name, proves why with its appealing visual metaphors for ego and id, playing into both the musical themes of the song and the concepts of Freudian psychology.
Directed by Keavan Yazdani and Sean Brown for theENDS, the washed-out, metaphorical clip illustrates the duality of R&B music — one side of the screen dealing with the emotion and heartbreak commonly associated with the genre, the other visually representing the egotistical player image often portrayed by R&B’s biggest stars.
The visual cuts to an intriguing scene midway through that highlights the lyrics of the song’s third verse, with Caesar playing drill sergeant to an all-female troop of cadets, one of whom stops to remind him that he’s really not running things like that.
With a Grammy in sight and a gold-selling debut, Daniel Caesar has become one of R&B’s hottest commodities. He’s reminding himself to keep his ego in check, while at the same time not playing into deceptive fears of failure. Meanwhile, the romantic vibes of his music have been inspiring others to take some leaps of their own; there’s suddenly a trend of marriage proposals at his concerts, with no less than three instances popping up on social media in a week.