Talking to Cezar: On Songwriting
Download “Will You Be?” on iTunes
YardEdge talks to Jamaican reggae/soul singer Cezar about his new single and video “Will You Be?” and learns that this young Jamaican artist sometimes dreams his songs.
Cezar: You’re always writing, whether or not you have an album packaged or not. Last week I thought ok I definitely have everything now…and I recorded a song, and I know that song has to be on the album because it’s a nice track with Mario C so it’s just one of those things, it’s part of the creative process… but we’re still at a stage where I can afford to be a little bit flexible, so I might as well take advantage of that.
YardEdge: So it seems like you’re quite a prolific writer? Do you enjoy the writing process or do you find it painful? Are you a natural writer? Tell me about how you write a song? Does it just come into your head one night? In 2 minutes?
Cezar: Well, some things come in 2 minutes, sometimes…. I mean, everybody has a wealth of experiences, no matter who you are. Everybody’s world is different but within your little microcosm of life, everyone has things that you can write about.
If you’re a 9 to 5 person and all you do is go from the laptop to the bathroom to the lunchroom back to the laptop you can still find something between the laptop and the bathroom to write about… could be the carpet or the tiles in the bathroom. If you’re creative enough you can find something to write about .that’s interesting.
I’ve had a pretty wide range of experiences so…I wouldn’t venture to say that I’m a prolific writer, necessarily, but I guess I have a lot of different experiences that I can draw from and a lot of friends with very interesting lives so…. there’s a lot of material out there for me to draw from.
YardEdge: Do you feel the music first? Or do you get the idea from a certain emotion that you’re feeling? Or are you into the words like a poet?
Cezar: It’s not formulaic for me. Some people write from a formula… use this kind of candor or cadence….It comes a lot of different ways you know. …very often as is the case here, people come up to you and give you cd’s and usually I have this weird little thing that I do now where …I play the cd for about 20 seconds…just long enough to give me the idea of what the riddim is doing then I shut it off and then whatever… melody comes into my head I record that, right away just the melody, sometimes its words, sometimes just the melody, a lot of times its just the melody and I go from there, … once I find the melody, the melody gives you suggestions for the words…I don’t know how else to explain it….
….some rhythms like lend themselves well to alliteration, something in the riddim might make me want to go– perfectly pretty people or something like that- you know what I mean.
…and a lot of times now I dream ….my dreams…. I have a dream that I’m somewhere and there’s a song playing in the background and I really like it and I wake up kinda singing along with this melody and I then realize boy this actually really doesn’t exist at which point and you jump up and record…
YardEdge: The song spirits….
Cezar: Yeah….I kinda imagine that…maybe this is some like, little freaky, artsy fartsy thing but I imagine almost like we’re in a world where there’s these great songs floating above our heads somewhere, and every now and again people reach up and grab one, the people who are searching for them…and some people catch them way better than others…clearly, you have the Paul McCartneys and the John Lennons and the Bob Marleys of the world …and I’m not any of those…(but) if I could catch one “Redemption Song”…just one.