Lydia Caesar
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Lydia Caesar


Band R&B Singer/Songwriter


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We all have a voice but only some people realize that they have the power to touch and create relationships with thousands or millions of people and Lydia Caesar, from MTV Making the Band, holds that special gift. Lydia’s path to vocal enlightenment came along with the birth of her daughter. During the pregnancy she realized her power to touch the emotions of people on different levels and the rest is music history in the making. Caesar combines a funky style, theatrical background and sultry voice that fans can emotionally relate to. Kick off your shoes and step into the mind and soul of Lydia Caesar.

Singersroom: What made you want to pursue a music career?
Lydia Caesar: When I got pregnant is when I really decided to go after it. I know that can be kind of strange to some people but it inspired me to take my singing to another level. I just felt really creative and that is when I started recording when I got pregnant in 2004. That is when I really started to take my writing seriously and create music.

Singersroom: Did that make you write openly to express your personal feeling?
Lydia Caesar: Definitely, I feel like it was destiny because it gave me a whole lot of material. Having my daughter changed me so much. It made me smarter. It was my defining moment. It affected everything like personal relationships with others; it changed my outlook on a lot of things and made me a strong person. So it inspired me on so many different levels to write about different subjects.

Singersroom: How did your participation in ‘Making the Band’ motivate you to develop as a songwriter?
Lydia Caesar: ‘Making the Band’ is the first thing that made me write at all because when I went through that I was nineteen at the time and I was just a singer. I sang my whole life; I sang at church, I would sing at school and talent shows. I did ‘Making the Band’ and one of the guys who was working for Bad Boy asked if I write and I said no. He was like you really need to start writing because that is what really completes artists. Right after that I bought a black and white marble notebook and began writing. I would write songs and come up with the melodies; one of the best songs I have now is one of the first songs I wrote.

Singersroom: What song is that?
Lydia Caesar: It’s called “Life Is Love”

Singersroom: You have a unique sense of style, how important does that play into you as a performer with your theatrical background? Do your clothes help you morph into character?
Lydia Caesar: I have always been into fashion; I guess I get it from my mom. She studied fashion in college. I guess I like to feel colorful and exciting usually when I’m on stage; I like to look like something different when I’m on stage just to be more appealing. I do think I sing and I have enough talent to carry me to the point wear I don’t have to be naked but I think my sense of style kind of complements my music style as well. Also, I am in college and my major is theatre.

Singersroom: Theatre, Is that something you want to pursue career wise?
Lydia Caesar: I want it as well but it is very difficult to pursue music and acting. It is really hard because acting requires a lot of work, like you should audition at least once per week if not more. I did ‘Hamlet’ last May, I played Ophelia and it is so time consuming. I made a decision that I am going to try to get my foot in the door with the music first. Then once I get an album out under my belt then I can stretch my wings when it comes to acting.

Singersroom: It’s good that you are getting an education and getting your career off the ground.
Lydia Caesar: I didn’t always want to finish school and I still kind of don’t. My parents were like I should go to college and I said to myself if I’m gonna go to college I’m gonna study something I really want to do. At the time I was only going to do acting so I got an education which I think is great. It is one thing to be born a natural born actor. I think it is something God gives you from birth, but when you study there are things that help you to develop that natural given talent. Same thing with voice lessons, I feel every singer should do voice lessons to help you develop what you already have.

Singersroom: You were a radio show personality for a South African station, did that give you a feel for what listeners want? Did it have an effect on your song creating process?
Lydia Caesar: Honestly I would say the show didn’t really help me when it came to song choice. I would say it helped to develop my personality as an artist when I’m on stage or in front of people. I am not as nervous as before that whole experience.

Singersroom: So are you gonna start taking off your shoes now (laughter)?
Lydia Caesar: I have done that before (laughter). I wear mostly heels. When you get really into it the last thing you want to happen is for you to fall (laughter). So it is like I’m gonna give it a really good show or I’m gonna hold back because I have heels on. At the end of the day you want to give it your all so sometimes the shoes have to come off.

Singersroom: What is it now that makes you really want to pursue this career in music?
Lydia Caesar: I am getting out there and doing these shows and seeing the response has really inspired me. I know how music makes me feel and I am a very emotional person; music moves me on so many different levels. Certain songs make you feel happy…there are certain ‘love songs’ that make me want to hold their hand and hugging them; certain songs make me want to cry. Music has that power over people and just knowing that my music should touch people…made me feel like this is something I need to do to reach people on many different levels. I feel like I do have a place in this industry and people need to hear from me.

By Bella Kiz

Nowadays it's harder than ever for new artists to stand out in the ever so competitive world of independent music. One emerging young female singer from Queens, New York, Lydia Caesar, is familiar with that grind all too well. With N.Y.C. being the most concentrated place for music artists to shine through, Lydia managed to capture the interest of many with her remix of Musiq Soulchild's "Buddy.” As her voice graces stages and mixtapes, her hustle doesn't stop there. Besides being a mother and a student, her accessories line and a budding acting career keep Ms. Caesar busy when she's not making music.

On the Judgment Day of Kanye vs. 50, we caught up with Lydia Caesar in New York right across the street from Kanye West greeting his fans at the Virgin Megastore. With that symbolic power of musical commerce, Lydia shared with us her plans to join that race as a star-runner. Alternatives: Why did you feel it was necessary to remix the song “Buddy”?

Lydia Caesar: I love the song. I felt the song was hot and I personally didn’t think that the song meant what people said it meant. I really just thought it was kinda like his first single that ever came out [“Jusfriends”].

AHHA: When I interviewed Musiq Soulchild he felt that you can be both lovers and friends with a woman. After hearing your remix it seems as though you think otherwise?
Lydia: No, I think that you can be both. I just don’t think it’s cool to be just sex partners, at least not for me. If you have a mutual agreement then okay, but for me I think it’s better [when it’s] something with some substance. If you can find both that’s amazing, you can be friends and you can also be lovers and partners and all of that stuff. So I do think that you can be both.

If my remix says otherwise, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean for it to come off like that. I wanted it to [show that] it’s cool to be buddies, but I want it to be more than that. I wanna be your woman, I wanna be your lady. I don’t want to be just some girl you’re sleeping with.

AHHA: You seem to have your hands full with being a mother, student and having your own company. What still motivates you to pursue a career in music?

Lydia: I feel it was a gift, I love to sing. I’ve been singing since I was about five in church, so I would say that is the major motivating factor. And also other music, I really vibe off of hearing other music. It inspires me so much where I feel like I can give other people the feeling that is given to me by artists out there. John Mayer is like one of my favorites right now.
I love Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys, Beyonce. I think she’s an amazing singer, she’s a great entertainer. I love John Legend. Kanye [is a] good Hip-Hop artist.

AHHA: You just mentioned Kanye, are you into Hip-Hop?

Lydia: I’m into Hip-Hop, I would say not a whole lot. I do like more conscious Hip-Hop so more along the lines of Mos Def, Common and Kanye. I like Jay-Z, he’s dope.

AHHA: With that whole thing between 50 cent and Kanye West...

Lydia: I’m all for Kanye West, all day! I just think he’s a better artist. 50 Cent is good too, but if I had to choose I’m on team Kanye.

AHHA: Do you have any worries raising a child while pursuing your entertainment career?

Lydia: Sometimes. I feel that I might not be able to be with her as much. I wonder if I’m ever blessed to be able to go on tour, am I going to be able to bring her with me. I think about things like that but I know that this is what I’m supposed to do. Her father is a producer and I’m a singer, he’s a musician so it’s in her.

She comes to the studio with me all the time. She sings in the car all the way to the studio. She always sees me singing. She’s with me when I’m writing my songs. Sometimes it concerns me, but I also think it’s gonna benefit her in her future.

AHHA: Being that you’re so young and involved in so many ventures, how important is it to you not to limit yourself to just singing?

Lydia: I think it’s important because I feel like I’m a well-versed individual. Like my accessories line - I love to create. I love it! It’s something that I just stumbled upon for myself, just making jewelry for myself. I got such a good response from people, I feel like it’s something else that I need to give to others.

I know how it makes me feel when I get a hot piece of jewelry or a hot accessory, you know what I mean? To be involved in acting, these are all gifts that God has given me. I don’t want to limit myself, I want to try and give them all back.

AHHA: What do you end up giving most of your time to?

Lydia: Music. I would honestly say I’m giving like 90% of myself to music. My accessories line is not getting what it needs but, I feel like if you have your hands in too much, you’ll be giving a little to each. Right now I’m focusing mostly on my music, and I feel once I get some sense of stability where that’s concerned, I’ll be able to do the other things also.

AHHA: Do you have any future plans for your company Caesarwest Designs, like a clothing line for example?

Lydia: I don’t see that. I see more of a complete accessories line. Right now we just do earrings. I can see [it] becoming more of an accessories line where we can make bags, belts, shoes, all of that – even glasses. I don’t really see clothing, but hey if God would open that door for me then I would gladly walk in.

AHHA: In today’s industry it’s not only about the talent anymore, but a marketable image and a great live performance. How do you set out to fulfill those expectations?

Lydia: Practice, practice, practice. Always making sure that you’re representing yourself well. You don’t have to put on your heels all the time but still try to look cute and approachable; still try to look like an artist. For me, honestly it’s just who I am. I’ve always been very loud and funky when it comes to how I dress.

So it works out. I don’t necessarily need a stylist, I can style myself which is great cause it saves money. Making sure that when your fans hear you on your CD and then they see you live, they’re not disappointed. I like to have a better live performance than my CD. I like for people to be like wow, she’s even better live. It also takes doing shows. I’ve seen a tremendous difference in myself from my first show and where I am now.

AHHA: How is it that you have such a natural performance?

Lydia: It’s two things. It’s one, being connected with my music ‘cause it’s all mine. I write everything so I feel comfortable with it. A lot of time you can tell the difference between when I’m doing a cover song and when I’m doing my song. Also, I’m an actress so it helps. I’m studying acting in school. It’s just a part of my personality. I think that comes across on the stage so I have a sense of comfort and I think people can see that.

AHHA: With you studying theater, what character portrays Lydia Caesar best?

Lydia: Oh my gosh, that’s so hard. I would choose a Disney character. I would say Ariel from The Little Mermaid. I would say Ariel because she was very free spirited. She knew what she wanted, she wanted Prince Eric. She wanted to live outside of the ocean and she did that. Using her as an example, she got into some trouble along the way.

I find that’s my story a lot of times. I have what I want, set it my mind, and I’m gonna do it. A lot of time that’s not always the best, sometimes you have to listen to others around you and take advice. But I’m very, very bull-headed and opinionated.

AHHA: Being that you’re still in college, do you go out to party with your friends?

Lydia: Definitely go out with my friends, we go out dancing and have a good time. I would say mostly what we do for fun is we go eat. We love food, we’re all mad greedy. I also like to go to other shows, seeing other artists on the come up. I saw Beyonce in concert at the Garden – that was amazing. I love music. If I can get out and see other performers I do that too for like down time.

AHHA: What is your favorite food?

Lydia: Spanish food. I love spanish food. But I also love, West Indian food too. I'm West Indian so, I love like the jerk chicken and curry goat and oxtail, plantains. I also wasn't raised eating Spanish food, so once I was up on it I'm addicted.
AHHA: Do you have an album in the works?

Lydia: I'm looking to hopefully release my album in February. I've been recording for three years now. I'm taking my time with it, I actually have enough material to put an album out within the next month or so. But I'm taking my time and [continuing to] record so that I have a good amount of songs to choose from and it can be something that will hold weight on it's own. People will love it, it will speak to people and it will inspire people. I'm really, really lookin' forward to that.


Melody Love, Summer Vacation EP



Remember the days when artists truly sang sans the vocal tricks and studio manipulation? Remember hearing songs filled with heart felt words from beginning to end? Remember when artists were able to perform with such stage presence that seemingly invited the audience into the world of the artist? These days are upon us again and the leader of this resurrection is Lydia Caesar. Not your typical R&B bombshell, 23 year-old Lydia’s soulful vocal ability and sultry voice are a force to be reckoned with especially when placed over live musical tracks. Born and raised in Hollis, Queens as one of four children to a Jamaican mother and a father with St. Lucian roots, Lydia’s strong, musical church-going family consequently lead her to singing. “Music is a way of life, it’s in me and I can’t help it so that’s why it means so much; I write what I live.”
At the tender age of four Lydia was singing in front of hundreds of people at the church founded by her grandfather and where her father serves as the bishop, Bethel Gospel Tabernacle. “God blessed me with a gift, and now it’s my time to turn around and bless the world.” Aside from gospel greats like the Clark Sisters and Andre Crouch, secular artists such as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, Lauryn Hill, and Brandy further inspired Lydia’s desire to not only sing, but to perform. Once in high school, 16 year old Lydia was writing, directing, and starring in musical theatre shows, but it was a few years later that marked the turning point in Lydia’s career. Out of roughly 10,000 people, Lydia was one of the final 15 singers who auditioned for the first season of P. Diddy’s Making the Band 2 on MTV. “It was at this point when I decided to start writing my own music at the suggestion of people working on the show. I became inspired at how far that I had made it so I bought a notebook and began to write.”
“Melody Love” one of Lydia’s favorite self-penned songs and a dedication to her three year old daughter, metaphorically ties love with music over an acoustic track by producer MotesArt. Lydia’s star power has garnered the crown of several New York City showcases, the recognition of for her answer to Musiq Soulchild’s “Buddy,” and most recently a 2007 Underground Music Award nomination for best R&B female. Now in 2008 Lydia has just completed her first full-length work. Together she and MotesArt have created a sound that is uniquely her own. They have created a blend of Rock and Rhythm and Blues, which they call “Rock&B”. Her Debut album is filled with songs that sound different, and just make you feel good. Lydia just shot her first video for one of her favorite songs on the album called “puzzle” Soulful vocals, over rock guitar riffs, this LP breaks the typical mold of one genre, and explores that of R&B, soul, rock and even pop. Lydia also joined forces with the beatbanggahz who produced 2 songs on her LP. Her team is prepping for a summer release. “I want people to hear my music and say ‘wow, I’ve gone through that or I feel like that’… people relating to the music is key.”
Although highly focused on her music, Lydia is also headed towards her BA in Theatre at Hofstra University having already made huge impressions in Hamlet and The Birds off Broadway. Not just a double threat, Ms. Caesar’s vibrant, neck-turning sense of style effortlessly gels vintage with Vogue’s latest. She is often seen wearing her own line of accessories, Ceasarwest Designs and never with the same hairstyle twice. Possessing a personality that reflects her appearance Lydia has the ability to sustain career longevity in a fickle entertainment industry. “Everyone has a purpose, everybody has a time, and I believe that mine is coming soon.” Daughter, sister, mother, singer, writer, actress, designer, soul flower…introducing Lydia Caesar.