Commonplace #13: “Japanese Denim” by Daniel Caesar


For one of my final commonplaces, I chose to focus on an artist I have been listening to for the past few years, Daniel Caesar. Daniel Caesar can be compared to artists like Frank Ocean and Abhi//Dijon. His song “Japanese Denim” has become an anthem for me, especially in the past few months.

“Met you at the shop, Sun was getting hot, I’m lonely
I’m in the city on my own
Never would’ve thought you’d be the one, I got a homie
But that’s the way it goes
I’m reaching Nirvana
Goodbye sweet Rwanda
High school was never for me
I say let it be, let it be
Forever’s a long time”

This passage stuck out to me because of the rhyming words and the imagery. The smooth and beachy vibed beat adds to his exaggerated holds on some words. Daniel Caesar’s tone is relaxed and loving. I always sing along to the lyric “I’m reaching Nirvana, Goodbye sweet Rwanda” creates an interesting image in my mind of dying and thinking of his ancestors. Daniel Caesar has a unique dialect because he’s from Canada and it shows through in his music. From a grammatical standpoint, the song lacks and doesn’t have any full sentences. I started to think about the origin of “Japanese Denim” and it’s apparently the best denim in the world. The song’s message is about love, but he doesn’t seem satisfied with the outcome or longs for someone. A few common themes in his music are love, loneliness, and acceptance.


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