Cezar groundbreaking deal

Reggae soul singer Cezar has landed a groundbreaking deal with Coca-Cola, the global partner for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. As the world gathers for the Olympics, Coca-Cola has assembled eight artistes from across the world for a new promotion centred around what the Olympics means to them.

The new series of eight highly stylised bottles is dubbed ‘Coca-Cola We8’. We8 is an artistic and cultural exchange like no other, according to a release issued by Coca-Cola the We8 project “unites eight of China’s most exciting artists and design firms and eight of the West’s most progressive musicians to interpret the ideas and passions that connect us- by sharing and expressing one of eight themes.” These themes include: ‘Global Harmony’, Uplifting Moments’, ‘Healthy World’, ‘Individual Perseverance’, ‘Peace on Earth’, ‘Human Collaboration’, ‘Active Optimism’ and ‘Happiness.’

Petro Kacur, communications manager for Coca-Cola told The STAR how the idea was formed. “It began from the starting point of a concept we had, the Beijing Olympics is coming up and we wanted a cultural exchange programme,” Kacur said.

Limited edition

The cultural exchanges begin with eight artistes-Tiesto from the Netherlands, Benny Benassi from Italy, Kaskade, Jes, Lucas Prata, Jay J all from the United States, as well as Serge Devant from Russia and Cezar from Jamaica.

Each artiste was given a theme with a specially designed Coca-Cola bottle done in that theme with the artiste’s name and country on it. The bottles are limited edition designs and for each theme the artiste composed a companion song. The musicians incorporated into their songs the five signature notes from the melody to the award winning 2006 ‘Happiness Factory’ advertisement for Coca-Cola.

Jamaica’s Cezar represents ‘Active Optimism’ with the song ‘Keep On Trying’ and his bottle was designed by the renowned artiste Chen Shaohua.

Kacur explains why Cezar was chosen: “Looking at all the well known, upcoming artistes we identified Cezar as a dynamic and well known musician. We had each artiste make original music to convey the theme of each bottle.”

Pursuing one’s goals

The song ‘Keep on Trying’ is a reggaelectro remix that encourages optimism despite adversity as Cezar sings “keep on doing your best, yuh know life is a test, your gonna be all right.” When The STAR recently got in touch with Cezar he was ecstatic about the promotion, he explained how the deal came about. “I had written ‘Keep On Trying’ and my music publishers, Ultra International were trying to get the song out there as well as Rodney Hill who is the brainchild behind the various remixes. It also entered an original song writing competition and came in second in the world music category. Just from all of that Coke heard about it and asked for it.”

The song is centred on optimism and putting things in place to bring one’s goals to fruition. For Cezar the theme of ‘Active Optimism’ speaks to actively pursuing one’s goals no matter the consequences, which is one the artiste can identify with as he considers himself to be an optimist.

“I have to be an optimist, I put a lot on the line to do music, I gave up a lot of stability to follow my dreams. Its a very tough business and I’m someone willing to make sacrifices,” Cezar said.

As for the bottle, Cezar says he loves the design. “Chen Shaohua who designed it from my understanding is a very well-known artiste in China, its not very complicated, but there’s a power in simplicity. From what I understand its Buddhist symbols and each character connotes different meanings for happiness.”

Broaden horizons

Cezar’s bottle according to the release is set to be available in New Zealand but Cezar is currently in discussion with Coca-Cola Jamaica to make the bottle available throughout the Caribbean. Cezar and the other musicians will be going to Beijing, as well as to other locations, to perform their songs

For a fairly unknown artiste on the International scene, a promotion this large is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Cezar told THE STAR that this is the greatest honour in his life. “Normally a Jamaican artiste wouldn’t come into contact with these artistes so its good to broaden horizons and to get possible collaborations… I’m the first Caribbean artiste to work with Coke in this way, its something to really have the region recognised.” Cezar has had contact with Jes, the sole female of the eight and has performed on a show already with Lucas Prata.

We8 will open Cezar not only to the Coca-Cola market but the artiste will also get the chance to be introduced to the millions watching the Olympics in China. “It’s making a huge impact on my career, people are sitting up and taking notice, there are only eight musicians and any reasonable person would want to know why these persons were chosen,” he said.

In the meanwhile Cezar is always busy working in the studio. His single ‘Will You Be’ is also out. He is also working on tracks with producers such as Mario C and Lenky, and plans to release his yet-to-be titled