Queens-born singer heads to Essence Festival

Singer Lydia Caesar is joining the stage with a lineup of artists at this year’s Essence Festival in New Orleans on June 30. The St. Albans-raised songstress, now based in St. Louis, Missouri, was chosen out of hundreds of artists around the world to perform at one of the largest African-American music festivals in the country. The artist learned that her submission to the lineup was accepted not long after hosting her first hometown concert, she said.

“I was really excited and almost kind of forgot about it because as an artist when you’re pitching for so many things, not everything turns into opportunity,” said Caesar. “It was a pleasantly surprise e-mail when I saw that I was selected because I know a lot of people going up for selection.”

At the show, the singer will perform two of her songs from her recent album “Queen of Hearts” — “Through it All” and “Crawling Back.”

It will be Caesar’s first time at the festival as performer and concert goer, and it will be her first time visiting the Big Easy. And she is looking forward to the visit to enjoy the show as a fan, she added.

“I’ve never been there but I always wanted to go,” said Caesar. “What’s really exciting is being able to go and enjoy the concert and be at the seminars. I’m a fan first before I was and artist. I was a fan and believer in music, and I’m going to be able to watch my favorite singers.”

As a fan of music, she saids she was thrilled to see performances from the people she idolize and look up to, she added.

“I’m most excited to see Diana Ross and I get chills think about seeing her live,” said Caesar. “I’m also really excited about seeing Mary J. Blige, who is a legend in her own right and someone I really look up to.”

Caesar said the chance to be included in the festival was a great opportunity for herself as an independent artist.

“It feels amazing and I’m grateful for a platform like this — a festival of this nature creates space for emerging entertainers and I believe in that because it’s what we need,” she said. “We need platforms like these because many times there are no opportunities between these huge artists and independent artists.”

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimo[email protected]local.com.

More from Around NYC