If you follow the latest social media influencers or keep up with hip-hop’s up-and-coming stars, then chances are you’ve come across content from Ceraadi. You’ll also be glad to know that the personalities of Emaza, 22, and Saiyr Gibson, 25, the sisters that make up the hip-hop duo, are just as fun, energetic, and infectious as the music they create.
Ceraadi, whose name came from the meshing of both sisters’ middle names, was signed to Roc Nation in 2019, and their stars have consistently been on the rise since. From massive social media followings on TikTok (over 586k) and Instagram (over 1.8 million), brand ambassadorship deals with Savage X Fenty and PrettyLittleThing, and banging singles, including hit debut single “Loyal” and their more recent release “BFF,” the ladies have been enjoying the ride that their burgeoning careers are taking them on, and their fans are having a ball watching.
When the sisters spoke with Atlanta Black Star, it became clear that their determination to stand out in the biz was just as strong as the sisterly bond the two share.
Ahead of being signed to one of hip-hop’s most well-known labels, the ladies credited Roc Nation’s senior director of A&R, Earl Johnson, with helping mold their careers.
“Our A& R now, Earl Johnson, he was always coming to shows, and he always kept in touch. He’s known us since we were younger, you know, kind of scoping out,” said Emaza. “He was on his way to Roc Nation, and I think us dropping some singles after ‘Kung Pao,’ just getting those numbers up and really showing that there’s a demand for Ceraadi, I think Earl was just like, ‘I think it’s time for you guys to showcase.’”
The duo landed the opportunity to perform for former Roc Nation President Benny Pough and Co-President Omar Grant, an experience that they admitted was as nerve-wracking as it sounds.
“For the showcase we had to perform these records that we barely knew. And we were like, ‘Oh my God, help us.’ They just love our energy and our passion for the music,” said Saiyr.
While the group may be fairly new to the industry, they’ve both always known that music and entertainment would play a major role in their futures. Ceraadi always existed, in a way, because the girls admitted that as they were growing up they were never shy about performing.
“We were always going to family reunions and being those girls that always danced,” Emaza told ABS. “We were so involved with music. Our mom played different types of music, from Janet Jackson to even East Coast hip-hop, to Biggie Smalls, we grew up on all that stuff.”
“Every time there was a MTV Award or Grammy Award show, it was like an event for us. So I think that was what really inspired us to want to be entertainers,” she continued. “But our mom really helped us put forth the energy to actually get the dream going.”
One of the perks of achieving those dreams is having the opportunity to cross paths with hip-hop royalty Jay-Z and Beyoncé, whom they dubbed “amazing people.”
“We actually run into Jay-Z a lot, it’s really crazy,” Saiyr reflected. “Especially when we go to the office, he’ll come out. And we’re like, ‘Oh my God, here he is.’ … But he’s just really calm, but his energy, because you know everything that he’s done in his career … you’re just like, ‘Oh my gosh, he’s standing in front of me,’ and you’re trying to stay calm at the same time.”
Beyoncé is equally down to earth, according to the sisters, who recounted the story of their first meeting Queen Bey at the 2019 Roc Nation Christmas party.
“We was getting it lit on the dance floor. And I’m like, ‘OK, we need some water. We’re really thirsty,’” Saiyr recalled. “So, I’m bobbing and weaving, trying to get our waters from the bar, and I’m coming back, and I’m like, ‘Oh crap. The only way to get back to my sister, I have to pass Jay and B, their table.’ And I’m like, ‘OK, I can do this. I can do this.’’
“So I’m walking, and Beyoncé looks at me … and I was like, ‘Oh, she waved at me?’” she continued. “And so I’m like, ‘Oh my God,’ I panic. I was like, ‘Hold on, hold on.’ So I went to go get my sister and then we walked up to them, and she’s like, ‘Hi, I’m Beyoncé.’ And we’re like, ‘We know who you are. That’s so sweet.’”
The power couple also offered Ceraadi some advice, telling them to “just continue to be who you are and continue to have fun,” according to Saiyr, to which Emaza added, “And don’t ever stop dancing.”
Part of Ceraadi’s massive popularity is attributed to the following they’ve gained across social media due to their fun videos, in which they sing, dance, and live their best lives for the world to see.
“We were always doing music, but in order to get that following, we gained it through YouTube and then it went over to music,” Emaza said. “So I think it’s important to have it, being an influencer. So I think you naturally gain it too, as a public eye.”
Now that they have the attention of the public, Ceraadi hopes to bring “authentic, fun energy” that leans more into feelings and less into sexuality back to the music industry. “Watching people perform is fun, but really bringing that authentic, fun energy,” Saiyr said. “Like when you see Missy Elliot coming down the aisle, perform a rap and her mic is coming out, but she’s still going like, ‘Hey, what’s up?’ People having cool, fun themes. Forget that it’s an awards show and you’re trying to win, and it’s more of like, ‘Hey, we’re having fun!’”
“I feel like too, there’s been I feel a limit or a type of cap on what type of music women can make,” she went on to explain. “I feel if they’re owning their sexuality, more power to them, but it’s not the only type of music that us women can make, we can tap into our feelings. So I feel we’re going to open the doors for that too.”
With the release of their latest singles “Secure The Bag” and “BFF,” the sisters hope to make the transition into what they call their “grown woman state” while remaining flexible enough in their sound to continue to evolve.
“Our last EP, ‘Ceraadi’s Playlist,’ was more dedicated to our younger crowd,” Saiyr stated. “It was kind of just tiptoeing into the Ceraadi sound. But this one is like, boom, we’re here, rebranding ourselves. We’re stepping to our grown woman state.”
One thing is certain: they don’t want to be boxed in or compared to anyone else, which has been a benefit to their careers thus far.
“A lot of people in the industry, whether it’s producers or writers or just fans and whatnot, they’d be like, ‘You guys’ sound is so refreshing because I haven’t heard anybody sound like that.’” said Emaza. “So that’s really good, because we don’t try to go after a certain style. We just like to create and see what people take up.”