Ceraadi, a singing and rapper sister-act from Cedar Rapids, IA who are signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, have been tearing up YouTube views at a marathon-like pace. Their song and dance videos are not only joyful to watch but, if the views are any indication, are being enjoyed by millions.
This sister act just dropped their Ceraadi’s Playlist EP in August, and now, they’re ready to share the music video for “Dumbstruck” with the world.
We caught up with Saiyr and Emaza on the phone where they told us about finishing each other’s musical thoughts, the family emergency that nearly derailed their video shoot, and why they keep their private lives private — even when they write a love song.
Refinery29: How did this song come to you? What about it spoke to you?
Saiyr: “We wrote the record. We weren’t really in that space of being in love, but the beat inspired us back to memories we had with old flames. The beat was produced first.”
Emaza: “It’s crazy, Saiyr and I are so in tune that sometimes we write in separate rooms and we’ll come back having written about the same topic. It was crazy how our verses and the chorus of the song made sense and intermingled with each other.”
I haven’t heard many people say they can write that way.
Emaza: “It’s because we’re twins. We have the twin telepathy thing going on.”
Saiyr: “We speak and sometimes when we’re in our own little headspace, we’ll start singing along with each other’s words.”
Emaza: “We have a bond that cannot be broken.”
Saiyr: “It’s like we go through the same relationship where if you’re dating my sister you’re also dating me and the whole family. We feel everybody’s pain. When it comes to writing, we know each other’s experience.”
How do people you date feel about that?
Emaza: “We’re not out there in the public with our private lives and relationships. People probably think we just draw scenarios in our head. The whole dating situation — we’re a family oriented group and everyone knows that from the jump.”
Where did you get the idea for a sleepover in your video? How did the shoot go?
Emaza: “Our mom, who is our manager and has a great creative mind, was looking at a website called Peerspace and found our location. We didn’t use it at the time, but after we teamed up with the director of this video, he brought the same location to us. It was just perfect timing. I think the set elaborates on the feeling of the song; the girlies and all the colors are like the feelings, aesthetically, that you feel when you have a crush on a guy or a girl.
Saiya: “We love to say it reminds us of 13 Going On 30, when they’re in the bedroom in the slumber party scene.”
Emaza: “The day was crazy because our baby sister had a seizure that morning. We had to tend to that, until our mom handled it and sent us on set while she took care of her. Big ups to our mom who is not only our manager but a superhero in our eyes. She takes a lot of the weight off our shoulders. It was nerve-wracking, we had to keep our positive energy up and act like nothing happened which was a struggle. We love the way the video came out, though, everyone was so positive and excited. We’re glad our sister was okay. She was able to be in the video after that.”
Saiyr: “We brought our French bulldog [Camo], also, and she kind of stole the show.”
Emaza: “Camo made a little cameo.”
Why did you go that route, rather than a love-interest storyline?
Saiyr: “We wanted it to relate to the everyday woman. A lot of girls aren’t out there with the person they’re crushing on, they’re at home with their sisters or their best friends and gushing over the person they like. We wanted this shoot to be outside the box, as well. You could go straight to the point and have a love interest, but we wanted to make it interesting and go beyond what a music video could look like when the song is about love.
This project definitely comes from a girls perspective — it’s about how we feel, how we go through so many emotions. We hope this is relatable.”
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Correction: This story originally identified Cedar Rapids as a city in Michigan. It is in Iowa. The website they used to find their shoot location has also been updated. We regret the errors.
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