Post by Born_To_Do_It on Oct 13, 2011 19:12:41 GMT -5
George P. I see your still at it, good stuff, but did you really have to add the Get Drunk Up song? lol... There are some out there who will like it, but for me it is terrible, this coming from a massive fan.
I can see people being like, oh yea... I remember the name Craig David, let me click on this and then after hearing that saying, "he fell off", when this song dosent really represent him at all.
I just came here to put on this link of Craig David @ the MJ Tribute concert. This is the best video on youtube at the moment.
Also, he performed this song acoustically a few years ago:
Also, since his last album, you can find a few songs of his on the internet, so if anyone is interested check these out: "Who Am I?" "Going My Way" "I Don't Think So" "Like I Never Left" "Do It On My Own" (Remady feat. Craig David) "Just Because You Have A Baby" (Sway feat. Craig David)
Finally here is Craig David performing acoustically Kings Of Leon's "Use Somebody" live on BBC 1xtra Live Lounge (Radio) in 2010:
and if you don't believe those live vocals, here is a slightly different version:
I prob sound like a proper hardcore fan, but that is probably cause I am.
Craig David’s debut LP Born To Do It revisited with producer/writer Mark Hill | Return To The Classics November 13, 2011 by Henry Yanney
On August 14 2000, the UK music industry laid witness to an album which would not only find major success at the time, but would also help to shape the future sound of Black British Music as well as Contemporary Pop Music. Craig Ashley David, at the age of 19, released his debut album Born To Do It; a 12 track LP which fully captured the sounds of the then new and thriving Garage scene, as well as providing some mature R&B and soul which created an unforgettable project which many still reference today.
With the recent succession of chart topping artists belonging to the UK urban scene, it’s somewhat hard to believe that 11 years ago, such a feat was possible. Long before the likes of Dizzee Rascal, Tinie Tempah and other urban acts began commandeering the charts, UK Black Music back then had yet to fully make its impact on popular music like it does today. Artists such as Beverley Knight, Damage and the late Lynden David Hall were just some of the main attractions of the Black Music scene around that time but even their presence had yet to fully captivate audiences outside of their chosen genres.
Born on May 5, 1981, Craig David grew up Southampton, England and came up through the various club scenes during his teen years as a DJ and emcee. Although his talents may have inevitably blossomed, the teen prodigy arguably owed his first taste of fame to the legendary Garage act The Artful Dodger. The duo composed of producers/songwriters Mark Hill and Pete Deveraux (both also from Southampton), enlisted David to feature on their underground-turned-mainstream hit “Rewind” which peaked at the number two position in the charts in December 1999. “Rewind” would not only provide The Artful Dodger and Craig David with their first mainstream hits, but would also usher in the popular underground genre Garage to the masses for the new millennium.
Garage, a subgenre of dance music, was formed from the popular underground genre Jungle, and followed a 4/4 rhythm and snappy drums (often including emcees or vocalists). Following on from the trio’s chart success, acts such as the So Solid Crew, Miss Dynamite, DJ Luck and MC Neat and many others would also find chart success with the Garage genre, with even pop acts such as Daniel Bedingfield and Mis-Teeq incorporating Garage productions into their material. Craig David’s collaborative efforts with the Artful Dodger wouldn’t end at “Rewind” as Mark Hill would help to produce Craig’s classic debut and brought the distinguished sound of the successful Garage act to fuse it with the singer’s harmonic vocals.
Comprised of rhythmic dance tunes akin to “Rewind,” as well as strong ballads and slow R&B, Born To Do It was released through Wildstar/Atlantic Records debuting at number one in the UK Albums Chart. Since then it has been certified 6x platinum, achieved platinum status in the USA and in April 2009, was voted the number two album in MTV’s Greatest Albums of All Time list.
Soul Culture recently spoke with the Artful Dodger’s Mark Hill, producer and writer on Born To Do It. In a sit-down interview, Hill breaks down the process of Craig David’s classic, the importance of maintaining a British sound as well as where Craig stands in the list of great vocalists from the UK.
Mark Hill first discusses how he first came to meet the young prodigy whilst back in their hometown of Southampton.
“I used to run a small recording studio in Southampton and we were just set up to record local bands and musicians” he recollects. “A mate of mine had brought a youth project he was working with down to the studio and Craig and another singer called Aaron Soul were the lead singers for it and that was when they were both 15. That was my first initial meeting with Craig.”
Although the first encounter with future award winning sensation was brief, it would be later when Craig was beginning to find his way in the club scene, that the two would once again meet. Mark says, “Skip a couple of years and myself and Pete started making some Artful Dodger tunes, and we had done a few remixes which the local DJs were playing and were now at the stage where we wanted to make something original. Pete and I were DJing upstairs one night in a club and Craig was DJing and emceeing and I remembered him from before and approached him. He actually had one of our tunes in his record box. We invited him to the studio the next day and recorded a few tracks.”
The David/Hill partnership would result in some of the most iconic British R&B songs of the 21st century being composed. The affiliation between Craig David and Mark Hill/Artful Dodger became synonymous with many of the music public back in the year 2000, notably due to the vocalist’s long affiliation with the Garage act, even making a few appearances on the Artful Dodger’s debut album All About The Stragglers. Hill recalls how difficult it had been to pay Craig for appearances on his Artful Dodger project and sought a different way to reimburse the 19 year old for his efforts, which inevitably, would prove to be an incentive far greater than any financial gain.
He says, “We recorded ‘Whatcha Gonna Do’ with Craig which appeared on our …Stragglers album. But at the time we were so skint that we couldn’t afford to pay him for the vocals so we just offered him studio time as well and I could help to produce his stuff if needs be.”
It would be the “studio time” which was offered to Craig which he would use to create the debut album Born To Do It, in which work for the album ran from the year 1999, going well into the new millennium – long before Craig had even been offered a recording contract. Mark Hill believes that the absence of label executives and such provided the two with greater freedom when producing the album.
“When we started writing Born To Do It, there were no labels involved or managers or anything. We’d written the majority of the album before any of us was signed, so it was very much an organic process and it was just the two of us working on it without anyone. I remember when we were taking demos around the industry trying to get a deal, we had ’7 Days,’ ‘Walking Away,’ ‘Time To Party’ and others and those ended up being the final versions of the album.”
“So when we finally got a deal, the album was a no-brainer as we already had the material required. We basically had done all the hard work before the labels got involved. I feel that way works best really because you’ve been given creative freedom, there’s no pressure and we had all the time in the world to do it. Obviously things change whenever a deal is involved.”
Whilst responsibility for the overall sound of the project fell mainly on Hill’s shoulders, the producer also had a hand in the writing process which Craig was behind mostly. The first hit for Craig came in the form of “Fill Me In,” a track which explored the goings on in a forbidden relationship. Mark Hill goes into detail about the makings of the track as well as whether the songs Craig penned shed any light on his life away from the studio.
“Around the time that ‘Rewind’ broke through, Born To Do It had already been written and done. The only song which was made after the initial album was completed was ‘Fill Me In.’ I wanted to create a track which had a Garage element to it which would bridge the gap between Craig’s project and what The Artful Dodger was doing. Although we spent a lot of time during the studio sessions and I had got to know him as a result of that, I didn’t have much insight into his personal life. He obviously enjoyed sing and writing passionately about certain subjects and whether it was storytelling or from the heart, I couldn’t comment I just worked on the melodies and more.”
Melodies were something which Craig David would become synonymous with for most of his career. Belting out harmonic verses and infectious choruses, the Southampton star was praised from early for creating a signature style which many today have been influenced by. Growing up as a teenager, Craig was known to be a huge American R&B fan and Hill remembers having to encourage the singer to hold back from letting these influences fully take over his product.
“Craig was a massive US R&B fan and he had a huge record collection so he’d always be coming into the studio and playing me stuff on vinyl and giving me mixtapes so I would take elements from them and try and make them British – trying to rein in any American twang. I would be the one to edit them and try and make them sound less American and push him to do tracks that had other elements to them. The first couple of tracks we tried together sounded very American.”
When the US/UK balance was addressed, the end product would result in some of the most impressive material which the UK hadn’t been witnessed to in some years. Two of the standout tracks, “Walking Away” and the number one charting “7 Days” offered a remarkable alternative sound to the American R&B product which had even crept into some of the material composed by UK artists during that time.
Craig’s signature narrative led songs were beautifully woven by the signature acoustic chords which a majority of Mark Hill’s instrumentals all included. Although the long term success of the singles would long be remembered, Hill was more proud of the fact that he had been able to encourage Craig to go a different direction from most.
“There were definitely some musical influences which came through,” Hill proclaims. “As he was really into his US stuff, you’d find that some of melodies he used emulated songs he was really into and some of the beats were influenced by that same material.
“Craig was predominantly behind the lyrics and melodies while I handled the overall sound and more. But it gave me the chance to give him a track like ‘Walking Away’ which wasn’t an obvious R&B track, it had a groove to it but it was overrun by guitars and there was the Spanish elements in ’7 Days’ so I would always try to push him to do something different. I was quite influential in helping him choose the melodies. He would choose the jam along to tracks and I would choose the melodies that I thought they were really special. Once he got the melodies, Craig would then go and work on the lyrics.”
Born To Do It was far from the average R&B album as its mood went from the sombre, intimate moments (found on “Follow Me” ) to more exuberant, upbeat vibes exhibited on a track like “Last Night.” With the pace constantly switching, how did this reflect in the studio? Mark Hill’s response is simple; “Pretty much every recording session was relaxed. We’d start an idea and if we knew it was going somewhere, we’d get excited about it and the rest of the process was effortless. It was an absolute joy to be in there and get real inspired.
“We were all broke at the time and had no prospect of selling millions, but we’d start messing about and say stuff like “this tunes gonna be a hit” and “this is gonna sell five million” and as we’ve seen obviously it went on to do pretty well. The tracks which made the albums were the ones which we felt we put the most effort into.”
For Mark Hill, however, the tracks which really impressed him were those which would explore the depth within Craig’s ability to perform. “Rendezvouz” (another track which was officially released from the album) and “Once In My Lifetime”, were both picked by the Artful Dodger producer as the two that stood out amongst the rest of the album, which, in his opinion, draw attention to the vocal talents which Craig David had to offer.
“The songs where Craig really came to his own lyrically were ‘Once In My Lifetime’ and ‘Rendezvous.’ I think these songs were the strongest both melodically and structurally because he was always pushing himself to do something different and musically they were a bit of a challenge for him so he could explore different melodies rather than taking soppy melodies from existing US R&B tracks. I think he did really well with those tracks.”
There even were moments on Born To Do It where fans were briefly treated to hearing Craig emcee. “Can’t Be Messin’ Round,” “Time To Party” and a few others would find the recognised singer return to his early days as a Garage emcee to drop a few typical Garage verses to add something extra to his stellar vocal range. Hill was adamant that Craig would have wanted to emcee more on the debut but the right tracks weren’t there for him to do so.
“We looked at the more Garage-y stuff and the more ‘Artful Dodger’ stuff for him to emcee on. He was meant to go on ‘It Ain’t Enough’ and ‘Are You Ready’ (both on the Artful Dodger’s album) but he was already on so many tracks we had to take him off some of them. I think he would have liked to have done it but when it got to the stage of the album, there didn’t seem to be any kind of material which would have been able to fit with the overall tone in which the album was going. Had the right kind of tracks been available I’m sure they would have gone on.”
Mark Hill also highlights the absence of any guest features from the album. Whilst it has now become the norm for R&B albums to include guest rappers, producers and more, Hill suggests the lack of additional names made Craig’s album that more special.
He says, “There were no guests on hand simply because at the time we didn’t have great access to those people. We were working out of a small studio in Southampton. It was also very much a personal thing – it was literally just Craig and I in a room writing the album and the process was going so well. It’s like the old saying ‘if it ain’t broke doesn’t fix it’ – unless there was a track which screamed out for someone we would be quite happy. I think that’s what made Born To Do It stand out – that the minimal guests and more made it feel like a body of work rather than a collection of different sounding tracks.”
Born To Do It spawned five Top Ten hits, solidifying Craig David’s status as arguably the premier act of the UK at the time. When talking about the influence the superstar would have on future acts, Mark Hill was more than capable of naming a few who had been inspired by the 19 year old sensation.
“I’ve worked with so many people who have referenced Craig David,” he says. “Donae’o, Davinche, Ed Sheeran just to name a few – they were all at school dreaming of being professional musicians and because Craig and Artful Dodger came from the underground, it was proof that it wasn’t about X Factor, it was possible to do it.”
When a current Canadian superstar’s name was mentioned as a possible Craig David fan, Hill was more than sure of this. “Drake is another one for sure. When I heard “Find Your Love” I immediately said ‘that sounds like a Craig melody, I could’ve produced it – that could’ve been the Craig David track that never got released.”
After Born To Do It, Craig David went on to make three more studio albums plus a covers album and a Greatest Hits compilation. Whilst relative success followed throughout his career, ultimately it was his groundbreaking work on his 2000 classic which many will speak highly of for years to come. Blessed with a gifted singing voice, a charismatic demeanour and boyish looks, Craig’s place in musical history will never be forgotten.
Looking back on the wave of success which they rode, Mark Hill finally breaks down why he believed their project so successful. “I think part of the success was down to the fact that we had complete freedom to work. There was no label involved, nobody was paying our bills, and we could just literally sit down and write the songs we wanted to write. I think that’s what made him unique,” he says. “The problem is once there’s a theme set by labels and so forth – then you are given a set of limits – it has to be sort of track a DJ has to play etc and we had none of those pressures so were so lucky at the time. Of course that changed when we made music after BTDI, but I think that was key.
“I think back then, people set out to make a very personal album that they were passionate about and would include all of their influences and wouldn’t worry about whether it’s going to fit into the music trends of the time or whether Zane Lowe would play it on radio. Without having any of those constraints you could literally write whatever you wanted. The album just resonated with people and they just bought into Craig as an artist. I’ve worked with a number of producers recently, so very talented but worried about whether the tunes cool or whether they’re selling out, they almost sabotage some of their best tracks in order to try and make it more underground and cool. If someone came out with a fantastic ballad, it could be the best song in the world but they would be afraid to release it because of what their peers would say.
“I think R&B struggles in this country because we prefer to support the underdog – we’ll be supportive of something if it’s really underground but the moment it becomes commercial its almost like it becomes a stigma and we turn our back on it. We were lucky to have the backing of the underground because BBC Radio 1 wouldn’t touch any of our stuff to begin with. It was only when it became so big in the clubs that they had to play us and typically took the credit. Rewind was out in ’97 and took years to plug it. Overall the success of the album was due to the fact that we had loads of time and no pressure to make the album. It was the two of us writing on our own and making music for the fun of it. I believe we both pushed each other to make something unique and special.”
Craig David – Born To Do It Released: August 14, 2000 Label: Wildstar/Atlantic Buy: iTunes UK / iTunes US / Amazon UK / Amazon US
UK R&B artist Craig David was spotted working out on the beach in Miami. The artist relocated there and is busy in the studio working on new material. Staying healthy must have been his top priority for the new year because he’s been tweeting about working out on the regular.
On January 1 he said on Twitter:
“All about feeling fresh, healthy and alive in life!! Hangovers are so 2011! Lol #lovin’life.”
“1st Day work out diary of 2012! #I’minthebuildingandimfeelingmyself.”
“All about killing it in the gym and recording a smash in the studio!! #leggoooooo”
Craig has not had a top ten hit in the UK since “Hot Stuff (Let’s Dance”) charted at number seven but he is positive that he is in for a good year of music success.
‘Let’s make this an epic year and create some magic in the studio as I’m more than ready! #beenlongenough.’
We wish you the best Craig. We hope in 2012 you take a trip to your dad’s homeland Grenada; they’ve got awesome beaches too!
Post by Born_To_Do_It on May 12, 2012 18:45:57 GMT -5
Craig David and Brian McKnight to work together: @craigdavid: @itsbmcknight You are the truth brother! Your music & voice is a blessing! @craigdavid: @itsbmcknight This is what I'm talking about. Sends shivers down my spine every time I hear it #RealR&B youtu.be/WffrXeZKPZo @itsbmcknight: @craigdavid thanx man really @craigdavid: “@itsbmcknight: @craigdavid thanx man really” Nothing but love brother. It's real music like this that makes people wanna become singers; )
@craigdavid: @itsbmcknight Your 'relevance' as an R&B Artist has & will inspire millions of people to sing including me. @itsbmcknight: @craigdavid we should get together and write something it would be epic @craigdavid: @itsbmcknight I agree. Let's create something special…that feels good. I'll DM you my info & we'll make this happen. @itsbmcknight: @craigdavid cool @craigdavid: @itsbmcknight hit follow so I can send you my details ; ) @itsbmcknight: @craigdavid my bad lol @craigdavid: @itsbmcknight All good brother. Just hit you up ; )
New Song: Not necessarily a new release, just a song that has come out which Craig is doing his own version of Calvin Harris's Bounce, entitled "Good Time". Good Time:
#getcraig2ourwedding Twitter Campaign A couple on Twitter kept tweeting Craig with a campaign to get him to perform at their wedding. The groom-to-be made this video:
Since then they've been tweeting on a regular basis to get Craig to perform at their wedding. Earlier this week Craig noticed one of their tweets and initially didn't think he would be able to make it. Then, Craig tweets this:
Hu Nu Project!_T_Coyne lisa_Benefit A powerful feeling 2 go came over me this evening & all U need 2 know is that I'll be there for your wedding.
Post by Born_To_Do_It on May 27, 2012 18:13:03 GMT -5
Craig David - Where's Your Love (Feat. Kano) This was the original version (before the Tinchy Stryder and Rita Ora version). It contains lyrics from the (GREAT) song "Smoothed Out". Long: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijUZhO6OYq0 Short:
Post by Born_To_Do_It on Jun 16, 2012 11:42:19 GMT -5
For those that dont know, Craig and Mark have tweeted each other numerous times over the last year and planned on getting in the studio togeather some time this summer (when Craig gets time to come back to the UK). As of this week, Craig has tweeted that he is in the UK, so they might actually be in the studio as I speak.
Craig is at his best when he makes smooth, chilled out R&B songs. The ones you can play wherever you are; at home, in the car etc. Him and Mark make those songs well.
Update: Craig David and Harvey Mason Jr. ("One-half of the production team The Underdogs") chatted on twitter about 2 weeks ago:
@craigdavid: Happy Birthday @harveymasonjr one of the best producers the industry has! Owning R&B slow jams #TheUnderdogs @harveymasonjr: @craigdavid CD!!!!! What's good w u? Thank u so much for the bday wishes. Hope all is well w u and I really hope to see u soon. @craigdavid: @harveymasonjr I'm great! Ready to get together & create something special in the studio once again! The 'Adonis' song is fire btw!
CD + UD = R&B Classic
For those that dont know, They both previously worked together on "The Story Goes" where 2 of the songs made the album (arguably the 2 best songs): "My Love Don't Stop" "Take 'Em Off"
Hopefully this starts the linkup for Craig to work with The Underdogs again!
Post by Born_To_Do_It on Aug 15, 2012 12:16:02 GMT -5
World Tour 2013 @craigdavid twitter:
I'll be starting my world tour in 2013 which will be accompanied by my new album!!! Heard it here 1st!! Thanks for all your support!
TS5 DJ Sets: Craig is back to DJing again, this time with a company (TS5) set up with a group of friends. Genres they play include R&B/HipHop/ProgressiveHouse/Dubstep/DanceHall. They have been DJing in Miami for a while and now they are currently touring around Europe and you can listen to some DJ sets on thier soundcloud page. soundcloud.com/ts5official
Working with the Backstreet Boys
Craig spent 2 days with the Backstreet Boys in London writing for thier upcoming album.
Craig David with Theo and Lisa at their wedding. Picture: o&cphotography.com
A couple had all of their wedding dreams come true after singing sensation Craig David made an appearance at their big day.
Theo Coyne and Lisa Potter-Dixon, now Lisa Potter-Coyne, are both massive fans of the R&B star, and in May this year thought they’d try their luck in inviting him to their wedding.
To their amazement, he agreed and Craig flew all the way from Los Angeles to sleepy Witchford, near Ely, to join the happy couple and their guests with the celebrations.
Theo, 28, and Lisa, 29, who live in London, recorded their own quirky Craig David-themed video asking the star to attend their wedding and posted it onto YouTube in May this year.
Before they knew it, the video had gone viral on social networking site Twitter and was soon viewed by the singer himself.
Heartened by the couple’s plea, Craig’s management people then called Theo and Lisa to tell them the news they had dreamed of hearing – that he would make every effort to attend the wedding.
Theo and Lisa got married at Ely Register Office on Friday and on Saturday, hundreds of their family and friends gathered at Lisa’s father and step-mother’s house in a quiet cul-de-sac, The Warren, in Witchford, for the post-wedding celebrations.
And, unbelievably, at 9pm, Craig, who scored a massive hit with 7 Days in 2000, arrived.
A guest at the wedding, who did not want to be named, said: “Craig was absolutely amazing.
“He was so down-to-earth that we almost forgot he was a celebrity. He mingled with guests, he hugged people and he signed so many things for not only Theo and Lisa but also lots of guests. It was a pinch-yourself moment.
“Craig then performed an hour’s set in the back garden – again, a really surreal moment.
“Everybody knew all the words to all his songs so the atmosphere was just incredible. It really was a dream come true for Theo and Lisa.”
Neighbours were also left flabbergasted after hearing the star singing – only to realise he was next door.
One neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: “We knew the wedding reception was being held and then all of a sudden we heard singing.
“I thought ‘crikey, that’s a Craig David song and that doesn’t half sound like him singing it’, only to realise he was actually next door.
“I can’t believe Craig David was in Witchford – what an amazing moment for the couple.”
GIG REVIEW: CRAIG DAVID, O2 INDIGO, LONDON 26th May 2013 By Joe Mott MR KNOW-IT-ALL
BANISH from your head all thoughts of Craig David being a bit of a joke.
His name must have had you thinking of Bo' Selecta! and vaguely ridiculous facial hair.
But that is actually a huge injustice. Craig was and is a big talent and, watching him some 15 years after he burst on to the scene, I was reminded of just how far our standards have dropped.
I mean, we'll accept Chris Brown as a star. He was rubbish long before he laid hands on the equally abysmal Rihanna.
But as Craig bounded on to the stage, dressed all in white but for a black tie, he brought with him a rich voice and level of electricity that seems no longer required of our pop icons.
He embodied the title of his first album Born To Do It - still one of the best debuts anyone could hope to release.
And he didn't mess about. Yes, he threw in one of his new songs about an hour into the set but there was no question of Craig not playing his hits.
The opener, What's Your Flava?, had everyone on their feet as the tight band thundered out the tune.
Follow-up Time To Party had a real Stevie Wonder feel and moved nicely into Hidden Agenda, which had all the deep groove of a classic soul cut.
After an extensive guitar intro, Spanish - never one of my favourites when second album Slicker Than Your Average was released - proved to be better than most songs you'll hear on the radio this year.
Walking Away was always going to be a crowd-pleaser and every girl in the room sung along as their (predominantly well-muscled) men looked on proudly.
Before playing Rise & Fall, Craig regaled us with a little story about writing with Sting, even describing the old Police man as "humble".
I've heard him called a lot of things but never that… With the audience in his palm, our hero had a set of decks wheeled out so he could recreate one of his Miami penthouse parties.
If I had the wedge, I'd probably hire him for my next birthday bash.
Playing a selection of old R&B, proper hip hop and some dancehall plus garage, Craig sang and rapped along to some true bangers before bringing the band back in to do Re-Rewind and then the epic 7 Days.
The History of UK Soul From Sade to Craig David to Marsha Ambrosius & Beyond Tom July 25, 2013 1
Written by Sope Soetan (@sopesoetan)
When examining the impact British artists have had on the American music industry, more often than not the following are always mentioned; The Beatles, Spice Girls and more recently One Direction. What do all these artists share in common? They all belong to the pop or rock genres. For the most part it’s often forgotten the great impact British artists have had on R&B and Soul music.
In the midst of the first British Invasion which was spearheaded by The Beatles, soul-inspired singers such as Tom Jones & Dusty Springfield were too scoring stateside hits in the 60s with songs such as ‘Son of a Preacher Man’ and ‘It’s Not Unusual’. But it wasn’t until the 80’s where Britain would start birthing their most successful soul acts, all commencing with the sublime Sade. Her debut album entitled ‘Diamond Life’ charted at No. 5 on the US Top 200 going on to sell over 4 million copies in America.
Following Sade’s runaway success in 1984, British Soul was launched onto a higher pedestal with the arrival of George Michael’s long-awaited solo debut in 1987 which landed itself atop the Billboard 200, later earning a Diamond certification for sales of 10 million copies in the states. ‘Faith’ also earned the distinction of being one a just a few albums to have four No. 1 singles on the Hot 100. The release of ‘One More Try’ marked a milestone in music history as Michael became the first white male to top the R&B charts. The album eventually won the most prestigious Grammy award in 1989 for ‘Album of the Year’.
1989 brought 3 of the most memorable songs by British R&B artists and those were Lisa Stanfield’s ‘All Around the World’ and Soul II Soul’s ‘Keep on Movin’ and the earth-shattering ‘Back to Life’. All of these songs topped the R&B charts, obtained noteworthy success on the Hot 100 and scored recognition from the Grammys.
The 1993 introduction of Eternal saw their first single ‘Stay’ reach the top 20 of both the R&B and Pop charts becoming the highest charting single in the US by a British girl group at the time. However few could predict the incredible success that would occur when an unknown from Leicester by the name of Mark Morrison dropped ‘Return of the Mack’ which shot to the highest reaches of Billboard and eventually became the 8th most successful song of 1997.
The dawn of the 2000s marked the entrance of Craig David who at the peak of his fame had some of the most unprecedented success for a UK R&B artist worldwide let alone in Britain. After being a significant figure in bringing the Garage sound to mainstream audiences with his 6x Platinum debut album ‘Born to Do It’, he then had his eyes set on America. Stateside the album produced two hits in the form ‘Fill Me In’ and ‘7 Days’ which helped Craig propel the album to platinum success. He was also endowed with a host of nominations from respected award ceremonies such as the Grammys and VMA’s.
As Neo-Soul was slowly emerging into the mainstream thanks to the breakthroughs of vocalists such as D’Angelo, Maxwell and Erykah Badu, 2002 saw UK-based duo Floetry capitalise on the foundations set by the aforementioned. Floetry blasted on the scene with the refreshing sound of their album fittingly titled ‘Floetic’. Upon its release it was showered with Grammy nominations and a Gold certification. The group introduced the world to the smoky vocal stylings of Marsha Ambrosius who in addition to releasing well-received solo work has become an in-demand songwriter penning for the likes of Michael Jackson, Angie Stone and Alicia Keys.
British Soul resurfaced in a massive way with a huge array of female singers enjoying success which began with Joss Stone who’s debut album ‘The Soul Sessions’ reached platinum status and has gone on to achieve more chart success with a further 5 albums. Joss’ success has also led to her regularly being called to lend her vocals to songs of the industry’s most revered musical minds such as Smokey Robinson and Herbie Hancock. One of 2008’s biggest urban hits was courtesy of our very own Estelle. ‘American Boy’ was a Hot 100 hit and its success firmly positioned Estelle as a force to be reckoned with. She hit the jackpot once again with her ‘All Of Me’ album which spawned the huge hit ‘Thank You’ which charted for over 50 weeks on the US charts becoming one of the highest sellers in her entire career.
But it was the meteoric rise of the late Amy Winehouse that really put the music of the Brits on the map. Across the pond in England, Winehouse had already notched mass critical and commercial success for her brand of jazz and Motown-infused soul music; however the stateside arrival of ‘Back to Black’ pushed worldwide sales to nearly 20 million. Lead single ‘Rehab’ was both a critics darling and bonafide hit on the Hot 100, later winning 3 Grammys and earning the esteemed honour of being listed as one of Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 greatest songs of all time. Although no longer with us, Amy’s legacy lives on through her illustrious works and is continually credited for paving the way for many British artists who’ve also seen international success such as Adele and Florence Welch.
It cannot be denied that these 2 years have been dominated by a certain lady who goes by the name of Adele. Though 2008’s ‘19’ was a sleeper hit eventually reaching Double Platinum status, few were prepared for the monstrous havoc she would reap on the industry some years later. The success of ‘21’ was nothing short of immense or spectacular. Worldwide sales stand at 27 million becoming one of the best-selling albums of all time. It’s also become the first album to reach Diamond status in the US since Usher’s ‘Confessions’ in 2004. Three of its supporting singles topped the Hot 100 with ‘Rolling in the Deep’ named the most successful song of 2011 and impressively ‘Set Fire to the Rain’ reached the summit without the aid of a music video. The album has received 7 Grammys bringing Adele’s total to 9 in the space of only 4 years. The accomplishments that the album netted caused journalist John Murphy to state and rightly so that “British Soul hasn’t lost its mojo”.
The UK can now even boast success from a behind the scenes standpoint as it’s safe to say that Tottenham-born and raised Harmony Samuels has been killing the game for quite some time composing hits for the likes of Chris Brown, Fantasia and Ariana Grande.
Evidently our British imports are taking over and expanding the profound influence we’ve already had on popular music history and the likes of newer artists such as Rebecca Ferguson, Emeli Sande, Jessie Ware and Daley are going to continue verifying Britain as a viable hub of musical ingenuity and authentic soulfulness.
Craig David Joins Capital FM Presenter Line-up With New Friday Evening Show 9th September 2013, 07:05
Craig David has been announced as the newest addition to the presenter line-up for Capital FM and joins us this week to launch a new Friday night show on the Capital Weekend.
The UK singer and DJ will bring his Miami pre-party show TS5 to Capital every Friday night starting this week.
Craig's new Friday evening show will feature massive R&B anthems mixed with classic hip-hop floor-fillers, and spans genres ranging from Garage to Bashment.
"I'm really excited about bringing my TS5 show to Capital FM and sharing my amazing party experience with the UK!" Craig said in a statement to announce the news today. "It's also amazing to be working with Richard Park again.
"Going back to my original roots on Capital FM is like a dream come true," the 'What's Your Flava?' singer added.
Craig David has built a hugely successful career for himself, having been a DJ in some of the biggest clubs in the world as well as selling more than 13 million albums to date.
Tune into Craig David's TS5 show right here on Capital FM this Friday 13th September from midnight. Get involved @capitalofficial on Twitter #TS5onCapital .
Check out the official TS5 website here or find out more @ts5 on Twitter.
Post by Born_To_Do_It on Sept 24, 2013 14:21:32 GMT -5
Yeah he is working on his new album to be released in 2014!
BTW he had a slot on Kiss100 what his TS5 sets were being playd since November 2012 to early 2013. He then left and has now recently joined CapitalFM. These are 2 of the biggest radio stations in England, although he had/has late night slots on both.
Here's some recent tweets from his @craigdavid twitter account:
@saztsmith mid October I am back in the UK to record, so you & @frasertsmith get ready! Been too long! x
Fraser T Smith was his guitarist back in the early days (BTDI) and moved into producing. He's been on a few of Craig's albums.
Landed in L.A. Charged for my recording sessions! #CraigDavidNewAlbum2014
In with Pro-Jay who produces @robinthicke 's records inc Lost without U-Blurred Lines.I think we've just written something special right now
In L.A with the Underdogs @harveymasonjr @damonthomas18 2day! Looking 4ward 2 this 1! #UDogs #CraigDavidNewAlbum2014 instagram.com/p/enGThTqgqz/
Just the other day Craig got back in with "The Underdogs". They did "Take Em Off" and "My Love Don't Stop" from "The Story Goes".
Yo @marshallmusic U ready 2show the world what we are capable of! Time2 let our music do all the talking! #OurStory #CraigDavidNewAlbum2014
He's been working with Marshall (Anthony Marshall) alot recently. Marshall was a part of the producing group "Ignorants". They produced the "Walking Away (Remix)", "Smoothed Out" and a many of the tracks on "Slicker Than Your Average".
and he been talking to Mark Hill (Mr. BTDI) many times on twitter about getting back in the studio since 2012, but no official word on whether they have done so.
If he does drop the album next year it could turn out to be a very good album, plus he says the direction is going to be R&B!
Craig David: the rise and fall (and rise again) of a pop star by Tim Ingham about 4 hours ago
“When things are going wrong, the only thing you can do as an artist is write your way out. The bottom line is, it’s all about your music: you have to keep remembering that you’re only ever three minutes away from changing your life.”
Craig David knows how it feels to switch from a hot property to a figure of fun.
As the noughties dawned, his long-term global superstardom seemed inevitable. David’s debut album Born To Do It, released in August 2000, sold an astonishing seven million copies worldwide, including more than a million in the US. His first two singles, Fill Me In and Seven Days, capped a trio of UK No.1s, following his 1999 smash with Artful Dodger, Re-Rewind.
Signed to Wildstar Records by Colin Lester, David’s unique melding of two-step garage beats and swirling R&B melodies sent the music industry, typically, scrabbling for facsimiles. A teenage pop prodigy, he clocked up three Ivor Novello and eight MOBO Award wins - not to mention 12 BRIT Award and two Grammy nominations - thanks to songs dreamt up as a 16-year-old within the walls of his mum’s modest Southampton flat.
But in 2002, as he turned 21, British telly presented a stupefied caricature of David to the nation - one loudly lampooning his tendency for musical self-reference and contorting his innate mannerisms. David won’t acknowledge if he ever felt bullied by Channel 4’s Bo Selecta! - brainchild of Leigh Francis, now better known as Keith Lemon. But Lester, with whom David has shared a professional partnership for 15 years, will never be able to forget the sabotage it unleashed.
“I thought it was going to go away, eventually, and that we had to ignore it,” he says. “But it did completely the opposite, it just grew and grew. I was watching a brand, our brand, being destroyed. We can all accept criticism of creative work, but to be publicly ridiculed for it is incredibly difficult to deal with. Protecting Craig was my top priority, but it was impossible. It was an express train - the only way to stop it was to shut up completely.”
By the time second LP Slicker Than Your Average arrived in 2002, Bo Selecta!’s odious influence had gained traction. The record sold 3.5 million copies – a figure that remains a distant fantasy for young artists today – but David’s star was undeniably twinkling a little less brightly. With one nagging catchphrase and a bizarre motif from sixties Brit movie Kes, Bo Selecta! Had diluted the one ingredient even more vital to David’s prosperity than his music: his cool.
Surreal satire quickly mutated into publicly-parroted punishment; destructive, gleefully-enacted mass retribution for David’s supposed crimes of ubiquity and self-regard.
In the studio, an understandable bombardment of doubt began to plague his work. David diffidently boun ced between labels like he did genres, and by the time his Greatest Hits whimpered into the UK chart at No.48 in 2008, he appeared officially washed-up.
“Bo Selecta! came at a time when there was no real YouTube channels - I had no response,” says David. “Each week, that show would go at me and go at me. People ask if I met him now, what would I do. In the balanced way I am today, I haven’t got the time to entertain the negative energy of it.
“I do believe that everything happens for a reason; life mirrors something to show you it clearly. Maybe I did say my name on the records too many times - that’s why he highlighted it. Maybe I didn’t see success in America like I wanted to. But it’s true, he did over-step the mark.”
Twelve years on, David’s career is back on track in a big way. In 2013, he’s inked a megabucks publishing deal with Universal in the US and launched a growing national radio show on Global’s hugely popular Capital Xtra.
Ahead of the release of his first album of original material for seven years, he’s just completed a sold-out world tour, taking in Australia, the Middle East, the Far East and Europe. That’s not ‘sold-out world tour’ of embarrassingly teeny venues, either: having been boosted by extolment from the likes of Drake and Justin Bieber - whose recent single Recovery samples Fill Me In - David packed out London’s IndigO2 in May and, according to Lester, could have done so three times over.
“Banish all thoughts of Craig David being a bit of a joke,” demanded the oft-barbed Daily Star in its review. “We need stars like this again.”
This resurgence rewards a long-term bond between David and his manager that begun when the artist was just 17. Bowled over by his experimental take on urban pop, North Londoner Lester invited David to sign with Wildstar - at the time co-owned by Capital Radio and Telstar.
David and then-manager Paul Widger were also attracting interest from Sony, with the major label keen to snap up the singer on a development deal - one David now suspects would have “left me on the shelf ” as “they didn’t q uite know what to do with me”.
Debating the inception of their partnership in front of Music Week and 250 music business students at the University Of Hertfordshire, Lester and David’s chummy repartee wears the unifying strength of jointly surviving both professional ecstasy and the torment of fallow years.
Clad in similar black leather jackets, they observe each other’s anecdotes with attentive patience and occasional, protective interruptions. And, now and again, they just take the piss.
“First of all, my office was not a shithole,” retorts Lester after David recalls his own juxtaposition of Wildstar’s office (“a table all mashed-up with dents in it, with old broken chairs - like going to your grandma’s house”) and Sony’s plush London HQ (“a Destiny’s Child disc on the wall next to Will Smith... marble floors, a slick-looking TV on the wall”).
“I did showcases for everybody, but nothing was on the table,” recalls David. “One individual stuck their neck out and said: ‘Forget development deals, forget singles deals. I want to do an album with this guy.’ I owe so much to Colin because of that belief.
“He came down to Southampton to see my mum - and trust me, in that area, had he left his car any longer outside my flat his wheels would have been taken off. I realised that day that it wasn’t about marble floors or pictures of Destiny’s Child or Will Smith: Colin promised my mum he’d look after me, and those words have resonated ever since.”
Shortly after Fill Me In hit No.1, David parted ways with Widger, and Lester reluctantly stepped in as his manager. The partnership soon heralded huge worldwide spoils for the pair, but it wasn’t long before the exec really had to prove his mettle: handling the unforeseeable decline of an artist selling millions of records worldwide, whilst shouldering the tricky job of keeping his friend’s optimism intact.
“I’ve learnt that every success is back-loaded with failure,” says David, now 32, casting a philosophical eye over his fall from commercial eminence. “Each No.1 you have notches up your expectations. Then when you hit No.2, it’s tough; you feel like a failure. It felt amazing to be in the eye of that storm for a while, but I’m probably, genuinely, having the best time of my life now - I’m a lot more balanced. In any career, it’s all about riding the ups and downs.”
Finally, David is enjoying some ‘ups’ again - propelled by an audience young enough to remember falling in love with his radio hits, without the reputational baggage that followed.
As the university presentation from Lester and David (pictured) draws to a close, the floor is opened to a question-and-answer session. One hooded teen boldly delivers a cheeky query - “Can I get a photo with you?” - with audibly excited support from his peers.
When told to volunteer a more earnest question, he doesn’t veer too far from his previous effort: “Okay. Um, could you sing us something?”
David obliges with an unaccompanied slice of Seven Days, and a room full of 18-year-olds go nuts. Before they take their chance to mob the stage en masse - a grinning David satisfying a sea of iPhone selfie requests - Lester has the final word.
“Without Craig, my life wouldn’t be anywhere near as colourful. He’s one of life’s great characters. Nothing hurt me more then when his public persona was damaged - I wanted to kill that puppet. But what the public has never really seen is what a lovely guy Craig is, with such an amazing talent. It feels like we’re re-writing the script a little bit now, and he deserves it more than anyone.”
It’s been more than a decade since the indubitably talented Craig David was publicly battered into a professional quagmire - a fate that, amongst modern pop transgressions of twerking, tawdriness and, well, Chris Brown, seems bewilderingly undeserved.
His response has been consistently dignified and estimable; to keep on quietly trying to write his way out, safe in the knowledge that Colin Lester will be backing him up, rise or fall.
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