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Craig David
On his 2000 debut the UK's Craig David sent out the message that he was 'born to do it'. With his follow-up album he wanted you to know that he's 'slicker than your average'. In case you still didn't get it, this time around, with his highly anticipated third release, the smooth-voiced singer will tell you just how 'the story goes'.
Cute quips aside, the hype surrounding David's latest release The Story Goes… is understandable given the fact that twice in a row he has delivered what he so self-assuredly promised. His latest single, suggestively titled All The Way, is no exception. Slick, sexy and super smooth, David keeps the harmonies tight and the groove sinuous just like his fans like it.

Born Craig Ashley David on May 5, 1981, the young singer was queuing up ragga and R&B on the local radio station and playing club gigs while working on his music skills. He had already won a national writing competition and it was during this time that he met Artful Dodger's Mark Hill. His big break came when he added his touch to Damage's I'm Ready. Soon after, he remixed his own version of Human League's Human and got himself a regular spot in area clubs during the weekends. His first real break came with the Artful Dodger track Rewind which David co-wrote and appeared on. He was already creating a buzz with his and Hill's specialty show on Capital Radio. When the single Fill Me In was released, David finally hit gold. The song shot straight to the top of the charts in summer 2000, making David the youngest British male solo artist to have a number one hit.

It would have been easy to dismiss the young singer as a one-hit wonder but his debut album Born To Do It proved otherwise. The sultry single 7 Days quickly became a rage and soon David won three awards at the MOBO's that October. He was tipped to be the star of the night at the 2000 Brit Awards in February 2001. He had garnered six nominations, including Best British Male Solo Artist, Best British Newcomer, and Best British Single for 7 Days. To the dismay of many, David left the awards empty handed. The inexplicable snub enraged not just his fans but also his peers. Artists like Elton John and Robbie Williams protested the rejection. At the award ceremony, Bono dedicated the U2 classic One to the young singer and finished his performance by singing one verse from David's hit Walking Away. Says David, “On an artist level it blew my mind what Bono did but more importantly it showed me that I have to keep doing what I'm doing and not stray from my path.”

This was more of a challenge than he had anticipated. As he toured and worked on his next album, David received anonymous phone calls claiming a soldier would injure him with tear gas and hand grenades. There were even death threats in the spring of 2001 as he took the stage in a show in London. Needless to say, the pressure for his sophomore album was not just a result of creative concerns.

David's second album Slicker Than Your Average hit the stores in November 2002 and saw a much grittier side from the musician. The debut single What's Your Flava? became one of the year's hottest tracks. With this second album, David collected impressive accolades and it was clear that he was a bonafide star. One of the biggest signs of this came with a track off the album called Rise And Fall. It was a collaboration with none other than superstar Sting. Using the melody of Sting's 1993 penned Shape Of My Heart as its core sample, Rise & Fall saw Sting educate relative 'newcomer' David on the perils and pitfalls of stardom and celebrity. “Sting comes in on the track as my peer. He's actually telling me, 'Watch it, I've had success and I can see what it can do. Remember who you are'. It was one of the most surreal moments of my life. I couldn't believe that I was on one side of the mixing desk and Sting was on the other and we were discussing how to interpret the song,” David remembers.

You can read the rest of our feature on Craig David in the September 2005 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

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