RnB Sensation Craig David Looks Back On His Incredible Career Studio 10

Sarah Harris:
He’s the Grammy-nomiNated artist known for his mega hits. This R&B legend has certainly had his fair share of rises and falls.

Sarah Harris:
With millions of records under his belt, he’s back again smashing the charts. Please welcome Craig David to Studio 10.

Jono Coleman:
In the house, Craig David.

Sarah Harris:
There’s a bit of a reunion going on here, a bit of a bromance between these two. Craig David, welcome to Studio 10.

Craig David:
Thank you so much.

Sarah Harris:
You go way back with our friend Jono Coleman.

Craig David:
Yeah, I mean, how many years back now? We’re talking like-

Jono Coleman:
Maybe 15 years. But, he used to come on my Heart radio show a lot. We lived in a similar part of North London, and I rescued him from a record shop once.

Sarah Harris:
He told a story about this earlier. Can you confirm because sometimes Jono’s stories get bigger and bigger and bigger.

Craig David:
They get embellished and start to … But, no, no, no, no. It’s like it, go on [inaudible 00:01:07].

Sarah Harris:
That you were escaping a mob of women who were chasing after you in the street.

Joe Hildebrand:
I imagine a mob of screaming groupies.

Craig David:
I think they were vicariously trying to get through me to Jono, so I was flanking him on the way out. But,-

Speaker 4:
That’s how he told it too.

Craig David:
Isn’t it? ??? Funny about that

Jono Coleman:
Hampstead Heath, I’m going “Its Craig David”. He goes, “Hi Jono”. I’m going, ” What are you doing in here? He goes, “I’m just keeping away from about 20 women outside who are looking for me. Can you just stand in front of me?”, ’cause I was so big down there.

Sarah Harris:
Aw.

Jono Coleman:
No, no I don’t mean like that, not big down there, I was big up there. We just stood there looking at records while they kind of walked past going “Where’s Craig David, where’s Craig David?”

Sarah Harris:
Craig David, you are the most successful RnB artist in British history, which is just extraordinary. What a meteoric rise you have had, and I was reading that you came from quite a musical family, but you achieved such great success despite the fact that you were quite badly bullied in school?

Craig David:
Do you know what, I mean I think every kid gets a certain degree of [inaudible 00:02:07] And I don’t think I actually had it as bad as a lot of other people had at school, but its just one of those things that you learn a lot from that and you start to see, understand the psychology behind somebody going through that.

Sarah Harris:
You wrote a song about it, “Johnny”.

Craig David:
I wrote a song called “Johnny”, which was one of the songs which kind of ended up being, like, to help people who may have been through that themselves. Just to kind of feel like you know what, everyone’s been through this, this is not an alone thing, and if you need to find someone who can help you, then it’s not as easy as necessarily a teacher, but you do need to talk to somebody.

Sarah Harris:
Have you ever seen that bully again? After your wild success?

Craig David:
No, you know, you leave certain people and energy and vibes that people are on, and you let them carry on what they’re doing, and you don’t have this animosity with things. I’m struggling to get my words out.

Craig David:
You let them carry on, otherwise it festers on you, and you end up taking the past with you, so then they almost have a hold on you, even now.

Sarah Harris:
So was music an escape, a release for you even when you were that young? Was it something you could escape into?

Craig David:
Do you know what, I just loved music. I mean, I was like growing up with my mum in our little 2 bedroom flat with all these hopes and dreams of writing songs like “Walking away” and “Fill me in”, “Seven days”. The whole first album was pretty much written in a room that was much smaller than this platform we are on now.

Sarah Harris:
When did you know you could write?

Craig David:
I’d won a songwriting competition when I was-

Sarah Harris:
That’ll do it.

Craig David:
It starts you off. For a group called Damage, who were quite a big pop group in the UK, and I was on the B-Side of their cassette tape. I mean were talking those times.

Joe Hildebrand:
And it was kind of, a rap thing that you did, was it?

Craig David:
Yeah, the song was “Wonderful tonight”, which was the A-Side, and the song I’d written called “I’m ready” was on the B-side. So it was the first time I actually got kudos, like internally. I was like, okay you know what, maybe I can write songs, and then it-

Joe Hildebrand:
I’ve got to say because seven days was this soundtrack when I was a teenager, It was just all you would hear, day in and day out.

Jono Coleman:
It was educational, ’cause it had all the days of the week.

Joe Hildebrand:
Very educational. And I’d remember you-

Craig David:
Tried to keep it simple.

Joe Hildebrand:
You were just the biggest sex symbol in the world. I mean I remember hiding, because every girl of my school just thought you were the most beautiful man in the universe.

Joe Hildebrand:
What was it actually like? Like you talk about having to hide out in a record shop because you’re trying to get away from people mobbing you. But that level of fame, when you were so young, you still look young,-

Craig David:
Thank you.

Joe Hildebrand:
What was that like?

Craig David:
That’s flattering, I mean that ultimately what it, I, even like when I’m in the, in the studio, backstage and people come up and ask for pictures.

Craig David:
It humbles me every time that someone would want to take a picture with me and for that to be a moment in their life. Not even though we were in the record store, kind of, it’s when situations that you are kind out of your control, is when it becomes a little frightening.

Craig David:
But I love it. I think, 20 years in this now, and to have people who kind of supported me, and new fans, and-

Joe Hildebrand:
Its the big circle.

Craig David:
Yeah, you take one picture and it makes that person’s day. I mean isn’t that what this is about more than-

Sarah Harris:
Weirdest place someone asked for a picture with you?

Craig David:
Man, I mean we get all over the place man, and I’m pretty much a yes, do you know what I mean?

Sarah Harris:
Yes man.

Craig David:
Yeah we take a picture.

Sarah Harris:
[crosstalk 00:05:11]

Joe Hildebrand:
Has anyone ever got a bit inappropriate, and sort of tried to go for the grope, or go for a kiss, or?

Jono Coleman:
Oh, Joe.

Craig David:
No, not really. They kind of, I’ve got good, respectful fans who hold it down, and even the people I meet, I think they can feel my energy.

Craig David:
I think if you carry yourself like that people always try it with you. My vibe is very, I’m very positive and I’m very cool. When you meet me I think, even if you came with those intentions, you’re like “No, I just wanna take a picture with you.”

Sarah Harris:
Even stranger, your songs are so sensual and sexy in nature. Have you ever stopped and thought how many people have been intimate to your songs?

Craig David:
To be honest-

Sarah Harris:
How many babies might have been born as a result of your songs?

Craig David:
No. I say that only because-

Sarah Harris:
That will keep you awake now.

Craig David:
When I wrote “Seven days” I was sixteen years old. I was literally a kid in my bedroom thinking like, aspiring to just you know, you’re a kid, you’re kind of like-

Jono Coleman:
You were living at home weren’t you?

Craig David:
Yeah, you’re a teenager, with all these things. I look back at those songs now and it’s important for me when I write songs, the latest album, Time is now, and Follow my intuition.

Craig David:
It’s about, the songs are more important than the artist, and I find that I want to now have a message of positivity, motivation without preaching and give people that now.

Jono Coleman:
So many people had sex listening to your music there’s a couple of kids-

Sarah Harris:
I think I put it in a better way Jono, a little bit more elegantly.

Jono Coleman:
There’s a lot of kids out there called Craig baby.

Joe Hildebrand:
Well can I say, the fact that you were sixteen when you wrote it explains why you were able to have sex on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday because these days, you know I have sex on the second Tuesday of every month.

Speaker 4:
Stop. Sorry Craig.

Joe Hildebrand:
Have you put unrealistic expectations on the men of the world?

Craig David:
No, to be honest, listen I’m in the studio on Monday, Tuesday, and then I’m on tour on the Wednesday, my whole thing’s completely changed.

Craig David:
That sixteen year old thing, I’ll leave it to the next guys to do. [crosstalk 00:07:02]

Jono Coleman:
All Saints is not such a hard thing to be on tour with, people like All Saints.

Craig David:
Do you know what, I’m grateful to be with such a lovely group of people who’ve, I mean Shaznay has written so many amazing songs for people.

Sarah Harris:
She’s amazing. She’s such a brilliant songwriter.

Craig David:
Just a lovely group of people, and also to be touring, like I say its 20 years now. We came off a UK tour like, sixteen date arena tour and there was like 15, 16 year old kids in the front screaming, and you’ve got-

Sarah Harris:
Wow.

Craig David:
So it’s a whole new generation of kind of discover my music and then the old stuff as well so,

Sarah Harris:
I interviewed them earlier, sorry, to interrupt Joe, this week and they’ve left the kids at home. So they’re like its mums gone wild on this tour. Have you ever heard of a shoey?

Craig David:
Mm-hmm (negative)

Sarah Harris:
A shoey is where you fill your shoe with champagne. They want to do a shoey on tour.

Craig David:
Oh really?

Sarah Harris:
They are ready to cut loose.

Speaker 4:
And you’re gonna be at dome vineyards, aren’t you?

Craig David:
Some vineyards? See how that linked, lovely into the [inaudible 00:07:55] It;s usually that would happen after you’ve had X amount of rosés, then you might start to lose your mind and start wanting to do a shoey, but I try and keep that in a glass if I can.

Jono Coleman:
Keep it classy.

Craig David:
Keep it easy.

Speaker 4:
Old fashioned.

Craig David:
I know its like old school.

Joe Hildebrand:
Can I ask, when you had such stratospheric success with your first album, and so early on, is it hard, do you get the fear that you won’t be able to come back? Or, you won’t be able to replicate that? When you’re making say the new album now, is there, you know, I’d be curled up in the fetal position. Or ar you just cool as?

Craig David:
Do you know, like I said it, you change in what’s important to you. When I was growing up and I was writing the first album it was all about I wanna show the world what I’m capable of.

Craig David:
Now it’s when people have songs like “Walking away”, or more recently, “I know you” with Bastille, one of the singles from the new album The Time Is Now.

Craig David:
It’s all about inclusion and your friends, and your health, and your family and being together. I think that those messages are more important that which chart position you got to, how many records did you sell.

Craig David:
And that, when you get that as an artist you start to be more conscious about the things you say, it’s not, I’m 37 years old. I need to now be someone that says something that inspires people, that’s still young and fresh in the way say it, but you still got the message.

Craig David:
Otherwise you’re wasting opportunity to actually talk to a broader demographic.

Sarah Harris:
Ah you’re still so dreamy.

Jono Coleman:
And its only Thursday.

Sarah Harris:
We want to ask you about your new album, can you tell us all about it?

Sarah Harris:
That seems like the vibe you’re going for. Having something to say, having you know great steak of music. There it is, The Time Is Now.

Craig David:
The Time Is Now. There’s song on there like, there’s Kaytranada, a producer that I’m a huge fan of, a song called “Live in the moment”, which is what I’m all about.

Craig David:
I’m trying to get people to be conscious of like, we’re always trying to get to the future know what I mean? But be here be present, enjoy what you’ve got, and be grateful and “I know you” like I said, with Bastille.

Craig David:
Be with your friends, your health, your family. I’m trying to keep it so people can still dance to music and have a great time but they’re like “Oh, he’s actually saying something.”

Jono Coleman:
Listen to the lyrics.

Craig David:
Yeah.

Sarah Harris:
Well, Craig David is currently touring the country with Nelly, All Saints, Mary Ann, and its all part of RnB Vine Days winery shows, plus his own headline shows with All Saints in Sydney and the Gold Coast.

Sarah Harris:
All the dates and tickets are at frontiertouring.com. Craig David, what a gem you are, thank you.

Craig David:
Thank you so much.