Go on, Mr. Craig David…
That’s we are all saying in the summer of 2001 when UK DJ-turned-singer Craig David brought his funkdafied garage music flavor to headphones all across the music globe. It was during this time, Mr. David successfully transitioned from aspiring songwriter and DJ to major stateside pop star once his smooth, sensual single “Fill Me In” started to tantalize our every music thought. The English Breakfast music tea sipping singer, who only 19 years old at the time, also went on to become the youngest British male solo artist to achieve such a feat. And then he was forgotten about…
Prior to his breakthrough, David, a native of Southampton, England, was a local radio DJ and migrated up to spinning records at clubs, which allowed him to cross headphones with a buffet of England’s up-and-coming producers. It was also during his early music life days that he connected with Artful Dodger‘s Mark Hill, but his real first big music break came when he won a songwriting contest held by the group Damage, who recorded “I’m Ready,” a track David penned, and released it as a B-side to their 1997 single “Wonderful Tonight.” A few years later, Artful Dodger cooked up the bizarrely mellow “Rewind,” a track in which David provided the delicious lead vocals. Taking off on the charts, the single was billed as Artful Dodger Presents Craig David, and soon the singer would be filling us all in on his incredible talents.
Once the buttery beat of “Fill Me In” hit overseas airwaves in April 2000, the track went to number one and propelled sales of Born to Do It, David’s quite dazzling debut set. A substantial stateside deal with Atlantic Records fostered David’s worldwide success as sales of his Born catapulted to over three million. David’s ultra-sexy set also helped take the U.K. style of “garage music” out of the dark and into the mainstream music light as mega-music superstars like Missy Elliott, Beyoncé, and Usher all took a liking to the rising UK crooner and his buffet of grimy-but-groovy beats.
However, once David released his sophomore set, the gritty, Slicker Than Your Average (“What’s Your Flava?”can certainly stay though.), his heat began to cool a bit and the album didn’t come close to matching its predecessor. While all four of the set’s single releases still reached the top ten of the U.K. charts, David’s U.S. presence started to fade quite a bit. Over the course of the next few years, he would continue to release a handful of hit albums and singles in the U.K., but as far as his stateside career, well, that’s why we’re here today, unfortunately. Sigh… “7 Days,” anyone? Absolutely.
These days. Mr. Craig still has his hand in the music game, appearing on the judging panel and performing on, the T.V. show South African Idol. He’s also gone back to his DJ roots by hosting exclusive parties at his home in Miami;developing the DJ sets that he whipped into TS5, a weekly residency on the Capital Xtra radio station.
While the days of David ruling the charts seem like a million years ago at this point, you have to admit that his bedroom ready voice and feisty, funky flow absolutely took over your early-’00s music life. If it didn’t, give his grooves another spin–you’ll be glad you did.