I grew up a pretty big hip-hop and R&B guy. Boyz II Men’s II album was always in heavy rotation. Lauryn Hill. Mariah Carey. Obviously Prince. Dru Hill. Usher. Blackstreet. Ginuwine. But when the ’90s came to an end, there was someone right when the millennium started that grabbed my attention with his unique style: Craig David.
I hadn’t really heard anything quite in the vein of Craig David when he first emerged on the scene when the inescapable song “Fill Me In” dropped in 1999. It was a favorite of mine during the peak of MTV’s Total Request Live. It led to a meteoric rise for the singer/rapper/producer. The entire album is full of gems. “7 Days” is just one of a dozen or so tracks that makes it on night-time playlists. There’s “Walking Away,” “Rendezvous,” “Once in a Lifetime.” His next handful of records were solid as well. The Story Goes… still gets a lot of play from me. It surprised me when he just seemed to disappear from the public eye towards the end of the millennium’s first decade. There’s been a lot of good R&B albums to come since then, but nothing quite as unique as when the Brit came onto the scene.
Count me as one of many who was excited when Craig David appeared on Kurupt FM’s BBC 1xtra radio show last September. His mashup of “Fill Me In” with the massive Jack U & Bieber hit hit “Where Are U Now” was stellar. In fact, “where are you now?” is a question I wondered about Craig David every time a song of his would pop up on my shuffle mode.
I nearly screamed when I first heard David’s vocals on the KAYTRANADA track “Got It Good” from the Canadian producer’s latest album. It’s the best track from a record full of quality ones. His lead single “Ain’t Giving Up” from his upcoming album Following My Intuition due out September 30 via Sony with Sigala is a club-ready banger. The album also features the previously mentioned KAYTRANADA song, a Jack U collaboration, as well as a slew of others. WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE.
I’m crossing my fingers he gets the nod on next year’s Coachella bill because he’d fit right in with their love of booking nostalgia acts and he’s one who all of a sudden is in with the electronic genre that the festival heavily caters to these days. In fact, if you search my name on Twitter and Craig David’s, you pull up at least a dozen tweets were I pray that he makes his way on an American festival lineup sometime soon. The time is now.
I recommend you head over to Noisey and read Angus Harrison’s latest catch-up with the 35-year-old Craig David. “I feel like a 16-year-old again,” he says in the interview. “I’m more passionate and hungry now than ever, because I’ve realised what really matters.” Making an epic comeback has me feeling like I’m 16 again, too, Craig. Thanks.
Take a deep dive into his back catalog and reminisce with me about some of the best days of R&B. Craig David brought UK garage to the mainstream and never looked back. Now he’s back with more fire than before and I can’t wait until he brings a live show out to the States. Rumors of his demise were greatly exaggerated. Also, peep his version of Jack Garratt’s “Breathe Life.” Or his track with Hardwell, “No Holding Back.” Or his cover of Bieber’s “Love Yourself.”
TAKE A LISTEN TO SOME OF CRAIG DAVID’S MOST MEMORABLE TRACKS FROM YESTERDAY AND TODAY BELOW: