'Fill Me In' has scooped the prize of the most worthy number
one of the year so far but but who is the man behind the awesome
He's just 18 years of age and has already
been dubbed 'the king of two-step', Southampton's brightest
star Craig David logs onto dotmusic to bring you his story,
in his words in an exclusive report:
IN THE BEGINNING...
I started off DJing Hip-Hop, R&B and Ragga
down in Southampton and all the clubs around there. Prior
to that I was an MC doing the circuit with a DJ and then I
felt I could DJ myself. I met up with Mark Hill (one of the
Artful Dodger) in a club where he was DJing garage downstairs
and I was DJing R&B upstairs. He said he was working on
this track called 'What You Wanna Do' which at the time was
just a straight backing track. The studio was literally five
minutes away from the club we were DJing at so I went down
there and recorded the track. It was a really nice set up,
the whole environment was really nice. The first track did
really well on the club circuit, it went down a storm.
We moved on and started working on a whole
R&B project which is what I loved from the start with
a cover of Human League's 'Human' which we wanted to bring
up to the 90's. I touched on Human League at an early age
but I wouldn't say I was a big fan. Mark happened to be playing
the track on a CD and I started trying singing over it. Next
thing I know I've signed the best deal of my life to Wildstar
and from then it was 'Rewind' - a track that had been finished
for over a year.
THE RISE AND RISE OF 'REWIND'
We put it out on a white label, which then
got signed and licensed on again. 'Rewind' was an organic
thing to where it has got to since. It was never planned to
even get into the charts. I came out of the studio after we
had recorded it and was buzzing so much about it. I thought
that if I had been in a club and this had been played I'd
just be in my haven. I couldn't ask for much more from a debut
single which I didn't expect to go anywhere.
I think the reason 'Rewind' did so well was
because it was a blend of R&B, garage and the way it was
structured not simply four to the floor that was what was
unique to the song. Soon the market is going to get flooded
with similar style tunes and will have to move on or it will
THE NEW WAVE OF BRITISH R&B
I think it's important not to forget the current
garage scene is British and it is important to never forget
where you come from. I'm always gonna make sure I have a touch
of that in my music through remixes and make sure there is
fire there. I want to take this to another level now. From
an Urban point of view Garage is the R&B of Britain as
opposed to the US where R&B is so big.
On a personal level I have all confidence
in myself that I'm gonna take this to the fullest for the
UK. There are so many quality acts in America I think that
is one of the reasons why the UK R&B scene hasn't done
so well. To keep up with that you have to make sure you do
everything at the same standard or do something else. My vocals
are very R&B but the way I structure my songs are more
pop. I think if you get the blend right it can really work.
There are so many influences from the States that I've listened
to all my life R Kelly, I've loved Donnell Jones from his
first album, I could go through loads. I think it's dead important
to keep it real and make sure you know where you're coming
from. It's when you try and replicate American R&B that
you fall by the wayside.
From the UK I have so much respect for Terence
Trent D'Arby from when he was doing his thing. Now I'm really
feeling what Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera are doing.
They have shown that they are great entertainers and I think
that's what matters in the end of the day. Robbie Williams
is a great entertainer, he's maybe not the best vocalist in
the world but he entertains people and that's what people
love about him.
BRIDGING THE R&B/POP DIVIDE
The R&B community is very fickle. If you
go too far leftwing they say you're selling out and you're
not part of the community anymore. My vocals are very R&B
which the scene can get into whilst the more commercial market
is hearing the songwriting so the kids and older people can
feel it. It all comes down to the fine line between good and
bad, street and pop and finding that middle ground. I'm finding
that with my songwriting.