Jasmine’s Juice – The Return Of Craig David. The Bassline Has Dropped!

craig jas
JASMINE WITH CRAIG DAVID.

BACK AGAIN, COOLER THAN EVER.

Jasmine
So welcome back to town Craig, how does it feel to be back?

Craig David
You know what, it’s a weird one cos I don’t feel like I’ve really been away, but its like you need to put the faders down, and just monitor things for a moment, but now I’m raring to go, like you almost got to calm yourself down cos youre gonna blow some speakers cos you’re hitting red on the meters, I’m back in that young sixteen year old kid mode so its lovely, I love it!

Jasmine
What inspired the return cos you’re suddenly everywhere?

CD
Do you know what, I went away for a minute cos I felt like musically the direction I was getting to wasn’t me, so lets I started off with “I’m checking this girl next door, you’re that guy with a beanie hat, evisu jeans doing your thing kinda repping your whole scene… and then fast forward all the way to the point where one of the last records I put out which was a covers record, which I loved the songs that I sung but when you are doing like “ sitting at the dark of the bay’’ and I mean we’re straight up, not chopped and screwed versions, not like we’re some sixteen bar trap version with a rap on it, just a straight up cover …I was like wait up, I was like I gotta put all this away, gotta go away for a minute, go find myself, get hungry, go to Miami drive the car that all this success has given you, live in a house in Miami, live in that little palace that you’ve got going on to the point where you get so bored to being in that and you get that hunger again that you wanna go to the most gritty dirtiest street you know and do it all over again and that’s right up to the present moment.

J
For me its like the biggest come back since Mariah Carey, do you feel people had written you off?

CD
The love has always been there d ’you know what I mean …so you never really go away cos as a song writer I’ve always got three mins in me that can change my life and anyone else’s..
JD CD1
A MUCH YOUNGER PAIR- JASMINE AND CRAIG IN THE EARLY DAYS.

AMERICAN LOVE AND THE ORIGINAL UKG MUSIC SCENE.

J
Globally and America is particularly obsessed with you. Drakes been name checking you, Justin Biebers been doing Craig David karaoke.. I mean it’s really cool to be down with Craig right now, how do you explain the cool factor?

CD
Things are very cyclical you know, now you’ll see people rocking double denim, musically people who grew up with my music are now fifteen years older and they’re at a point in their life where they could be married, have children and they’re looking back at some of their best times and all those different memories are linked to my music in their youth.. Thankfully my music was part of the whole generation growing up so there’s that nostalgia but then also throw into the mix , there’s the fifteen year old, sixteen year old kid who doesn’t know who I am, has never heard my music before right, and they hear “fill me in” for the first time, I was checkin this girl from next door and her parents went out and we was just doing what young people do, parents tryna find out what we’re up to,…so its relevant if you’re thirty or thirteen!
CD JUSTIN
CRAIG DAVID WITH A VERY YOUNG FAN – JUSTIN BEIBER (WHO HAS RECENTLY BEEN SINGING CRAIGS FILL ME IN AT KARAOKE!)

J
So classically you have that old school audience and lots of new, young people, but what happened to that old school audience with the UK garage and the UKG scene?

CD
It was my time with the Artful Dodger and Dream Team , Wookie and MJ Cole, an amazing fraternity of people coming through and changing the game, it was the UK vibe globally; I was seeing Timbaland doing songs on a sort of two-step vibe, you had Ronnie Jerkins with Whitney Houston’s “its not right, but its okay” which is pretty much a garage tune … from the time you were having an impact on American producers people tried it, they were very straight where it came from – we just had this feel from the UK and we owned it.
“Twenty-one Seconds” came through and So Solid changed the game, it was just like ‘how was this possible, how many guys can you have in this crew, it was Wu Tang but on ecstasy, it was on some next flow of what was going on,and the grime scene did its thing, but even then it still it wasn’t getting rated commercially. It wasn’t getting the success in the charts as well that I thought it would’ve had, especially as the garage scene had had that kind of success with Sweet Female Attitude and Flowers and Sweet Like Chocolate … then it needed a time to go dark, it needed to go underground, it needed guys to just spit and get on the mic and just be emcees.

I remember how it used to be before with the jungle scene; like there’d be a line of like six, seven guys and you were like fourth in the line and you was like trying to rip a mans arm to get to the mic, you wanted your sixteen bars and everyone was on their hunger thing, it was aggressive … and then what happened, the scene evolved within grime and we got up to date, we started to see the Stormzys coming through where you’d start to dominate the charts, without actually having that push that you’d expect from a major on a freestyle. You start to see the Skeptas getting love from the Drakes and getting recognised, seeing Kanye West recognising the whole Boy Better Know crew, that this is real and now the grime scene is actually being recognised as being a commercially viable asset, not just some kids on the street who just ran a car with the boot open playing some heavy bass subs just trying to emcee, its real.

J
To me, the grime scene is the modern day son of the garage scene, would you not agree, UK accents, mic, fast chatting, what’s the difference?

CD
Do you know what yeah, to be honest, it is the same. I think that the difference in terms of what its up to now, is that its found its feet where, when it comes to song because of the same time as me doing Rewind and the Artful Dodgers stuff, and I recognised that the one thing that was so good about garage days was that there were usually songs like Jaheim’s Just In Case and I say Sweet Female Attitude again cos it was like, we’ll take an R&B sample and just, it was a proper song with a beat, so it was like a slow jam but we just put a beat on it and feel like it was up tempo… now you got the same things happening now where people are starting to recognise that the chorus actually needs a hook, it cant just be sixteen bars of fire and another sixteen bars of fire over a hook, give us the pay off!…and people are starting to recognise that pay off now, which is more of a song structure so that’s why the scene is so gonna BLOW, oh man, its gonna, and its still in its teething days, trust me it hasn’t gone full, there’s a vocalist coming on the R&B thing, trust me!

J
The Americans never got UK hip-hop though so why do they get grime, what is it about grime that stands out?

CD
I think because its gone back, the kind of tracks and beats are kind of similar and flow similar a little bit towards garage, which is something that we’ve owned for however long, you have to live the culture and be in here to get it, … and then, the flows are then accepted. As soon as you start to do almost a grime emcee over a hip-hop track its where it starts to get lost a bit in its translation in America, where they go we don’t quite get this?
But we have fierce emcees in this country, that when you see any of those kind of ciphers or fire in the booths, and sometimes the Americans come over and you’re like ‘’you better go back and step up your game and come back again cos that aint gonna go down around here’’… I love it, its like the levels up here now are BIG and social media has also helped these people now, before these were hidden gems, now these people are all out everywhere!

J
What’s the main difference between the garage scene back then when you were first seen and now?

CD
Okay garage when I was coming through it was very fashion, oh wow fashion,… reebok classics on, in full effect, girls felt sexy, the guys having a bottle of champagne in their hand and a glass and they felt kinda sexy by the whole thing cos everyone’s having a good time, it was just bubbling, it was nuts and it was enjoying the music… if someone stepped on your shoe, its cool bruv, its alright man, girls in front of me, life’s good. I’m seeing organised chaos at grime gigs now, it’s like a rock event… there are people in a mosh pit going at it and its not we’re going at it like we wanna beat each other up, I mean if you get in the middle of it, you may get a knee in the face cos you was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but it kicks off and its just mad, the energy is crazy!
JD CD STUDIO
CRAIG AND JASMINE IN CRAIGS FIRST COMING SUCCESS YEARS!

8-YEAR BREAK UPDATE, FITNESS AND THAT 8-PACK BODY.

J
So you’ve been away for …has it been eight years now? What have you been doing in that break time… obviously the whole image has changed, you talk about losing the beanie, the clothes are different, the body is different, you’re very about the fitness trends, talk us through that.

CD
I think always that there was a point where my fitness was taking over where my music was at, I was getting so on my fitness, losing body fat, looking ripped and but then having the question of why am I getting so ripped for? And also when you get super duper kinda ripped you look gaunt in the face, like 20 years older, you look sick if you wanna wear a brown paper bag over your face then your abs are gonna look great… but people don’t really go for the brown paper bag over your face walking around town with your top off thing, so I was like lets ease this back and its okay if you have four abs, doesn’t have to be six, eight, ten, no one cares… what people do care with me is that come with the music so I had to put the, the fitness had to find balance, but it was good that I went to the extreme to know that there is a middle ground.

J
From the outside looking in it felt like for you, it was a distraction, you just needed something to be away from the pressure of making music?

CD
I think it stemmed from there and also stemmed back to being an overweight kid who was always like one day I’m gonna go to the other extreme… life is very simple when you look at it.

J
Actually I completely forgotten about that, you used to talk about that when I used to speak to you in the past about that whole being that overweight kid in your past and bullying, do you think that had finally come through …

CD
The overweight kid will always find a way of always being that fat kid inside, trust me. I mean when I open the fridge I will rinse everything that’s in there, I still have the mentality of have the dessert before my mum made my tea and all that kind of madness, which got me fat in the first place, but now I’d experienced what its like to be kinda super duper ripped but that didn’t quite work, it didn’t quite give you the satisfaction you wanted because once you’re at that place where the fear starts to kick in from both sides… now you’re fearful of losing it so it becomes more important than going out with your friends for a nice meal and socialising, you’re like nah nah nah I gotta stay in and do my cardio tonight, what are you doing, what are you doing it for, are you going in for some body building competition because nobody cares so ummm… eat clean, train dirty, which is my little motto is the ideal, its balanced.

J
A lot of young people are always going through food and body issues in all generations, but now more than ever. ..bulimia, anorexia, body shaming is like a real thing in the media now, could that have something that was even there with you?

CD
I think mine was deep rooted as a kid, I mean I see it in the media because obviously that’s the way that certain set ups are made, like if you look in the modelling industry I don’t quite understand it d’you know what I mean, what you see on the billboards is not real, telling a girl who’s perfectly healthy to lose more weight puts her in this state of mind where she thinks well I want to be a Victorias Secret model so bad, and everyone wants to be a model chic or whatever… so you go and do all kinds of nonsense, eating tissue paper to try and keep you there, bulimia and anorexia all that kind of stuff starts to happen …

J
But even men are affected now…

CD
Oh yeah.. but men, I find that they do it for the reasons of ego , they want to feel like worthy so they therefore need to get into shape. When you start to realise girls don’t even really care they’re like I actually like a guy who’s got a little bit of cushion for the pushin d’you know what I mean, I like a guy like that, I don’t need the guy with the six pack, it looks like you take it all too serious.

J
So when did you realise that then, where did that come through?

CD
When my manager was saying to me, Craig, in your face, you’re looking old, and then you start to have an awareness of people around you and start to see that there were beautiful beautiful girls who would just like a very normal guy, who kept himself nice, did a little run when he wanted, had the food when he wanted, a bit of cake cos he felt like he wanted some cake… and there’s me, going all out going crazy and thinking that’s what people wanted and what I needed was to get out of the ego that was tryna give me all these things to do.

J
It’s a control thing isn’t it, it’s being in control of some part of your life?

CD
And recognising the duality in life, everything has its opposite, when I got to my second album, first album had sold seven million, second album record company are looking at maybe eight million, nine million, they’re already like, they’re in the willy wonka elevator, they’ve gone through the roof, they’re in another place right. Second album did three point five million and they was like hmmpff what are we going to do, tsss its on the decline, where are we going to go… and I bought into it. I bought in to the fact that three point five million people had gone out and bought my album, if you think you’re on a downer at that point and I’m seeing albums now going like ten, twenty thousand to get to number one, or the life of a record maybe hitting two or three hundred thousand and everyone’s saying yes we did it great success lets get onto the next, three point five million and I’m on a downer!

When you’re in that cycle, you’re in a different world, you’re in it, and they tricked you. Instead of just loving and going out with your friends, having a drink, have some fun to celebrate, its like ‘’oh I’m a bit scared cos what’s my second single gonna do?’’, so you’ve forgotten about the number one you wanted, your whole life tryna get that number one, you’re scared for your next song. So you start to realise that failure and success are in the same seed, its like a magnet, positive and minus are on the same thing but unless you start to get balance and recognise that that’s actually you, you think that you’re positive and pretend that negative isn’t a part of you, but you’re part of the same thing. And I’ve started to find that in life and that metaphor for everything that I do now is amazing cos failure is part of the success, if you didn’t have failure you wouldn’t know what success was, and I love it so don’t take any of it serious!
JD CD MTV
CRAIG AND JASMINE AT THE MTV AWARDS RED CARPET A FEW YEARS AGO.

EVIL RECORD INDUSTRY?

J
Well it shows record labels can actually be place of evil I think, it can put you in a very dark place if you’re a young artist trying to maintain those levels of success.

CD
I think for any young artist coming through you need to have a good team of people around you outside of going into music industry and I hate when people call it industry because it shouldn’t be that. When I was making my first record or my early stuff it was turned into a commodity it wasn’t to sell it. It was just like I went out the studio, I played it in the car I was like man this baseline is sick! I don’t care if anyone likes it or doesn’t like it Rewind, its fire! That was my pay off, that was my number one! that was my millions of records sold! that was my first cheque, everything was in that little car on my way home, and when that changes to when its not about making music for you, its making music for this ‘pressure’ you created from everyone else and what they expect of you or for a record label. You’re in it. Another little trick. you’re in the game. Once you get into that it’s a rocky road and its not fun, for me right now its just FUN and then people say “yeah its easy for you because you had the career and da da daa got some money in your pocket” trust me, the same amount of money in your pocket doesn’t change – the ratio is the same, you’ve got a leak in your apartment and back in the day it cost you £500 to fix the roof, now with your bigger house it will cost you 5 grand to fix the roof, or it will cost you 50 grand to fix the roof. It’s the same thing …biggie said it “more money more problems” trust me its all the same flow, money is not going to make you happy trust me.

J
So this time around you’re coming back with new music, tell us a little bit about the new music and working conditions of the album.

CD
Ok so not to be hyper man but I can get a little too gassed on this like I hype the whole thing up too much but I’m back in the mode like I said the 15,16 year old kid whose hungry and got everything to prove who wants to get his mum out the council flat she’s in, in Southampton and put some money in my dads pocket, and make sure people around me are cool, because the awards and stuff along the way how amazing they are and very proud of, one of the things that I started to realise it’s a beautiful piece of validation. But the validation that I need now is that people around me are healthy and happy.
Big Narstie was funnily enough in this room with me and spotted that I had some of my old awards plaques on the floor and was like “Craig whys that Born To Do It plaque on the floor “ and I was like “you know , I haven’t had time to put it up” he was like “woah woah woah bruv you don’t know how the times I was grounded with my cousin and we were listening to bootyman or whatever from that born to do album that got us through being grounded that made man wanna get on the mic and do this thing’’….so it GAVE ME some perspective.

J
You mentioned just now that motivation back then was obviously your mums house, getting your parents, family set up and secure, what’s the motivation this time round?

CD
It is actually similar; the management company I’m on with right now is the same guy I’ve always been with. Colin has been with me from like day 1, 15 years ago he came to my house for the first time, he was actually the first person to give me a record deal when everyone else was like yeah got a development deal…what more do you want to do to develop Rewind because it seems like its developing pretty well by itself. Colin’s been with me for years, he is hard-core but when you know him there is a soft side trust me, like he’s got that business uh he don’t play like he’ll go all out like sixteen’s at a drum and bass gig, but when it comes to knowing him the love I have for him is ridiculous cos like he held me down, he’s held me down like a father but at the same time I love him for it because we’ve been together 15-16 years if it wasn’t for him taking a risk on me then I might just have been a regular kid in Southampton.

colin lester jas
JASMINE WITH COLIN LESTER – CRAIGS MANAGER.

BO SELECTA.

J
Oh he has always championed you, always protected you I remember seeing that moment when that clip had gone viral where he freaked out about that Bo Selecta skit thing….. I was laughing at Keith Lemmon thinking ‘’ its not Craig that you should be worried about, its actually Colin!’’

CD
Oh he went hard-core and wasn’t even that fussed about it…

J
Really? I know its part of your past and it was many years ago, and a minor blip compared to everything else you’ve achieved, but how did you feel when that first came out on TV?

CD
Do you know what its weird because the mainstream media betrayal of it was they quite didn’t know how I felt about it, that’s why it kinda lingered on for so long. At the end of the day it was no different from Spitting Image, which I used to watch on Channel 4. it was……

J
Flattering?

CD
Completely if you’re having a caricature done of you, you have to be well known enough to have a impression puppet and there were loads of people that also had them too, like David Beckham, Michael Jackson… all these different guys ….so if you cant have a bit of fun with it then that’s not cool. The thing where it got blurred is where my PR were involved. I mean come on, I clearly embraced it cos at my Royal albert hall show I walked on with the puppet mask on. Meanwhile my PR was putting out stories saying that I was mad and so it became all confused. if I had followed my intuition back then I would’ve just stayed out of it completely cos it just wasn’t affecting me as people thought and frankly we patched it up a long long time ago.

J
How did that happen?

CD
It was at Ferns (Cottons) wedding and we were both in the room …

J
Awkward?

CD
Awkward tension in the room I think from everyone else, they were like ooo whats gonna go on its gonna kick off, you know like at school, oh I hope it kicks off that’d be sick. So I saw Keith and I walked up, gave him the biggest hug and it was a good embrace, he hugged me back properly. It was like, I know what it got to but just to let you know I have no care in the world about this, listen you’re a comedian on the come up and that was your come up through the door cool, if I allow my music to get affected by that then I’m a little chief who needs to go back and sort himself out, because at the moment you come with heavy weight songs no one can trouble you. If you think of Kanye, he’s like ‘’you know what I don’t care you’re still gonna buy me Yeezy Boost, and I will rock that presidential candidate angle and I will come with the hottest girl in the game and I’ll shut you all down!’’ and I’m just like ‘’yes’’, this is the guy – love or hate him – and that’s where I was, just don’t buy into the mechanism again, don’t take it all too so seriously and I knew ultimately as an artist people just wanna hear music and that’s all I wanna bring.


This time I wanna do it not just for me and the fans though. Like I said I wanna do it again for my manager Colin, and the rest of my team.
Alex has come aboard and is part of my management and Matt who has been here with me. Alex and Matt are younger and I want it for them guys. I remember Matt saying to me “Craig you’re in Miami and I don’t really feel you’re gonna get the record that we talk about being out there, you’re gonna HAVE TO come back to London and be in the mix” and it took me a moment to understand that and I respected the fact that a young kid could say that, and it was a pivotal moment in my career and I was like you know what who cares about this car, who cares about this apartment right now I need to get back in the mix and I came back over. I wanna see those guys walk up with their suits on going to Brit awards, Grammys the MOBOs, whatever it may be, its really not for me I experienced it, I know what its like to be in the arena with ’60,000 people going nuts to your music’ I know it how it feels to hear your record on the radio for the first time and like get gassed and be like ‘ah’ its shifted. Its like when you have a baby and the responsibility is for them. my babies in my life (because I have no children) are my songs!

J
So you say new flavour, tell us about the new music does it sound similar to the old stuff, are you going on any new explorations musically?

CD
I hate saying this cos it sort of sounds like harping back to the past and I never really wanna be locked to that heritage thing or nostalgia artist label because right now like I said I’m a 15 year old kid and gotta prove myself. I know with 7 days and Fill Me In I was narrating stories people could relate to, they were simple melodies and I wasn’t taking it all too serious and that’s where I’m at with this new record. Its RnB but it always has a hint of pop. Trust me, I embrace the genre of pop. trust me you could say Ed Sheeran is a pop artist but those songs will rock a rave you know what I mean! You throw a grime beat on any of his tunes and he will stand up there with an acoustic guitar and play to like 80,000 at Wembley stadium! I’ve got so much respect for Ed- that acoustic thing was something I loved from day 1 seeing him go up there with just him and his foot pedals and rock the whole stadium that’s sold out!

J
In a way he’s been a lone ranger holding up the fort for soul music for the UK, do you feel like soul music and RnB music here died?

CD
I mean it went from George Michael, and then Elton John doing his thing. I came through and it was kind of more of an RnB tip more like the traditional RnB that America would kind of get on, so when I listened to Ed Sheeran’s song I said its kind of in the pop bracket, its got a guitar open for everyone, everyone can like it, doesn’t matter if you’re 80 years old or if you’re a street kid, you get what he’s doing. There’s even Sam Smith on the Disclosure stuff, everyone loves that BUT I just feel there’s always been and its not me being egotistical but there’s a void do you know what I mean of that RnB thing…… but like not like Chris Brown not like Usher not like Trey Songz not like Omarion…. these guys are doing their thing, if I tried to do what Omarion does or Chris Brown does I’ll be a watered down version of Chris Brown but if I do me. Oh man if I stay in my lane and do what I do no one touches what I do cos I know that’s me, you cant be someone else! To Usher I would say on camera, Usher ‘’do a confessions album right and you come back with that style let it burn, you got it bad, you make me wanna, nice and slow you will shut this all down cos I’m an usher fan, its like me jumping on a whole bunch of EDM songs, it works for a moment and people like yeah that’s the thing that’s happening but people deep down are just ‘give me nice and slow, that’s what we want’. Usher if you bring that you will get the love beyond, anyway….

J
Its interesting to me that you mention the Americans, you mention Usher, Omarion, Chris Brown when we talk about UK soul singers we talk about Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith. I read an article recently that said UK soul music has been high jacked by white singers, what happened to the black singers, where are they?

CD
HHMMM the race card one.. I always think is a bit of a cop out … I… there’s racism in everything d’you know what I mean… it really can go both ways and it would diminish everything that I did to say, yeah well d ’you know what ‘’its heavily dominated by white guys or girls doing their thing’’ but I’ve never really been in that white black thing, my mums white, my dads black, I don’t know this colour thing, …

J
Right so tell us new music, is there an album title, have we got some singles, how would you describe it?

CD
Okay new album id love to call it, Following My Intuition.. Because that just pretty much self explanatory, I’m in that place where I’m going with what I feel and every time I’ve done that, its always made the right decision, every time that I haven’t, at the time it might have seemed right but it bit me in the ass later on, that’s the biggest piece of advice id give to any young aspiring artist, just do what you’re doing, from tying that I go back to Stormzy, from time you can do a freestyle and you can infiltrate the chart scene and everyone’s going nuts for you… he just did his thing cos he didn’t go soft and do some nonsense. I’ve been working with some really good people, I’ve been working with this guy called White Nerd from up in Manchester and he is that next guy who is gonna come through and bring a whole NEW feel to the whole garage scene, he’s an amazing producer and he does his own work as an artist himself. Tre Jean-Marie, I’ve been working with him, weirdly enough he’s a song writer whose father was background vocalist for my first tour, so that’s a mad one, I’m working with the father and the son, Trey is amazing, so I’m working with him. The names that people would know I would say Kaytranada, I’ve been doing some stuff with him, his stuff is amazing, a futuristic R&B….
Trust me – your boys back in town and its gonna change right now.. That’s the mentality that I’m going on, let me just go out there and do it, I’m in that mode, I’m like listen I don’t care, I’ll come out all green and crush this whole thing down!!

….and with that Craig David jumps up and eagerly plays us parts of his new album which sounds amazing and of course, he cant resist singing along for the whole channel 4 news camera crew who are fans!

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT CRAIG’S NEW SONG – with Big Narstie #WhenTheBassLineDrops

CRAIGS LIVE MUSIC MIX PARTY RADIO SHOW TS5 has now been picked up by NOVA FM for Australia & George FM for New Zealand which is great news on the radio front.

GO TO @CraigDavid instagram as all his updates are on there for upcoming shows and music

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Craig David interview Transcription by;
Sheikh Islam
Nadia Mahmood

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