Craig David – Interview
There’s only one man on the planet that could host a party in his apartment so damn popular that it became a global brand.
That man is, of course, Craig David, whose TS5 parties are world-beaters, including summer-long residencies at Ibiza Rocks hotel, which genuinely changed the face and format of clubbing on the island. This unparalleled claim to fame, 20 years on from his debut album, has again made him one of the hottest names in international R&B – and he’s performing a special one-off full concert at Market Rasen Racecourse as part of Jockey Club Live summer season on August 17th.
Craig is thrilled; having played Newmarket and Aintree last year, so can’t wait to bring the noise back to the final furlongs. He recalls: “The feeling and passion from the crowd was amazing and I can’t wait to do it all again this year! I love watching and playing all sports, but my biggest passion is Southampton FC, and one day soon they’ll be playing in Europe up there with the best where they belong. Absolutely I WILL be making a day of it and hanging around, it’s always a great day and lots of fun although I don’t think I’ll be betting. I’m sure my manager will most certainly be placing a few. As for my show, there are always surprises in store, and if you have a fear of missing out then don’t miss this show.”
The TS5 brand began life in Craig’s Miami apartment and grew organically into a thousands-strong party around the legendary Ibiza Rocks pool. Last year every single party sold out in advance and it’s off to a similar start for its return in summer 2019. The really incredible thing is that it shifted the clubbing demographic, turning the whole Balearic hedonism concept on its head from all-night clubbing to all-day.
He laughs: “TS5 started in my flat in Miami with just a few friends coming over before we went out on a Friday night. In between doing shots I was spinning some tracks and it got to the point where more people where coming to me for the pre-evening party than going out after so IT became the party! It really was as organic as that and it’s something I love doing.”
Having sold over 15 million albums, achieving 16 Top Ten hits and multi-platinum status in more than 20 countries, Craig has packed a lot into his career – but staggeringly its 20 years since he burst on to the scene with Artful Dodger and ‘Rewind’, the global hit that essentially made speed garage a thing. It’s also 20 years since his subsequent debut solo album Born To Do It.
Craig says: “I am so blessed to not only have amazing fans but to have worked with some very talented people in my career. Working with the Artful Dodger guys was life changing for me and I have amazing memories every time the intro to that track comes on. I hadn’t realised it was that long ago, it seems like yesterday to me.”
And it’s not all about the history of course, as Craig’s latest album from 2018, The Time Is Now, was his fifth UK top 10 long player, hitting No2 in the UK chart. And the good news is there’s more to come.
“I am so grateful to be able to get up and write songs every day, record them and then get to play them live. All of my albums are like family members to me, all with different personalities. Chart positions aren’t part of that equation when I’m recording but I am always grateful when people buy my music and having top 5 albums is a very nice bonus. I am currently on the road in Australia and South East Asia but have been in the studio over Christmas and am back in the studio at the end of this tour in March. I’m hoping to have new music out before the summer. Writing, recording, touring, promoting and living in the moment. What a time to be alive.”
And of course he was nominated for British Male Solo Artist at the Brits for the fifth time. It’s safe to say Craig David is back at the very top.
“Being nominated for any award is obviously an honour and in this business there are lots of winners, not just the people who get nominated and pick up the award on the night. I am grateful for all the support I get to allow me to be in this great position and for being nominated.”
As he charges down the home straight towards what promises to be a great show at Market Rasen, Nadia Powell, General Manager at Market Rasen Racecourse, says: “Jockey Club Live concerts are hugely popular annual events in Lincolnshire – with racing and music fans eagerly anticipating the announcement of our acts every year. Our visitors have enjoyed seeing superstars like Tom Jones, Jess Glynne, Paloma Faith, Olly Murs and Kaiser Chiefs in recent years, attracting record crowds. Craig David is a very exciting booking and many thousands of his fans will be keen to snap up tickets for the concert on Saturday 17th August.”