As Craig David, 33, prepares to play Dubai’s Blended festival in 2015, we had a chat with the man who launched onto the UK music scene in 2000.
The Walking Away, 7 Days and Re-Wind hitmaker will please the crowd and play the classics at Blended on April 30
To be honest I think I want to play the classics that people know so they can enjoy that but it’s the fact that it’s going to be acoustic. It’s always quite different when I do an acoustic set because the spontaneity of being able to read the crowd, feel the vibe and also stop the guitar and do something acapella. I just love the freedom you’ve got when you can go less is more. It’s going to be great because you really have to bring it with an acoustic guitar, you’ve got to carry the melody. The guitarist has got to be on point.
He’s a big fan of the talented Kool and the Gang, Jessie Ware, Kasabian, Robin Thicke and Nico & Vinz, who are also on the line-up
I love people who are creative you’re bringing something to the table. Kasabian are amazing, Robin Thicke has always had that incredible voice. I’ve seen him perform at quite a few private shows he’s a proper entertainer, people will love that. I’ll be happy to be a part of the whole thing. It’s a live music festival. People are ready to let loose the energy you can’t hold back.
I’ve met Robin a couple times and we’ve never gotten on to talk collaborating stuff but I’m always open to collaborating and stuff. If it’s natural, you’re not trying to force it, you go into the studio together and something magical happens.
Life puts you into these situations where you’ll bump into that person, it’ll come from that. You’ll have a song you’ve written and that person will be perfect on it. Then you make the call, then all of a sudden you’re on a record together.
KASABIAN AND ROBIN THICKE HEADLINE BLENDED
He wrote a track with the popular Conor Maynard but is also excited about the other artists he has been working with
I’ve been doing records and I don’t know if it’s for me or for them, but I’ve been working a lot with a guy called White Nerd. Who you may not know a he’s a songwriter who I really feel is the next thing to blow out of the UK, he’s different from say, Exposure or Clean Bandit. There are people on the come-up that I’ve been working with, I like that because you can tell they’re super talented and have so much to bring. I’m just loving the recording process right now.
Nowadays you’re well-known for your body training efforts and we recently spotted you with Ellie Goulding and Dougie from McFly. What was going on there? Are you a celebrity personal trainer?
He loves living the American Dream
I live in Miami now, I spend a good four five months of the year back in the UK now which is perfect. Having that as your backdrop wherever you travel in the world, it’s amazing because at the back of your mind you know you have beaches, palm trees and weather on lock. It’s just nice to adapt the situation. Whereas the other way around, you come out here on holiday and go back to the UK you feel like you’re back in reality. I thought, if I could turn that around, which I was very grateful I could, I now go back to London. It could rain all day every day and I’m cool.
He enjoys a good workout session with Ellie Goulding
They were in town [Ellie and boyfriend Dougie Poynter from McFly] and Ellie invited me to come over to see her and her boyfriend was at the Edition Hotel. They were out on the beach and I happened to come straight from training and I was in my training gear. Ellie is such a sweetheart.
She goes hard, we did one training session at a gym in Miami and she goes in. Because I met her on a nice natural meeting, I never want to throw in the mix, ‘oh shall we do a track together?’ I see her as another human being, a lovely girl and if something naturally comes together then cool.
With the upcoming UK political elections, he thinks stars shouldn’t tell people who to vote for
Everyone has a choice and should do what’s right for them. What’s feels right to you? Do you want to vote? You have to be what you feel, there’s no right or wrong for it. People are beginning to feel a lot more conscious. If you look at the state of where the world is, people will come to their own conclusions and their own truth comes through and they think, ‘Hmm are we changing things here or are we going around in circles with the same things happening again and again? Just dressed up in different ways, different colours and different faces.’
That’s why on my Instagram especially I love posting things that are close and spiritual to me, because if it resonates with one person, they can find their own truth. Then that’s a post worthwhile as opposed to me telling you to do this.
He prefers to go with the flow when he comes to Dubai
I just enjoy it for what it is whenever I come. Sometimes when you project what you want to do in a place, when you get there, it ends up being nothing near what you wanted it to be like. As much as I like to say I’ll come there, I’ll have a lay out, see the whole city. Then you get there and it’s raining and you’ll sit in your hotel room. What I like to do when I get there is ask ‘how do I feel today? Do I feel energized and hyped up or do I feel like I want to do absolutely nothing?’
That’s when I’ve had some of the best times. Dubai is an absolutely fantastic city. It’s the people I love to meet. You connect with people. That’s what gives a place its soul. Otherwise you can go to the mall, go get some food and all the things you do normally. But if you meet someone that lives in Dubai and they bring something to you, they a give you some advice… that gives me enjoyment.
The future is important but he prefers to live in the moment
Just recording and enjoying being present, in the moment, taking baby steps being as ‘here and now’ as I can be and having my goals, touring. Most artists will tell you what they’re doing in the future but I know what I’m doing right now is talking with you, enjoying the conversation, recording music and being back in that place of doing things from a loving and passionate place. As opposed to always reaching out into ‘I’ve got to do this…’
I know that I love music and my music will touch music in ways that it has done before. I want to inspire people, that’s all this really is. Otherwise it’s down to a commodity, a number in a chart and sales and you will fail.