If you listened to R&B from 1999 into the early 2000s, you may remember an ambitious 16-year-old from Southampton, United Kingdom with big dreams and a budding R&B career named Craig David. Known for songs like “7 Days” and “Fill Me In”, David’s career was growing rather rapidly, releasing 5 studio albums within the first decade of his career from Born To Do It, which was released in August of 2000 to Signed Sealed Delivered, released in March of 2010. After Signed Sealed Delivered, however, David took a break from releasing albums.
We all know that ever since the mid-2010’s, everything 90’s is back- from record players to chokers, but what you may not know is, so is Craig David! After Signed Sealed Delivered (2010), David was back and better than ever after a 6-year hiatus from releasing albums starting with Following My Intuition (2016). Just a little over a year following, he is releasing his seventh studio album, The Time Is Now, on Friday, January 26th!
You don’t have to wait until then to hear his most recent music, though. Craig’s first single “Heartline” has been streamed over 25 million times on Spotify since he released it back in September of last year. His Current single “I Know You” ft. Bastille (“Pompeii”) has been streamed over 15 million times on Spotify and has been added to the Radio 1 A-list in the UK.
David also just released his third single from the album, “Live in the moment” ft. GoldLink on January 12th of this year. With just a few days until his release of The Time Is Now (Jan 26, 2018), if you for whatever reason haven’t heard of Craig David, you better start doing your research. Where to begin, you might ask. Simple. I present to you, TS5.
What is TS5?
For those of us who were 90’s babies and were just at the cutoff not yet old enough to really “grow up” on Craig David’s music, it’s not too late! Because now a new generation of listeners are introduced to the music of our parents and older siblings in a musical journey mixing the best of Craig’s early 2000s R&B hits such as “7 Days” and “Fill Me In” with the pop tracks we know and love like “No Scrubs” and Jack U and Justin Bieber’s “Where Are U Now.”
TS5 started in Miami with Craig throwing house parties at his Miami home for his friends and streaming it on SoundCloud. From there, people loved it and it was picked up to be streamed over the radio, and eventually, what started off as just playing and messing around with friends turned into a live touring show attended by over 2 million people just last year, from Miami to Vegas to Ibiza.
Not only that, but TS5 began about 3 years ago with nearly 250 people at capacity and grew over time, drawing the largest crowd to the Glastonbury Pyramid stage with over 100,000 people! Now, I may not be in Ibiza, but I had the pleasure and honor of attending a TS5 live show at The Bowery Ballroom last Monday night here in New York City where I was able to experience the magic and sheer genius of it all for myself.
A night of sheer excellence, Craig took everyone who grew up on his music and everyone who was newer to his music “through a little journey”, letting everyone know, he may have been around for years, but he was just getting started. Craig drew all attention to the stage from the first moment, starting with an acapella sample of “When the Bassline Drops”, really kicking off the high-energy night with “Re Rewind” (Craig David feat. Artful Dodger) with the entire crowd, myself included, enthusiastically singing every word back.
I thought I mentally prepared myself to see TS5 live, I listened to every song on Spotify for days, and I knew I’d be excited to hear the hits and I’d be hyped to hear the mashups with newer songs like “One Dance”, but nothing prepared me to be jumping and singing at the top of my lungs when he threw it back with a few covers like TLC’s “No Scrubs”, Kriss Kross’ “Jump”, and Sean Paul’s “Like Glue”.
Then it was as if we fast forwarded through time to his new single, “Heartline”, the music and the red, blue, purple, and green lights flashing and pumping through the entire crowd the entire night. The connection between the crowd and Craig was a magnetic experience from start to finish- I didn’t want the show to end!
He sang some hits like “Ain’t Giving Up”, freestyled over Cardi B’s “Bodak yellow”, brought it back with “I Know You”, kicked it back to 2000 with “7 Days”, and ended the set in the best way with his ‘musical journey’ with his own promo single, “16”, which is set to the track from Jack U and Justin Bieber’s “Where Are U Now” which, if you haven’t heard it, is all of your research about Craig’s career in 16 bars.
Spit a 16 a sick quick 16
I been doing this since I was 16
Been a few years let's call it 16
A brand new flow for 2016
Seen it's like I'm living a dream
1999 when I first came on the scene
Skinny young breh from out of Southampton
With a bunch of melodies for days, know what I mean?
Lean and mean, embodied the whole scene
Packing on muscle like bars of protein
Crushing every microphone that I be holding
'Cos you know I be training dirty but same time keeping it clean
So now you know about his music, but who is Craig David? Well, thanks to RCA Records, I was able to speak with him and find out a little bit more about the singer/songwriter. My interview with Craig David was a memorable one, and so was TS5. If you ever get the chance to see TS5 live, I highly recommend it!