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by Helen Duckworth
Why is Craig David so popular? That's my main question. He's probably the most successful artist this year but what is it that's given him this huge fan base?
He's the guy who teamed up with Artful Dodger in the garage "Rewind" which landed at No. 2 of the UK charts. His following single, this time as a suprisingly credible R&B artist, "Fill Me In" turned out to be even bigger as it topped the singles charts. So did his latest single, "Seven Days", and his debut album "Born To Do It".
It all seems a bit "Britney Spears", doesn't it? Luckily (if you forgive the pun) Craig David actually can be called an artist, as the young man put a lot of his soul into his work. And the reason behind the commercial success? Read on.
For a start, he's good looking. And I don't mean Ronan Keating or other 'pretend-to-look-funky' good looking. Craig David is seriously cute. But then again, so are so many other bands that fail in the charts and no-one recognises them. However, Craig now graces many a teenager's walls, including mine.
Also, another thing that makes people attracted to Craig is his way of making himself seem older than his 19 years. There have even been rumours that his real age is 23, as some people just couldn't believe his real age.
What's important now, his lyrics seem to be written by someone way older than him, yet, shock horror, he writes all of his songs. Wouldn't expect that from a too-cute-and-too-young so and so, would you?
However it's his writing skills that got him the job. His mother encouraged Craig to enter a national writing competition, which he won. Having been handed just the music, Craig wrote the lyrics to "I'm Ready", the B-side of Damage's No. 3 hit "Wonderful Tonight".
Back to his own material though, he wrote "Fill Me In" in his bedroom, with a notebook and a pen like he used to spend his spare time. Two years later the song made Craig the youngest British male solo artist to have a No. 1.
One thing that you wouldn't expect from Craig is that he doesn't have a big ego at all. He seems down to earth, sometimes even tongue-tied, and still overwhelmed by the success. Craig doesn't think charts and sales are all that. "I've never been geared towards chart positions - for me it's about someone actually relating to my song, and if they do, it just blows me away".
And apparenly it blows everyone else away as well. Including Puff Daddy and Samantha Mumba. America's most famous bad boy was so impressed by David's music that he offered to help him out with kicking off his US career. After Puffy phoned him, Craig was well and truly shocked: "I couldn't believe it! We ended up throwing flattering comments at each other. I don't think I'll ever forget it".
Whatever it was about David that impressed the young rising R&B star Samantha Mumba must have been strong, as the singer asked Richard Blackwood to send a text message to Craig declaring her love! However Craig thought it was a joke from Richard and ignored it. Still, it was enough to cause rumours that the two were going out together. But as Craig says: "I don't know where it came from. She seems like a lovely girl, but to be honest, I've never met her!"
Craig David may be perceived as a cute boy, but at the end of the day, what really matters is his music. If you listen carefully to his lyrics, you'll see that they are about him and they reflect his talent: unique. Expect Craig David to be the one artist who'll still be here after all these talentless, cheesy pop bands are long gone.