Barely 18 months ago Craig David was viewed as an early noughties relic, hiding out in Miami following his departure from the global music scene 16 years earlier. After being the punch line of comedian Leigh Francis’ mockery on Channel 4 show ‘Bo Selecta!’ pushing his award winning, global pop star reputation off the track to years of stardom. After a decade in the rejects bin, along with the world’s one hit wonders and fellow flopped super stars, Craig David is back with a vengeance and proving that maybe fame can be even better the second time around.
While filling my Snapchat story with billions of live videos last weekend, looking up at the Motorpoint Arena stage and hysterically screaming the words to every banger, never did the words ‘comeback’ flutter through my mind. After suffering one of the biggest falls from grace in modern music, a collaboration with MC Big Narstie in September 2015 saw Craig David’s 2.0 comeback born.
His revival is important as it highlights his ambition to not let his dwindled career be the end of him. Craig, like many other victims of the ever-changing music industry within the noughties, where many number one sellers could completely plummet just one year later due to shifting in formats and ways of consuming music. The rise of computers as primary means to record, distribute, store and play music caused widespread changes in the music industry. Changing the relationship between artists, record companies, promoters, retailers, the technology industry and consumers. This change in dynamics of one of the world’s leading creative industries asked questions about the future, where digital was the words on everyone’s lips and free streaming services and pirated content made music, de facto, free!
Since Craig David’s first attempt at conquering the global music scene, the modern music industry shows itself to be a more stable place for new, or in Craig’s case, returning musicians. Appearing on BBC1 Xtra last November, his hit single ‘Fill Me In’ was released over the backing to Justin Bieber’s ‘Where Are U Now’. This cover went viral along with his comeback track ‘When The Bassline Drops’ featuring Big Narstie, a prominent figure in the current grime music scene.
Working in collaboration with one of the world’s biggest stars in one of the most popular music genre’s in the music scene at the moment definitely worked in Craig’s favour when deciding to brace the music world again. Grime has been on the up with artists such as Skepta and Stormzy starting to become mainstream love. With Craig David being very much a pioneer in the garage scene, bringing the two together could see the rise of niche genres to dominate the music charts.
Craig’s performance at the Motorpoint on 16th March 2017, saw a show of two halves while having two audiences to entertain and satisfy with his song choices. The first half of his concert featured old classics from his first noughties album ‘Born To Do It’ for the fans that loved and adored him previous to his decline into post-musical wilderness. The second half featured Craig transforming into a DJ, clearing the stage of all additional backing singers and instruments and turning the Motorpoint Arena into one big fluorescent RAVE! Craig’s comeback started with featured performances in Ibiza and Miami with his TS5 club night takeovers, previous to bracing the charts with his number 1 hits again. His comeback tour showed his transformation from a teenage one album wonder, to revival DJ, to now Male Solo Brit winner 2016.
Modern music fans have welcomed Craig back to the music scene with open arms. His change in genres from Garage to Grime, implying that the key to making it in the music industry is following the trends that already exist, using current stars as a platform to success and never taking fame for granted.
[Photo credits: (1) http://www.nme.com/news/music/craig-david-38-1194806]