What’s On has a Craig David profile ahead of Blended Dubai 2015. See pictures and videos ahead of the music festival in Dubai Media City.
Craig David is massive both musically and – thanks to his much publicised gym routine – physically. The British R&B singer loves showing off his muscles, the result of a grudge against the playground bullies who taunted him for being overweight. “I was trying to prove to the fat kid I was that I could take it to the extreme the other way,” says Craig. His workouts are the subject of many of his Instagram posts, delighting his 160,000 followers.
It’s been 15 years since David’s debut Born To Do It sold more than eight million copies. Born in 1981 to a white mother and black father, Craig grew up on the difficult Holyrood Estate in Southampton, England.
At 14, he started DJing and a year later, won a competition to write a song for boy band Damage, which eventually led to hit singles Walking Away, 7 Days and Re-Rewind. It was this hit in particular that, ironically, led to David’s public fall.
British comedian Leigh Francis used the song as inspiration for a character on his 2002 sketch show Bo’ Selecta! The skit featured a latex-masked rapper called Craig David, who had a big chin, a Yorkshire accent and silly catchphrases. Despite clocking up three Ivor Novello awards, eight MOBO wins, 12 Brit awards and two Grammy nominations, the damage Bo’ Selecta! inflicted on Craig’s credibility was huge. “People addressed me the way it was in the show,” he recalls. “It got tiring.”
Dhs818,425 Cost of his new Lamborghini LP550
555 Reps in his ab workout. And that’s just Monday
300+ Pairs of trainers in his collection
1 Number of virtual dogs who ‘live’ on a wall in his Miami penthouse
His second album, 2002’s Slicker Than Your Average, sold 3.5 million copies but David’s star was fading. Sales sank, with his next four albums barely registering a hit. He later said, “I’ve learnt that every success is backloaded with failure.”
Then, in 2013, Craig inked a megabucks publishing deal with Universal in the US and launched a popular radio show. He’s released two new singles, Cold and Seduction, which will feature on his sixth studio album.
Nowadays, Craig divides his time between his home in London and his penthouse in Miami Beach’s Mondrian Hotel, the breathtaking view of which takes centre stage on his Instagram page.
“When I grew up I was living on a council estate overlooking a car park,” says David. “To look out at this incredible view makes me very grateful.”
April 30 to May 1
Blended Festival, Media City Amphitheatre, Dubai Media City, Dhs395. Metro: Nakheel. blended.ae