We take a moment with the king of garage after his performance at Wireless Festival
It’s safe to say that Craig David is having a revival. 17 years after his debuting “Re-Rewind”, his 1999 debut single with Artful Dodger that skyrocketed him to fame, the king of UK garage is back and he’s taking over the summer festivals with his TS5 DJ sets. He’s had a phenomenal year, taking TS5 on tour, crashing grime shows, dropping an amazing mash-up of “Fill Me In” and Justin Bieber’s “Where Are Ü Now” (which quickly went viral) and releasing a new song “When The Bassline Drops” with Big Narstie – building hype for his new album all the while.
Last Saturday he took TS5 to Wireless, turning Finsbury Park into one big party. It was a nostalgia trip for the older members of the 25,000-strong audience, but for the younger generation that dominated the crowd it represented something more new – though their enthusiasm more than equalled David’s more seasoned fans.
It’s hard to look at his revival without acknowledging the resurgance of a different genre of early 00s UK music: grime. This is, after all, the year that saw the pioneers of the genre’s once-underground scene hit Glastonbury’s Pyramid stage. And David is connected to grime, whether through UK garage’s spiritual links to the genre or through his recent collaboration with Big Narstie, his appearance at UK rap duo Krept and Konan’s Brixton Academy show in April, or through co-signs from Skepta, Stormzy et al.
“Seeing grime being embraced on a mainstream level is really exciting,” he says. “I even said to Big Narstie when we did the Jonathan Ross show, I said, ‘I don’t know if you realised how big this is – you’re not only performing on the Jonathan Ross show, but on mainstream TV, in front of the whole country, representing the grime scene.” He was like, ‘Oh nah, I didn’t really think of it like that’ and I was like, “Yeah, it’s huge bro. Look how far it’s come.”
His appearance at Wireless only served to further cement his current relevance to this scene and urban music more generally. Shortly after his performance, we sat down with the star to ask him ten quick-fire (and Craig David song-related) questions.
Which of the “Seven Days” is your favourite and why?
Craig David: Monday. I’m a bit older now – Monday is a great day to reflect.
Any tips for when you have can’t sleep or have “Insomnia”?
Craig David: Stop thinking. It never helps when you think about things.
Craig David: That cake over there from Sainsbury’s. You have to try some. (After the interview he proceeded to give us a slice of said cake which was, as he said, delicious.)
What’s “Hot Stuff” to you?
Craig David: Authenticity. When someone walks a line that’s true to them.
Where’s your favourite place to “Rendezvous”?
Craig David: My studio.
And when’s the best “Time To Party”?
Craig David: Friday, always Friday.
What’s your favourite move for when “The Bassline Drops”?
Craig David: It’s like – argh. It’s quite hard to explain.
When do you know it’s the right time to “Walk Away” from a relationship?
Craig David: When you’ve got that gut feeling it’s not right.
And finally, can you “Fill Me In” about any projects you’ve got coming up.
Craig David: My upcoming album! And my Brixton show in October.
If you had to “Re-Rewind” back to one moment in your life, what would it be?
Craig David: This moment right now, talking to you.