Craig David Opens Up About His Painful Rise, Fall & Redemption | E135 | Transcription
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Did you do me a quick favor if you're listening to this please hit the follow or subscribe button It helps more than you know and we invite subscribers in every month to watch the show in person making moves. Yeah Everything I touch was turning to gold everyone wanted a piece of me and how does an 18 19 year old deal with that? The height of success when it is like whoa, there's so much of the the human part that's being unmet I felt like I was starting to make music the tick boxes when I start to do a banding myself And I started to do things that just weren't in alignment It was a point where I had dark thoughts I was just like I can't live my life like this what people enjoyed from me was music and I realized that from when I came back to London I feel like the kid again and trust me the crowd are gonna go off when they hear something soon, okay? So 22 years later if you could whisper in the ear of your 14 year old self What would you whisper? Listen Craig Without further ado, I'm Steven Bartlett and this is the die of a CEO. I hope nobody's listening But if you are then please keep this to yourself Craig I've got some lyrics that I wanted to recite to you, okay It's another day at school and he's just walking out the door Got his rucksack on his back and his feet dragging on the floor always late But when he's questioned he can't think of what to say hides the bruises from the teachers hoping that they'd go away Even though his mum and dad they both got problems of their own caught in a catch 22 But he'd still rather be at home cries himself to sleep and praise when he wakes up things might have changed But everything's the same That's from your record Johnny from 2006. Yeah, that was a That was a song I had to It was the first time I think kind of open and up and and expressing Experience that I felt I had maybe on a lesser degree to a lot of other people in my school I think at school like in my my secondary school.
Personal Background & Music Career
Your early years (01:17)
I've had it a very had a beautiful upbringing I enjoyed life was about playful kids. I love music But secondary school all boys school went to Belmore in Southampton and For the majority of it was a it was great times but When you come in in your early years and you've got the older the older boys in there and they're like You got two pound and you know I haven't got two pound and push you up again You've got two pound and you like and then it's not case of like if you've got the money It's like let me check in your pockets. Let me try and pull out the pockets So as a lesser degree of the bullying I was like I was experiencing it Physically in the corridors so I kind of so when I was starting to write that song I was drawing from I had to go to how did it feel when that was happening and there's only happened one one one guys in one period in the school So I understood what bullying was I mean that was I was I was felt helpless. I couldn't it was two years older Stronger could rough me up if we really wanted to But then also I was seeing other people who were getting the real I was getting a psychological element But there was a deeper side of that psychology of when they say tell the teacher they'll deal with it This is the thing with bullying is that I agree with it that it needs to be spoken to someone you can come provide in But sometimes that kind of very rushing you told the teacher they rushing they it's all out in the open I Was seeing kids who would then have The kid waiting outside of school for them or it might be that they they're being bullied but for someone from a different school even So they'd be coming out to the school gates thinking okay Well, I'm on my way home. No, it's about to start when you get on the bus to go home So the whole world is now outside of school you finish at 3 p.m. And now it's it's beginning for you. So It was I felt deeply that I needed a right on that I like I said my mom and dad had their own things going on in their lives and And I spoke to my mom I wrote the song when I was in Southampton I got like a studio when I was down there and I played it to her because I wanted her to also know that Mom, you've always been supportive to me like if I needed to speak to you if I needed to say things but With bullying there is an element where you want to say something to the closest person in your life be it your family So your mother or your father And I wanted to really portray that the song properly But I wanted to have that combo with my mom to let her know I knew that you would have always if I needed to speak to you would have been there because I do say you got your problems of your own and I've tried to tell you so many times You're not listening and that is the case and a lot of the cases of bullying that even family aren't listening. So who do you turn to? So I'm music has been that that song in particular. I think I was a journey my grandma had passed away at the same time It was I just needed to get things off my chest that I felt like this is past a romantic love song. I need to help people In a way that wasn't trying to preach. It was just let me tell stories Anik does and I do it through music. So and you were bullied for your weight back then as well, right? Yeah, the well the weight one was It's funny because like you like to tell the story differently when you're in a slightly different place and position You're you'll tell it like no, you know, I was and I like I like everything about this is what you Your podcast for me has always and I wanted to tell you off the bat Why love about you is that you're bringing out so much so much depth in people and you already know how much love I got for you Anyway The being overweight thing now I see it is actually in hindsight. It actually It brought out so many things wonderful things that had to kind of that have been repressed for a long period of time But at the time The social standard was you need to look a certain way The captain and school football team Tended to be the one that the girls were interested in you with it You were the slightly overweight one that they crying shoulder tell you all your problems have this real You have a real empathic Relationship you'd be like what this is connection. This is real relationship, but we didn't want to take any further than that Well, I he's the one look at the way scored the goal. Okay, so then you've already got this early imprint of what Societies expects of you and then you start trying to conform to that so there are periods where I'd looking in Walking down the high street and I'm looking in the in the glass the reflection of the glass I just be looking at just feeling sorry for yourself feel like the jeans ain't fitting quite right and the jacket's not and you're getting Bigger sizes and then you're just feeling like I'm doing all the fit. I'm doing I could run I'd add some legs on me You know and probably boys that go out of the be like You weren't you run that right faster runner. Which part do you run it? But I'll tell the story. I'm on the mic I saw I can move but I was just carrying a lot of weight But not unhealthy. I think there was a point that when it became unhealthy was when I realized that my weight had I was like 15 and I think my weight had was starting to get to I was 14 and my weight had got 14 and a half stone so I was starting to get Over my age in weight. I was and I was like maybe I need to slightly rain this in a little bit health-wise Hmm. I always these questions because you know always start with childhood on this podcast and I've I've Reflected on this over and over again and thought maybe I should start somewhere else But I know from my own experiences that my own like childhood traumas or the things that made me feel a bit invalid or Insecure or felt feel shame when I was younger Ended up being like the biggest drivers in my life So I'm here. I'm trying to find out why you know you got really into fitness and why you became you know Who you became I always start with like what were the things when you were a kid that made you feel shame invalid like you didn't fit in And and those tend to be the pathway to people's you know people's greatness in a weird way 100% Look it all your you've got this this period where your heart's open you want to you're experiencing life You're a child you're a child you're probably you just you don't know and then all of a sudden you get that all Is that oh that oh I can't do that all that's the way to go and you're you're you're getting all that you imprint all these patterns that Only later you start to realize in your in your name saying teenage years I think still in adolescent years at that point But when maybe in your 20s start to unpack things just if you if you're conscious You're starting to recognize that this doesn't seem to line up with my truth And then into a 30s for me. It was like well I have to unpack all this stuff that was like the overweight thing Because you're exactly right that it started then and Listen, I could I could eat sweets like Cadbury's boost bars were getting eaten like crazy I go to the the news agents before I went to school to get on the bus I'd be also selling chocolate as well. So I had like a little yeah, I was You'd find the chocolate that was like had about two weeks left for a result date And you I'd work that in my in my lessons like listen I knew I had like from 9 till 11 before there was a there was a touch-up break So I could just set the tone as to how much I want to sell it for well You want a Mars bar for yeah, it's a pound 50 but we're gonna have how 50 okay, brother wait till 11 then Get it for 35 p wherever it's Pound and the article about the leverage was incredible right? So I always had an affiliation and one of my favorite movies is really one with the chocolate factory So I think that's set the tone anyway. I've got a bit of Augustus gloop in me I've got I think we've all the myriad of characters in that movie is me and ultimately Charlie like you know I mean So yeah, so it's just I'm I've been unpacking it a lot of those things and realizing that my my health streak I've got went on it sort of in when I was in sort of Miami sort of time and even slightly before that Was all to do with this childhood thing of I've got to the six back the captain the school football team It's funny how like those things like you're like whoa And it wasn't even and the crazy thing with it is that When I got into the music you want to start rewinds like blowing up It was people just want to hear me sing. Yeah, it was like they didn't care if my stomach was here They're six pack one pack two and by the way everyone everyone has a six pack underneath So just know that other way stomach's gonna fall out So if that's there's a saving grace for everyone don't worry about the fact content and the fact there's a six pack underneath Everyone so walk out in the street if you're confident with that that's great And you talked in those lyrics, but then also then you talked about your parents And you said there was I know again That's another dynamic because those are the for most people the most formative figures in their life Of course, what was the relationship with your parents? And you said they had things going on that that were kind of It sounded like distracting them From the things that were going on in your school life. Yeah, I mean my mom and dad broke up got divorced when I was eight But the beautiful things that my dad always would come pick me up on the weekends on a Sunday and it would either be going to like Potent's Park like Go-karting or I'd be helping him fix a kitchen Which I would say to my dad like I was coming to fix a kitchen like And I just remember that the tools and that it was dry and that's that thinking But I love those times with my dad. Yeah, he really made an effort now drives in his car playing reggae music heavily influenced Everything that I was going through and for my mom It was like she was working nine to five So my grandma and my mother would pretty much raising me my grandma would come pick me up from school when my mom was at work so I Had a lot of feminine energy in my life, which I'm really grateful for because it set the tone for how I Were a lot of my songs even seven days. I mean I'm saying making love Say 17 years old writing a song who's saying making love on Wednesday? I mean you listen to the songs now if you're not using for those that kind of language but it was that I got there's a respect I had for my from my mother for my grandmother and The fact that even for my dad I didn't want them I'm cussing out on record like that would just be like yeah We needed to like speak about this so I just was I thought I got a really good upbringing but at the same time I didn't have a great model of family life at home I got a lot of feminine energy and female Love and tension and care and other things that you love from your mom your grandma And then my dad was just like always had my back and I've got you but I've never never seen them together so I think again looking at childhood imprints and patterns is how they affect you later on Relationship with women was something I've always been really close to but I also had never had a model of how do you how do you stay together? You're like the the relationship part like I'm a romantic But if you look at your relationships like they haven't really worked out too well or you've been guarded and it's a journey of again of is this story true there's a point which you've got to be conscious enough to actually ask that question and it tends to knock on the door and Intuition is always there sort of saying we can have this convert if you want like we I'll present you with the books I can present you with the click on the right podcast to go to I'll get you to we can unpack this someone will inspire you to do that there's also What I've seen now and I feel I feel very I feel open enough to be apologetic for relationships that I Didn't I didn't I my heart was closed from the basis that not only from the family modeling, but also your first break heartbreak so for me it was like I Hox so open and I had that first heartbreak and it just went from a kid who was had his heart open I thought this is it and you're into me and it's gonna end in all of a sudden it just crashed and I was like well that feeling and I'd never Felt anything like that before where I was like I didn't know who to turn to it was like I felt that After after early childhood sweetheart breakup My heart had kind of closed down and I and I feel sorry for The the the girls and women in the last day to my life tried to open my heart up And that's all they were trying to do there's there's there was things that went a bit toxic and went but I have to own those Situation a lot of guys is like yeah, she's the girl was like this or she was crazy. No, no, no forget all of that I walked into that and I stepped in with a certain kind of energy and I gave off a certain feeling and Especially if you having sexual relationships, there's a there's an energy exchange between two people you can play it off It's like now, but we had an unwritten agreement where it was like no strings attached And you can play that game as much as you want Get enough karma You'll start to see that there'll be some someone who will be your teacher at some point and I thank Everyone in my life that I've had relations with I thank you for teaching me in some way I want to go and record with that because I feel like it's something that I've always I now get it that I was moving a little With reckless and the early times with the music and everything going on man There were people who were trying to get to my heart and I was just like no got this thing Easier to keep it arms length and it just doesn't work like that So two questions on that then what was the evidence or the story that your?
Your model of relationships (15:17)
Perenn your parents relationship taught you or left you with okay for better for us and then that first heartbreak What were the two stories those two incidents? I told you about relationships, so Having no Modeling of what real relationship is it it showed me early from from mom and dad as much as I love them with all Of my heart that being single is the best way to get through life Just stay single because I never saw my mother with another partner. I never really saw my dad with another partner And I have sisters and brothers by never I'd never I never of my dad's other relationships. They had I love them equally, but it's just I never had any clear Reason to say that relationship works and then it reinforces so the story adds on later on in your life you start to see how people are With each other who are in relationships and you get friends who in relationships and they may be cheating on their partner or you're seeing how There's been scenarios where a girl says she's she's in a relationship and Thankfully it hasn't been husband already, but there's been relationships I'm gonna be that the guys say I've never met a girl who's in something and I tell you a story that I was breaking up We're not really in it, but you're you starting if reinforcing the same thing of Well, stay single then. Yeah, don't get involved in all this because your heart will be protected and life is good And we can keep our arms linked then link that into the first breakup first heartbreak heart was open Gave everything relationship. I'm all in like I'm gonna as a child as like a It's hard psychologically you don't really understand what's going on in your in your family your parents But you just at school now and you see a girl falling and falling for you and She's into you and it's all happening and it could have been I think it was only like about week week and a half Yeah, the break really it wasn't it was this one talking early early days, but when your heart is fully open. Yeah The crushing feeling I had after that set the tone for The rest of my life until now I'm unpacked the whole thing which which all goes hand-in-hand with some of the songs I've written on albums before where I'm talking about breakups the song called thief in the night Which is about a girl who like what why did you have to end up being with my best friend like why did there's moments? Well, I'm looking back thinking when I was writing that song what was I feeling I was being the same heartbreak that I had of the same Zero understanding of what relationship is and then now I see it's all about relationship It's all about opening your heart up again the same feeling that I think we both share when you said that you had your moments of the trigger points and you're like had to open up again and you met someone who met you a place to help you through that Which is even better when you meet something conscious and gets it and says yeah, I've got you I'm baby steps if we need to but I'm with you. Yeah, I'm at that place now where I'm like Open Man it's open in a way that I'm Undown if it if something tried to try to close it down I'm open as much as I was when I first had my heart open and I wouldn't have said that maybe in a few years back The journey has kind of rapidly kind of entered into a phase where I just know that that's the truth of the matter And where are you relationship wise single the moment single which is again, you have especially as a guy and I can only really kind of speak on my experiences and we tend to Our actions have to line up with the way that we We're feeling and and I felt that there was times when I was talking to talk But the way I'm the way I'm acting is no different than what I was how was acting before? So then as a part we have to pull back the faders and be like, okay, well This means that I can't enter into things where it's purely this had changed long to 10 years ago for me that the Objectifying of women that that thing there was something where I had to just check myself and be like what is this? Panning that you have of a look and how someone's got a B and and that's all part of the same thing that was happening as a kid that it was it was very dreamy without the Relationship and now it's flipped. I look for a relationship in in I want to have a situation where I can connect with you now Regardless of the look if we're not going to a place where we can go there We can laugh laugh is one of the biggest values of of any relationship. Someone makes me laugh cry uncontrollably You've always got half of my heart already Yeah, because that's gonna save you when the relationship has its ups and downs So the down is when you need somebody can bring that because trust me the romantic phase as As we all know that's intoxicating. Yeah, when you wake up after the hangover And it's real you still having the same feeling and love starts then that hangover Right then that's when you're gonna ask yourself. I'm I really love the romantic thing. That's this bit of sweetness And have you heard a long-term relationship? See it would sound so short for so many people for me. It felt long two and a half years was probably my longest relationship and me and even then like I don't feel like I Open my heart. I really felt that the girl was really trying to get me to to break down some walls and I Go on record that as as toxic as things can go With a little bit of time and separation you look it at bucket back and you say thank you because you taught me so much about How I was moving and how was going on and I'm a better man for that because now I can open up my heart like this because a lot Guys, I want to talk about it. I want to keep it cool. Yeah One of the other things talking about things that kind of invalidated us when we're younger or that we were aspiring to I saw this Quote and actually saw a picture of the estate you lived on and it's I'm gonna say It's not the estate that I would wish to have lived on but I don't want to criticize You know in an area, but it's not it didn't look I saw like a gray apartment block in it Counselor state yeah, and the quote you said was you were a kid looking out of your bedroom window at the estate car park imagining Jacuzzis Do you know what I think to correct the quote? Yeah, because the Jacuzzi one like It's funny because I was talking about this only yesterday about like even I was speaking about filming and I was like Yeah, I was like jumped in the Jacuzzi I was thinking what Jacuzzi was actually jumping it because last time I checked you in a two-bedroom flat with your mum Yeah, so they just accused you of jumping with your bath Yeah, so that's that's put that record and you were in a four by four.
Growing up on a council estate (20:49)
Yeah, okay cool So which driving license did you have at that point because you were in like 15 16 when you're right? That's all Aspirations aspiration by looking out of that window overlooking that car park one my grandmother brought to To the table in terms of like I mean, they love my mommy just from a family I'm just very grateful for that upbringing but my grandma has grandma's do And I make sure you you get the right food in you make sure you wear the jacket You know, I mean there's gonna get cold it's gonna rain later on and you're like grandma then it rains They just have this wisdom. Yeah but She had a beautiful little garden In the house that she lived and it was like five minutes away from where I lived and I was just like that for me Would wasn't was enough as an inspiration to say if I could have a house with a garden in Southampton Were good here. I mean little did I know that how it would cascade from the music into Yeah, just that that times ten in terms of just like my eyes being open But it was that inspiration for my grandma and I looked at the car park and it was like Okay, I came in my grime. I kept my my grind like council estate working class family Growing up Made me have to make ends meet where secondary school wasn't really setting me up for when I leave here I was like I was really doing my market the stall selling of Chocolate's at school already had that going on. I was already doing mix tapes So that was my kind of go-to in the barbers selling mix tapes for Ten pounds that I'd be doing at home Which would buy another piece of equipment that I get another speak another pair of speakers or another? Mini-disc player to record on then I was getting a printer so I could print my own covers then I was Everything I kind of am doing now wiggly enough It's no different than what I was doing when I was a kid I literally had my whole whole little factory of making tunes Trying to have a little business going on So I could make ends meet in my way without having to try and pull money from my mum because she already had her own Things going on and she supported me beyond like I think she was going to deeply into overdrafts Just to make my my life feel comfortable. You got to say go make a drive right with Sonic the hedgehog and those mood those games Yes, I brought my memories first Yeah, you got there, but when I think back there was the where my money was get where my mum was getting this money from like She was deeply in debt. So when you look back He said mum the love I have for you like nine to five and making me feel like I was getting everything They any other kids getting you know mean but and my dad you know me like he supported you would never No one could cross me no one could do anything bad to my dad have me They'd have to cross my dad and that was the kind of and that protection is good to a certain degree But then when you grow up does not there to do the things are how where's that part? So you're having to understand you've got so much feminine energy in me in that part, but I need to Speaking of truth action now.
Your early music influences (24:28)
So it's the young the young my man. Yeah, the young Yeah, the young so you talk about music there and it one of the things that was really remarkable reading through your stories How early music came into your world and how early you started like selling mixtapes and I sat here with I've sat here with many musicians and it tends tended to happen a little bit later in life even diplo Sat here last week and the diplo it was I don't know he was 25 or something before he really started going in music But you were you were young hmm I know your dad had an influence in that because he was very into reggae Yeah, and he was in a reggae band right yes But where did music show up in your life and then and how did that obsession kind of like take hold? um, I mean was like I said when I early on I said like you do a little high five when you come into the world I feel that and You lose of the cognitive understanding as to what's going on and why we're here and then but there's something Intuitively that's pulling you in certain directions and as a child you very much honor that you just go in the direction So I was always intrigued by the little high five set up my mum had it in the flat with a big box of records And I just be flicking through them And I and there was a vinyl in there there was ebony rockers, which is by dad's reggae group Which more recently there's a mural now in Southampton they put on on on on Ogle Road Huge moral that that's there's about ebony rockers and I'm thinking wow so proud of my dad. I was like yes dad Because you are a musician in your heart bass guitar player the the group were talking about social issues that were going on in the 80s and being able to put that on record and talk about injustices that were going on in their lives to Southampton and have it on record But now you're getting recognized for that. Amen. Like I just love love my dad for that It's like that I'm just so happy for him So I was looking at records and I pulled out his record and I'd be like ebony rockers in my mum would say yeah That's your dad's group and I'd be like what my dad's like Really though. I'm talking like five six years old looking like one of my dad's in a group So I know that's definitely there's some lineage there. There's there's DNA that's coming through musically My mum was always into Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson my first ever seven inch I ever bought was It was human nature. Oh really what Michael Jackson? Yeah, because it was on a seven inch It was in a little there was a small little box next to the 12 inch It's the first one I bought that's why let me tell you it's to the right was the first one I bought first song I ever bought so that's why and the I mean look at the lyric of the song Yeah, it couldn't be any more perfect as a song of like being conscious and understanding the world So yes, I added And then there was there was the bit of Donnie Osmond in there come on My mum was a big fan of the Osmond's which was a big group back of the day Mixed with the Stevies and the Michaels and and and then also have my dad's reggae deep reggae from Barris Hammond to Sanchez Terror fabulous, but you're bantam beanie man bounty early like I'm a sound man at heart I think when I'm in the studio people like You literally are but you're bantam, but no one's actually see like hearing you do this. Yeah, because I go into this reggae killer manjaro David Rodigan Black cat sound system in me. So when I see carnival, I'm just like It's me sitting up and post up a little bit rice and chicken a little bud wise about speaker and I'm good So yeah, man that music Started off early and then I just I just felt like it I just was gravitating towards it when was the first time you've made music in any kind of first time I made music was My dad got me a high-fives system called studio 100 for anyone who knows that it was like a big box Like huge like box with loads of faders on the front he came home one day like he came to house a great I got you this studio hundred like whoa one was doing this I have no idea So I had loads of faded loads of microphones with different colored foam capsules on the top Look the business with a with a record deck on top to twin cassette decks and Lots of switches that I didn't understand what's going on but I was excited because I was like wow This is the first time I might be able to record something so I was just fully investing and when you're kid You learn all the things, you know all that so I started to record I would have said I was 11 11 12 years old when that came through and I you'd put a TDK cassette tape There was a d90 was like the basic one or you if you're feeling kind of saucy with it You have like a chrome or or a metal I don't have a 2 pound 49 those ones but if you ever normal deniers like a little 69 P1 I Put I buy two of them you record into one tape So I put the first lead line of something and a lot of my early songs were just sounding like I was literally just lifting the vocals from every other song that I was listening to and and I didn't quite get the memo of oh what we have to change the melody that much for it to not be sounding like I'm singing Jodicee freaking you or boys to men why does it sound like you literally just changed like the road to street on end of the road You have to do a bit more than that which I kind of you learn quickly if you don't get the memo yeah But yes, I start to bounce the vocals down so you sing onto one cassette you put that in the bottom Take cassette you then put in fresh one in the top and you'd let that play and you record on tops You were dubbing on top of your vocal the quality was diminishing every time you did that yet because this is all school stuff But I was starting to finish a song I was feeling very very proud of myself that I could actually write a song how old I Would have been like yeah, like them into our years old 11 12 years old. Mm-hmm But yeah that kind of led into a world very nourished with R&B reggae But also the the pop soul element tension Darby was the first show I ever went to at the Guildhall in Southampton It blew my mind. I saw this guy as front row. I just went like he was moving like Prince with Marvin Gaye, but he had the voice of like a Stevie Wonder with Michael Jackson The hard line according to album was like it was like seven eight million albums There's a huge record for him with the breakout songs sign your name across my heart again Look at the the messages sign your name across my heart. Yeah I'm like finally we're getting the message now. I need to let someone sign it fully. You know I mean and capitals hold that But changed my life. I was like if I can I'd love to do what that guy does from 11 12 where you're messing around with those cassettes to I Think when I've heard you kind of count it your first break was winning that songwriting contest with damage Wasn't it yes was that would you consider that to be your first kind of like break? opportunity, you know what it's like it gave me it gave me the first taste of of Reinforcing that I could actually do this like it. I thought it was a bright break like I was gonna We've done it here. Yeah, I've written the song. I'm ready. It's on the back of it's on the B side of wonderful tonight They are at Clapton cover, which was the lead single. I'm telling everyone it's who went to number two in the charts I'm telling all my friends. It's because of obviously by song. I'm ready Not the classic wonderful tonight that they've covered right But I thought it was off the back and they I know actually sang vocals on that did BVs on the song They didn't come up to London met the guys. I was like wow. This is like a dream country But I didn't off the back of it was like okay. It was in the shops for a few weeks But nothing you went quiet after that how old were you and you won that songwriting competition for the boy band damage? I would have said I was 14 So you thought messing around with music at about 11 ish you said right and then at 14 You win the songwriting competition for the boy band damage and That's what like three years are just continuing to mess mess around and develop and practice and just play around with music right between that time Yeah, yeah, it was it was and I and again the support of my mom and dad in in ways that now I'm just like so thankful for of by bringing that studio 100 piece of equipment that for me to record You know my first record deck all those things now I was the kid looking through the music store like oh wish I could have that We show you that one if I could get that one equalizer it would like a mix I was just that I'll nerdy with it and they would always somehow have a 10 pound and a 20 pound ready for me to help me out I don't have my my chocolate thing again also there's something really interesting about you saying nerdy with it because The guests that I've sat here with specifically the musicians It always seems to be the case that when they were younger or just before you know Maybe in the 10 years before they blew up or whatever They were just like really nerdy with music. There wasn't really an intention of being the greatest or getting the number one albums They were just like obsessed even retched 32 when he sat here was the same thing He was just clearly just nerdy with it very very young age and I think that's that's really important to point out because the pathway to getting to where you got to in your life Why isn't that doesn't appear to be? Or at least the starting point doesn't appear to be this obsession with becoming a superstar It's this kind of nerdy fascination because you spent three years between 11 and 14 just messing around with cassettes on some Piece of hardware that you died bought. Yeah. Yeah, of course is it did feel that My obsession with music Like when I when I look back and it's different now because I have this I have the same Kid in me that wants to do the same thing that I may have done in those periods of time Especially when I start collecting vinyl like I knew every producer I knew where the snare was on this track was taking from a changing faces song over there and This record over here is the kick drum from there the bass is used. I was in it like I had everything in alphabetical order with the plastic Sleeves that they all went in room was getting to the point where I couldn't fit in my room for records so I was Really living it to the point where I'd swap shop with records. I'd be like like the other DJs would say I I got to London get records bring them back those days DJs were the go-to like he wasn't like you gone New music Friday and you get thousand songs to kind of to look through it was like if the DJ played in the club You better go speak to the DJ find out where he got from because he's got there's ten copies Maybe and there's a promo that's not gonna come out for six months. Look like literally songs were like you had time Because it was physical where you're gonna go you can't copy this unless you've got a lave in you're gonna start to print acetates in your house So you have to wait so I'd when you went out to London Especially because this was like the hub for where everything was being made and printed up. I come back sometimes from so that to slant him with some record DJ's will know where you get that great where you get that I say yeah Swap you a faith Evans. I just can't and a jade for the tune that you got I said maybe give me a little ten pound extra for that you could you could it was all Vise well, I just it was such a fun time to things were slower And I love it now, but it's just it's a lot to get into there's a lot of music being released just to keep up with the flex of it I had a few words to say about one of my sponsors on this podcast my girlfriend came upstairs yesterday when I was having a shower And she said to me that she tried the heel protein chick which lives on my fridge over there and she said it's amazing low calories You get your 20 odd grams of protein you get your 26 vitamins and minerals and it's nutritionally complete in the protein space There's lots of things, but it's hard to find something that is nice especially when consumed just with water and that is Nutritionally complete and that has about a hundred calories in total while also giving you your 20 grams of protein if you haven't Tried the heel protein product do give it a try the salted caramel one if you put some ice cubes in it And you put it in a blender and you try it is as good as pretty much any milkshake on the market just mixed with water It's been a game changer for me because I'm trying to drop my calorie intake And I'm trying to be a little bit more healthy with my diet So this is where he'll fit in my life Thank you here for making a product that I actually like the salted camel is my favorite I've got the banana one here, which is the one my girlfriend likes, but for me salted caramel is the one Between 14 and 18 then what happens then for you? I'd gone from the songwriting competition a moment where it was like, okay This is the this is the thing, but then it can carry it on where okay, this wasn't necessarily a big breakthrough heavily into the inter collecting records I started to DJ early on I was MC at first for Another DJ called DJ flash who I respect so much because he brought a lot into my life to to be able to be a chaperone for me really he knew my dad and He was 10 years older than me and I at that at 14.
Your rise in music (36:36)
I looked a little older as well So I couldn't kind of get I could style it to get into clubs with him And he'd let me be his MC so I'd be called MC fade and I was just like you know I mean their fade was Chris and I just thought that was the Chris and then he'd give me like a he'd give me a little slot To play maybe a little 15 minutes at the end of his DJ set so in Southampton He was playing most of the kind of big clubs there and he introduced me to the Cajun Zoo in Bournemouth We do a couple shows in Portsmouth So I was like his I was as MC and also his box boy as well because trust me the back was getting like Smashed picking up those heavy boxes. Yeah, it's different when you were in the chain with the mp3 on it It's different when you're picking up the boxes, right? You your squat games got to be really on the point your glutes will be fired up But I'd always do this thing with him. I'd be like I feel like actually that the only way I was trying to find like a girl He had his eyes on me be watching all through the night I'd be like I think she she keep looking at you man. You need to go you need to go and speak to her He goes here, but I just doesn't want to I got you. I'll let me you go speak to her man She's gonna go and it's all gonna. Okay, cool. Let's handle the four. I'm the fourth that you worry So I play a little half an hour thing Yeah, he's going around should I go and speak to her? It is just standing next to he goes over for the for the move She blows him out completely because you know looking at him at all for the whole thing, right? I've got 30 minute DJ sitting then he's come back like great I know she was looking at you all the time. I'm not sure You got find your ways there but I learned from between that 14 to to really to 16 Was a period of DJing intensely then I started to go off and do my own DJing sets with MC Alistair Who was part of the awful Dodger who goes those MC sets now? And then it was kind of it was moving I was at college I'd come from secondary school now was at college a city college. I was doing an MVQ level two in electronics It was like the closest thing I could get to music because there wasn't like production courses that they do now which would have been great back then it was like how do you forge a trumpet out of metal and How was how do you make a guitar from scratch with wood? And I'm like, you know, I just want to know how timberland makes that or when the dragons makes the the vocal sounds so good Can someone show me that then there wasn't a course? So I thought let me do electronics because at least that gets me closer to circuit boards Richard sounds was around the corner I had some wicked equipment and I thought even if I got a Job work in there would be great. I'd be near deck So I'd be near twin tape cassette decks and maybe I get a little discount. So that was my road. I was going down DJing and seeing there never thought it would necessarily Me meeting Mark Hill and Pete Deveaux from the artful Dodger, which is where it it really then transcended Tell me about that. So In one club it was called old oriental's Ten minutes around the corner from where I was living with my mom Was DJing downstairs R&B hip-hop set Upstairs was house of garage night Mark Hill and Pete Deveaux who the original artful Dodger were playing upstairs now These are early doors for garage music. So you're hearing like it's a London thing was playing Scott Garcia, which was like a classic garage tune from them days and it was even like the Lessons in love was coming through Robbie Craig and there was just tunes playing play and I always got popped my head up and be like It wasn't packed up there, but I was like this is this is a vibe It's got like it's like the layering R&B stuff now. It fell over this skippy What do you call it? It was I know what two step was it was like is a speed garage It was just weird like some eclectic thing. That's not house, but it feels UK And another something got into conversation and I was talking about all these songs that I've been recording at home Where I didn't have a producer or someone who could create the music for me I was using instrumentals and stuff to just sing over like you'd hear a freestyle and Then literally that I mean this is where it's so divine that the serendipity of it was so beautiful Mark Hill who ended up producing the holo-borne to do it album said I've been looking for someone who writes songs Like I do music like I got the music thing like that I need somebody who writes songs you can sing and I was like this is a perfect marriage and he says I've got studios like five minutes from here at a place called Ocean Village And I was like you can't we make this up like it was the like my flat the Old oriental's place that we met the studio was literally within a 10 minute walk It was like all perfectly planned and from that the next thing I did was record a song called what you're gonna do Which was the first? release from our photojo and I remember it being printed up on her on vinyl. They did their own thing boxed it all up I felt sweet when you're on a vinyl I thought I made it that point And they got up in a van and they took it up to London They go into the record stores and they say look we got them to take two boxes here at this record store and So in Darby Street and Soho records there in Brixton. We've got some I was like and something started to build my man I can't I was like just happy to be on a record, but then All of a sudden I was getting people saying who they've come back down from London saying I'm hearing your tune in playing on pirate radio stations, you know, I'm like what I'm hearing like it's going off drop the funk drop the bass hit it and I'm like what are you And I like it but then random people saying I was coming up for lunch. It's getting played like I went to a club It went off the DJ span it like four times back to back Something was bubbling and next thing, you know, I Got a call from public demand who were the label that work that I've got Investing that in that record. They've done a licensing deal for that song They said you want to come up to London start doing some some PA some performances for the song And so I love to so I call I'm a make Clinton and his yellow Fiesta Remember clearly, but a Jamaican flag in the back. Yeah, just like he had it proudly there He had like the sub speaker in the boot going crazy I think we tuned up like he was coming going to not in your carnival Yeah, the sound system was way more than the car, right? Sunday Chris so we all up there slipping like 50 pounds to get me up there get me back and literally I go up I was getting like 250 300 pound for a PA which was good money I'm like wow, this is real money now from selling chocolates to this kind of money I can buy this record. I can buy that and I go to the Coliseum in voxel the end And I started twice as nice was the big big name at the time And I got I didn't see what you're gonna do and I'd go on stage and I was this young 15 year old kid I said 16 at the time walked out and The DJ even more like there would be any DJ could play because the doubtful Dodger We had this sort of agreement that if I'll for Dodger will with me performing We're doing a set together We'd sort of half the amount for the for the for the fee and if I was going off doing a performance Then I would just take my name if they did a DJ set somewhere they take it So we just have a nice little agreement going on So I go up there in the DJ would you say ready ready? I'm ready ready Maybe like drop the font drop the base here It's for the first time walking out seeing it go off I was just like this is mad and before even got to sing the guy's they're spinning up and everyone's going Which is where Led to both of the two with rewind why I was saying that in the song. It's like Bobo Bobo select that was the phrase is a cultural reference for that music And I think that that's where it kind of just it just This was exponential after that it just went from what you're gonna do then rewind was starting to go do its thing and People were just losing their minds that song like I remember my first person from papier of that song I wasn't sure if the crowd would be in there because it goes into this this baseline in the chorus Which is very it feels like a halftime R&B record. Let me just like doom doodom ♪ ♪ ♪ So it's like re-wind ♪ ♪ ♪Gonna cross the legs ♪ ♪ Re-winds ♪ ♪ You just got the bass on ♪ ♪ Then it's half-time ♪ ♪ You could just be slow down ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ And I saw people literally that were standing like, and it wasn't like, we're not feeding it. But it's like, we don't know what to do here. Yeah. ♪ ♪ 'Cause the verse is ♪ ♪ ♪ But making moves ♪ ♪ Yeah, on a dance floor ♪ ♪ You've got the Gareth's thing that's cool ♪ ♪ And then it goes ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ And people were like, and then when it, and that was the CSP in the end, people were like, does that tune that does that half-time? I don't know what, a bass line thing, but it goes to the slowed, and it set the tone for the whole thing. That song that right there, still, it's like my baby. 'Cause I felt it when I walked home with my Sony Walkman, when my headphones on, on my Jack's going, just like walking back, like just listen to it, thinking, I don't need the sound songs while I don't need any feedback. I don't need them to tell me what they think about it, but yeah, they feel, I know, in my soul, this here is the one, and it wasn't the one from, it's gonna go off in a club. It's just gonna go off when I go back to my flat, I had a huge sub-speaker that was probably bigger than me, yeah, that I had in the corner, bigger than most of my room, I had to squeeze my bed out, almost to get it in. When I pressed play on that, and it came through that speaker, I was like this, I'm good. I got the full feeling that I needed it. So from then, I was like, if this is the same for anyone else, and they feel like this, then it's gone clear, and it ended up being ugly. - And that is a timeless record. I mean, I listened to it before you came in here, so I was like, fuck it, it's gonna come out last week, you know what I mean, it feels like that. Do you see what I mean? Like I played it, I was like, this could be, this would be a hit now. - Do you know what I mean, though? - I appreciate you. - You know what I mean, though? - The 100, it's a cultural record, it feels very timeless, like I did a show the other day, I mean, last night, and I dropped it in, and then he also got crazy for it, the day ones are there, going, okay, it's just like, it's one of those ones, you know what I mean? - Yeah, yeah, yeah. So that leads you up to the point where you start to release your first solo single, fill me in, talk to me about that in that whole process, because that went straight to number one. From what you said, I know it changed your life, right? From going, doing these PAs in clubs to doing, I think you did Wembley three nights in a row, or something crazy, crazy. In the space of a couple of months as well. - Yeah, it went from zero to 100, literally. That's why it was kind of like, behind the scenes, funny enough, even though I see zero to 100, there was a lot of learning curve that I was learning. So doing the DJing, doing performances in front of a club PA, or even before that, when I was doing my DJing stuff as an MC, when the vinyl skipping and the crowd are looking at you, like, yo, and you've got to improvise quickly, so man's going into some kind of MC, like, some of the names, some of the monastic, some of the whole of Michael Hopley, trying to find another bit of vinyl to put on, 'cause this one's going to keep skipping. My whole place, hopeless, one of my, blah, blah, blah, blah, like this, John Perron, my Adidas, Craig, and everyone's just like, whoa, and then I get it to mix somehow perfectly, yeah? And I'm sweating it, 'cause I'm thinking I nearly mashed the whole thing up. And after people come up saying, "Great, how sick when you did that thing? "How did you do that? "Why are you sweating so much?" So it's not even hot, and the air conditions blasting us like it's only new, but it teed me up for performances going forward. So when we got to film you in, I can just remember something happening when I was doing, there was a club called Sound, I think it was on Leicester Square. And at this time now, we wanted to be released, it had gone to number two. People didn't really know who I was, they knew the name, which was, you know what I mean? You can get, the using the name was always like a tag, the DJ tag thing, like you put your name, DJ Khaled would do it, it'd be like, "I'd be like, "Great David, all over you are." So you knew who was on the record, just in case you were confused, yeah? And then that then became sort of my intrinsic trademark thing that I did throughout that one to do an album. So you'd just be like, "Great David, it's another one." Like all that kind of stuff. But I remember doing this performance, I had an interview in Capital FM, and I had to get across Leicester Square to go and do this performance of it on Sound, which Capital were doing like radio performances from there. I knew something had really changed when the security, it was a security guard, and he had to put me up. I went there with them, it'd just been calm. I went into Capital, did the interview, the security guard had to put me up on his shoulders to get me across Leicester Square to Sound, because there were fans going crazy, like real, I could, for a moment in that period of time, the Justin Bieber thing, the, even before the Drake's, I mean, it was like, it was that fever pitch where it was just like, "Whoa, BTS flex." So it was like madness, like pandemonium, I was just like, "Whoa, rip in, pulling." Like it was, "Whoa, I was thinking something's changed." And then when I did the performance, and then filming me, it was building up to be my first number one. And it was my first solo single, that went to number one. And it was a song that was released the same day as Destiny's Child, seeing my name. So to have a number one in the charts, with a group that I've grown up with posters on my wall, and I think, and this is crazy, seeing my name as one of my favorite R&B songs all the time. So just to fill me in to do what it did, I knew something had changed. I just knew, well, it was quite obvious. And I was on this wave, it was euphoric. There was nothing I can put my finger on. It was like, it was everything but more. It went from everything I touched was turning to gold, because everyone wanted a piece of me, and I was doing acoustic performances, which was to give a different feel for filming, which I think was a really clever move from, at the time, my record label was half owned by my now manager, Colin Lester, Telstar, and Capitol were involved. And it was just like, we want to find ways that it just didn't exclude me from other radio stations, and maybe it feel like it wasn't just this radio thing. So we did performances like on TFI Fridays and on Jules Holland, which were acoustic. And all of a sudden, I went from the rise in garage, quote unquote, "Star" to, well, it's actually a song here. It's writing songs. And then the next song was, I think, kind of reinforced that it wasn't just "just garage" and then from seven days, and then to get to walking away, because walking away, it'd gone clear at that point. Really had gone clear. Like, I was in France and the area the other week, in Paris doing radio interviews, and I'd been doing "The Holy Scandinavia," then I'd be in Germany, then we'd be getting a flight over to America and it just started the whole-- - How old were you through this period? So you start, I mean, to film the end was when you were 18. - Yeah, so within the album dropped the same year. So 2001 was when I went over to the States. So it would have been like 19, like-- - How does an 18, 19 year old deal with that? 'Cause, you know, with all the attention comes a lot of negative stuff.
How were you dealing with your meteoric rise? (52:14)
It's like unavoidable. It comes with the territory. Even with the like, the fame and people clambering on you and stuff, it changes, your psychology takes a shift. Or you find out who you really are, right? They say that a lot. Like you find out who you're demons, right? 'Cause now you got the money, you got the power, you got this admiration. So talk to me about like the other side of that, that meteoric rise. - I'd say, channeling in of how I, or chooting in to how I was at that time, I'd say it was euphoric. There was, I was like, whoa, everything's new. You're doing new places and going to the best restaurants. So in your eyes are wide open, you're on a plane to this country. And I went, I was at the House of Blues in America doing three nights there and the first night. And I tell this because it kind of just to give context to how bizarre it was. So remember, I've come from your flash, I think that girl actually over there, let me do a little mix for you over here, get a little half an hour in the set. Jumped fast forward, a few years later, House of Blues, three nights in a row. First night, Missy Elliott has come to watch the show. I'm looking up thinking, this is crazy. Like, I can't stand the rain and Missy Elliott, just the hot next night. And there I look up in the same balcony, Jennifer Lopez is there. I'm like, wow. And I want to sound like I'm name dropping, but I wanted to be, to give context. I'm like, yeah, it's just this facts here. The following night, sorry, how am I missing this? It was Missy and Beyonce. Fuck off. Then it was Jennifer Lopez. Then on the last night, I look out into the crowd and there's a lot of kind of attention on one and in particular gentleman that's in the crowd who's singing. I couldn't quite work out because the lights were too dark. So I got the front house to turn the lights up. And I look in the crowd and I'm singing, walking away, and I look over and I see Stevie Wonder. You see her walking away. And I'm just like, I mean, what do you say at that point? I would have felt emotional. I felt, because it was Stevie Wonder from the record collection from my mum's stuff. Beyonce, I've got Destiny's Child on my wall. Had Jennifer Lopez on my wall, Missy Elliott, I don't even listen to before I come out. It was just like, you can't make this up. It was almost like you've behind the scenes and, bam, here it is. And then I got to meet him at the end. He'd come with Quincy Jones, who we all know is the producer of all the huge hits for Michael Jackson. And then Quincy said, you know, like, MJ, he said it even more, like, coded. He was like, yeah. It was like, M, he said. It was like, M's got your album. Like, it's just like vibing. I said, it was M. Yeah, you know, MJ and Michael. Michael's got like, you've got the album. He loves born to do it. He's been listening to, gave it to his friends. And I was just like, stop this. If we can, if this is, if this is the thing we've arrived, we're good. I've got my fix. It's not much more I could ask for. But it was literally the start of an incredible roller coaster ride, which the later years, I think, which we get into, it harps back to that. And I can see where the cracks were starting. Because when you talk to a question about the other side of it, it was so euphoric and I was so swept up on it, it was like getting on a surfboard and actually being on the wave. And you're doing, I never use this word, but like the most gnarliest, like you're on the gnarly wave. It's gnarly. You know what I mean? You're like, it's a rip, rip, girl. It's crazy. You're all through the middle of the eye of it. You're on it. You're not coming off. But then there was a point when the next albums looking in your average dropped, which was only like a year or so later, 2002, had great success with "Watch Your Flavor" and the songs were hitting. But there was this-- Born to do it, it had now done seven million albums. Six times platinum. Oh, six times platinum. It's still crazy. And when you said about the Wembley Arena three times sold out, I'm standing outside the sign I've got it at my mom's house. Like there's a picture of-- and I'm like, you just can't make it up. It was so beautiful. And I'm so grateful for those times. But I started to see from the slick in your average time where the record label would already start to quote her, oh, it's going to do 10, 11 million, obviously, slick in your average, because now the trajectory has to go higher than this. So then when the album ended up coming out, it ended up selling 3.5 million albums. 3.5 million albums. Yeah, at the time, I remember that there was this feeling in the company of-- Right, only 3.5. And I'm impressionable. I'm a young kid. I don't know. I've just got into this, the music business. And you're telling me that that's not a good thing, because the last time I checked, the feeling I'm getting it, I just saw 3.5 million albums. Give 3.5 million to any artist now. Like, we're good. We're weird. We're weird. So I'd already started to buy into-- there was a trajectory that was starting to go in a different place that I wouldn't even know about figures. I didn't really care about albums' sales. I was just like, I'm just happy to be here. And I'm making music. And I'm doing what I love, my dream. But that was the first learning curve of the defining of product and defining of you being a commodity that has to achieve something now that you've set it up here. Whereas I thought it got all fun when you start to do it. I thought it got more playful. And then I got mysterious. And there's more cooks in the kitchen. And everyone's got an opinion of the song you should be releasing. Expectation. Beyond. Expectation. The curse of all happiness and joy. You must know this. You're just trying to quite what yourself worth through so many other people's expectation of you. Like you said, so I'm trying to say, OK, cool. Well, we're here. I'm a songwriter. I'd always had a really great rapport with my manager. Colin, that's those who've been being like, I love the conversations that we've had over the years. And him even saying at early doors that I can't guarantee you success. But I'll do everything in my power to protect you and keep you safe so you can do your thing. And having those kind of confidence in the people that you're working with is paramount when you do start to get the feedback trickling through. Because I never was like, oh, yeah, what are today's mid weeks? I wasn't really too interested in finding out all the stats. Because what happens is-- and you can get this now. And I say this to any aspiring artist who's putting music out now when you have a success-- is literally just enjoy it fully, be immersed in it. Because if you start to check what's going on next week, your moment when you're supposed to have the number one and you're enjoying life, you're already going to be able to see by Tuesday, Wednesday, that your numbers are already sharing it. You're already number three now. You slipped off and they're number one. So your moment of glory was actually there was the curve. And at the point where you got the thing, which is the beautiful metal number one, or you're already kind of on the decline. So it's that I had to ride that for a few more albums, if I'm being honest. I was making songs and they were connecting. But if it was a number four in the charts, it wasn't number one like it was before. Haven't got the same amount of time that I had to make those songs. I haven't got enough life really. All those first albums, there is seminal. Because it's all your life up until that point, right? And then after that, the expectation is when we need it on a deadline and we need it at this time and you've got to hit this in the mix of the fact you're doing 100 interviews and you're flying all over the place, but still you've got to conjure up that thing. I don't know any artists that won't feel that. And hats off and cute us to anyone who is able to sustain that. But as a human being, I know that's a taught order for anyone to be able to continuously do. And you start to see with any of the artists who we put in from the Amy Winehouses to the Michael Jackson's to the Whitney Houston's. The height of success when it is like, whoa, like otherworldly. There's so much of the human part that's being unmet. It gets to a point, a breaking point, and then something happens. But it's drug addiction or if it moves into mental health issues and depression, which are all so real that no human can vibrate at that level for that amount of time. And I'm thankful for those moments that kind of shaved off a little bit of the being all go, go, go, because I think that it kind of made me have to go back to a lot of things that were like when my grandmother passed away, which on the next down story goes, I was back in my heart again. It's like I'm writing a song like Johnny about bullying or I'm talking about let her go, a song I wrote from about my grandmother to my mum to say, look, I know it's crushing you, you've lost your mum and I've lost my grandmother, who pretty much raised me. Here's a song and I want you to hear it. And those things, it's start to get back in my heart because we can get heady. I mean, it starts to get heady. You're out of, you're not in sync with this. This is the real brains and I've learned that now. It's not. This is a loyal servant to the heart. But if you go from here and then you can find the ways to get to A to B, but it has to start from here, you know? I had a few words to say about one of my sponsors on this podcast. As we all know, energy independence and living a little greener has never been more important for a better future. It's a journey I've been on over the last couple of years that I've shared with you sporadically. Ever since I sold my Range Rover Sport and bought an electric bicycle. And there's a lot of people out there that listen to this podcast that are looking to make that sustainable switch in the things that run their daily life, whether it's their home, their car, their vehicles, whatever it might be. So when a good friend of mine at a company called My Energy called Jordan told me she was interested in sponsoring this podcast, I jumped at the opportunity. So for those of you that don't know, My Energy are a UK renewable energy brand whose mission is to increase the usage of green energy, helping people like you and I to save time and money when it comes to making sustainable switches in our lives. So if this resonates with you and you're the type of person that's been looking or thinking about going on your own sustainability journey, I highly recommend checking them out at myenergy.com. - And you described that journey as a rollercoaster.
Losing yourself (01:02:46)
So what point did that rollercoaster start heading down from that place you described as euphoria to a place where you weren't euphoric? Talk to me about the down part of the rollercoaster. - I'd say when I released the Trust Me album in 2009, it just felt there was, from where I'd started off with very cultural records like Rewind the Film In, which is why we talked earlier how they songs you can play now and they still seem to hit. When I look at 2009 and the Trust Me album, I felt like I was starting to make music that was to please, please people into tick boxes. It was like I was, there was a song called Top of the Hill, which is a lovely song. I love the song, but if you listen to that song to how it started off, it was very far removed. The type of music is becoming very live and it wasn't as synth based and so which I'd drawn all my inspirations from as a kid. And that's not to say that you can't experiment, but I knew at that point I was entering into a new space and then by the time I released that album, which I was proud of, I'm always proud of the music I put out, but it wasn't connecting as well. "Signs So Delivered" was an album that I did just after that, which was, I was out of a deal at the time just because I'd run the tenure of my deal. So it was kind of a fresh start. I could look at different record labels, Universal were excited, so we did a deal with Universal, then I was put out this album called "Signs So Delivered", which was a covers album. And I was singing like "Doc of the Bay" and the title "Song, 'Signs So Delivered' from Stevie, but verbatim, like the originals." It wasn't some chopped and screwed, it wasn't an R&B version, it wasn't a garage thing, it wasn't like, it was like, - The same song. - It same song. And I felt like it was time that I needed to just sort of check myself and just be like, are you getting the fun out of this like you used to? Do you wanna continue making music like this? And thankfully the world was, the universe always sort of mirrors everything that you're going through. So it mirrors your state of play where you are. So I always felt that, if the feeling I was getting was being mirrored back, I'm not quite feeling this. So the world says, cool, I'll give you more of your not quite feeling this in your circumstances that happen around you. Whereas when I was the kid growing up making the first album, I was feeling everything, I was feeling the song on the way home from the studio, I was feeling it on my sub speaker at home, I was feeling those rides up in the car to do the performance, it was feeling. And now I check in with that deeply, because I know that anytime I'm not feeling it, act from that, not from the head saying, well, I don't know, Seal had a big covers album at the time. I think that was a good reference point. He had a huge covers album of doing serious numbers. And that was the sentiment that the Universal were presenting like, do a covers record, no brainer, you can sing these songs, Motown, gonna be good, it's a soul thing. And then springboard off the back of that with your own album, that was the play. It was never really worked out that way, 'cause it didn't really work out that as an album, it didn't hit the way it did. And there was no next album that came from off the back of that. There was a period of time where I was like, I was out of the scene for a second. - And what did you do then, this is when you moved to Miami? - So I was in Miami from 2010, so it was like about a year after that album. And I was there for about five, six years. For the first two, three years, the best time probably of my life being out there. And anything and everything that you could possibly think of Miami being and what it was representing. But the latter period of that time was where something was ringing inside of me of you're in the wrong place. And this is what intuition is very quiet. And it's just it creeps up. And it's like, it's not even nagging. It's like, you hear it and you just, I don't wanna hear it. I wanna, it's all, it looks great over here. You know what I mean? It looks so aesthetically pleasing from it. So I mean, the car and the department and the parties and the women and it's like the parties that were just like every day or week, something going on. Music isn't really getting recorded now because the voice is just destroyed from like shouting in a club and doing an nonsense. So music is getting pushed to the side that all those fancy toys and the vibe starting to become more important. You know what I mean? It's like the, my balance of actual supply and demand of music that got me there was way off. I was literally crying hardly anything. - Is there shades of like you, you going up on this trajectory when you're like a young man, 18, 19, et cetera? And then going into this place where you're almost abandoned, you're like your essence and your roots. And then you're that kind of culminates and you're making this covers album, which is almost, it's almost a bit of a metaphor because then you were really being someone else. Like doing cover albums is by definition, you're covering other people's music and they're at style. And then almost this period in Miami where you get into partying, it seems like a bit of a distraction maybe or whatever, trying to get some other pleasure from another type of life. And then kind of going back to your roots in a way where all of that you tasted the shit. You'd had the Dom Perion, you know? And that wasn't it. So now you go back and ask yourself, what is it? What is it? And then it seems like with TS5, you created a new kind of expression of who Craig David is. And who he always was to maybe who you had lost sight of over the years because of all these temptations and your own success. It's another truth. It's when you start to realise that actually going back to the things that, and it's all back in childhood, this is the thing, when I tune in, it's like the decks and the DJ and the mix tapes. That was all I was trying to do when I was doing the TS5 house party. I just wanted to feel that again. Like I'm mixing now with my little pioneer DJ setup and I'm on the microphone being the host of The Mostist. And I want everyone to feel that feeling that I got into the whole thing for. If someone doesn't know what TS5 is, can you explain just give an overview of what exactly what it is? TS5 is like, it's, when the performance now from the house party that it was, is I'm able to close the DJ when I first started off, as we've spoken about before, and I was at that point then DJ Fade. So I honed all my skills on using vinyl and techniques to our tens. The TS5 set is, the name came from the apartment in Miami. And it's a show where I'm able to DJ and mix other people's records as much as drop my ones in and able to come out of my DJ booth and sing and do a performance. In a way for me that is giving me all the feels I got from when I was a DJ, but also I can do the performances and drop some gems in there at the same time. Like I can play a TLC, no scrubs, or I can play say my name and then go into feel me in. I just love it. And it's taking that to a pool parties I did in Ibiza. I think I was trying to set a tone of like, this isn't a DJ set where I can get away with playing some songs, doing a few shots of tequila with my mates and get paid for it and go home. I just can't, like I get that can work in certain, and I have no judgment, it's do your thing. But for me as a performer, mixing the tunes is like, it's so easy now, like with vinyl is like, that was a mission, but like now. So I can mix the tunes, that's nothing, but to come out of the booth, perform, do an MC thing and hit the marker back inside to get to the next song. That for me, I pride myself on, it's giving me a whole new Lisa Life Festival. So that's really what TS5 is. And it's become a phenomenal brand, phenomenal brand for music, putting, and it's funny because it's such an, it's quite rare that you have someone that has that kind of skill stack, of all those different pieces that can do that. And I think that's probably why it's been such a, such a hit is because you rarely see someone who can drop their own records, who can sing, who can perform, but then who can also DJ. It's like a really interesting new thing. - Totally. - Yeah. - I felt, I felt it in, I got a little touch of it in the pie when I was in, in my house pies. I mean, I didn't even start to put, see this is, it's beautiful when you look back at the puzzle pieces, when the picture starts to become a little bit more clearer, as you've put, okay, that puzzle, that piece there meant you needed that piece to happen for this one to happen. So when I was performing in my house, I wasn't actually performing in my own songs at all, 'cause I just felt like I don't wanna start dropping my own songs in the middle of the thing. And then I have people come over and be like, pro drop that, fill me in, drop rewind. One girl came over and said, drop seven days. And I was like, nah, she goes, please, it's my favorite song. And I was like, and I looked, I was like, maybe I might do a verse, just one, one, no, just the first. And it started me, the idea of putting a couple of my songs in. And then we started to record the set, I started to record the set and put on sound clouds so people could listen to it after, 'cause people were like, oh, where can I get? I'd love to listen to it back to that set. Or we did sing Happy Birthday to someone, and it was a moment that they wanted to hear again, and no one caught it. And I was like, well, let me capture this now. And that was actually where it flipped back into Bix tape land, that I then got, my manager took it into Kiss. Kiss originally, we're like, we can air this, put it out as a show. And then it went onto capital, capital edit as well, capital extra. So all of a sudden it was like, it's gone from a house party to a thing. And then we did a couple of early shows, one, two shows in Hackney, to see if this house party would translate into an actual thing. And when I saw people going off in the same way, I thought, wow, this isn't just a Miami thing, it's not just in my house, it's actually people connecting with it. And since then, I guess, Glastonbury was probably the, one of the pinnacle of it, because you're there in front of a crowd who are there for a myriad of different artists. And you're there performing a band set and then go into a DJ set and to see it going off. I was like, this is my people from Miami who were early doors. When we first did that party, which was like nine of us, just messing about having a couple of shots with playing off iTunes. - To Glastonbury. - To Glastonbury, they were so crazy. So it's just, it's always there, the pieces are always there, but time, sometimes you just need to have time and patience in this. - It's so interesting looking at your story as like an outsider and watching that journey of you being this like huge mega star, then the downside of the rollercoaster, did you describe it? And then watching you over the last like five, six, seven, eight years, come back out with, as almost like this completely new character, but with a proposition that's as resonant as what you used to do, a very, very different proposition. But you like, again, from my like, not really paying attention to what's going on in the world, because I'm not really that inter-pop culture, you know, I used to listen to you on my Walkman, and then there was a gap. And then you're back in again, where everyone's talking about Craig David again, but for a completely different proposition, it appears to be a completely different proposition. That's not common or easy. The question I actually have for you is, because it's a rollercoaster, your mind goes on the rollercoaster as well.
Your mental health journey (01:13:58)
And this kind of brings me into the topic of mental health. - Yeah. - Be honest with me, what was the mental health journey throughout that whole period of time? Do you know where I sit in, if there was a long period of time, I guess those words of man up or, or just roll with it, just man up is the most amount of nonsense that I've ever had, 'cause it's that in and of itself, is what's caused the crazy suicide rates that we see, especially in men, and the way in which it's spiraling out of control, 'cause it's like keep it inside, repress it, put it under the carpet, don't talk about it, that's what we do. That very alpha way, and thankfully, and this is a goes back to my parents, my grandma and my mom in particular, it was all about open conversation and speaking and have open conversation and be able to get it out and have a conversation. And I think that there was periods where I just, I rode through it, and I think Miami was kind of just, was a break from a lot of things, and me being out there and being a different climate, a different culture, enjoying those things, but that still wasn't fulfilling what I was really looking for. What I really wanted was connection and relationship in a way that I experienced, almost in those kind of early doors before the first album, and when it hit. So the rollercoaster ride is, you find character in your lows, 100%, you ask the real question, do you really wanna do this? Are you really about this? And I am a musician through and through, and I love it, but the depression is real. Mental health in the multitude and myriad of different ways that I can come about is real. And it's something that, you can only, half the battle I've always spoken about, that it's been able to express that to someone you can provide. And even if it's not something you can provide it, in a phone line that you can pick up and just speak to someone you don't know, maybe in some ways that can be even better. You can just go out and go out of my chest and they're giving you, they're hearing you, they see. But that's only half the battle. The rest is then a journey of, they call it a more spiritual circle, the dark night of the soul of going through into a place where you're gonna uncover everything that was put under that carpet, having to bring it to the light and having to bring it up and work through it to find a place where you pull the carpet when all the dust goes up everywhere. And then you start to see where it lands, you start to say, "Okay, this was a story that I was telling myself. "The things I was defining myself of my self-worth "through how I looked and the approval of others. "This is authority figures, "feeling like they had something over me. "The power I had when I was the entrepreneur "selling chocolates and making the songs." That's really you, who I've always been. But I had the band and you used that earlier, the band and yourself, when that starts to happen, you could spiral out of control. And I had injuries and physical injuries through all the training and stuff that I did as well. That spiraled me into different depths of depression where I was just like, "Whoa, I've never experienced this." When things happen that you've never, they're cumulatively built up, but then there's something that breaks it, that snaps it. And at that point, it just feels like, "Whoa, and you're trying to, you're on free fall." That's the feeling I feel with depression. I've experienced that I know how it is. And I haven't really been as vocal, I guess as today about that. And I feel it's necessary because it's, and I wanna be the one who's telling the story. I wanna be so authentic and I wanna open up. Like you said, you spoke about things that, you needed to get off your chest and let people know the other side of all this. Because in that is where all the beauty and empathy really is and people can connect and they say, "Oh, what?" So you went through that. Ah, so it isn't this thing that only me. And all of a sudden we're all connected and I'm thinking, "Yes." And then I'm inspired by people who kind of wear the heart and the sleeves now. So yeah, I feel like it was a culmination of a lot of those things building up to being in the wrong place, being away from my family, missing, being able to just make music and the way I did, coming back to the UK. And then as soon as I did that, and I felt my first huge hug when I walked in and saw a big nasty, corrupt affair, Mr. Jam storms using the building, Shola Amour, and I did this one extra performance, which was really, I was gonna rock up and vibe, fill me in. And I ended up singing it over, "Where are you now?" The Justin Bieber diplo, Skrillex, instrumental. There was this moment of love I felt, big nasty, giving me a hug for us when I came in wearing his heart and sleep. "Boo, you man's my true, oh my God, great. Boo, you man is my soul." And I'm like, "Whoa." Like really wearing his heart and sleep. And then sing this song, sing "Fill Me In" as a remix vibe over this instrumental. And it went so viral that I'm looking on my phone, I'm seeing Justin Bieber like saying, like, "Whoa, that's amazing. "Now you need to check it 45 minutes in to the show." Then I'm seeing Skrillex on my timeline. I'm seeing diplo on the timeline. I'm just thinking, something's happened here. But it was more than just, it needed me to play my part and get back home and go through that Miami phase of what that was all about. I find it really interesting that that's the phase. So was that Miami phase the first phase in your life where you encountered what you believed to be like depressive symptoms, where you felt into a depression? In the latter stages. Of Miami? Yeah, because I got injured out there. My back went like in my lower back. And I never felt a pain like that in my life. Like I felt aches and pains of training incidents and different things. I've had like anyone who's had like a blowout in the back. But this one in particular was just like, it was a feeling that just wouldn't give up. So my movement patterns went from, you know, you're 100% you're doing the last kind of leg press. And all these, it's dead lifts. And I've got respect for dead lift, amazing move. But when your, if your back goes on one of those, I promise you will, there's a feeling that you have, which is like when your hands are like 240 volts in the wall, that it's just, it's different. It's like, it's a nerve pain, which is not like an ache or like all feels a bit sore. Like you've got doms from doing too many kind of like, some glute work. So when it went, I was like, I never felt anything quite like this. And it made me have to check myself in a whole different way for the fact that every movement I did felt like I was getting that same spasm. So it wasn't just like one spasm. It wasn't like, okay, we've locked up, we're good. At that point, you know where you're at. I've had those before. We all had, I think in our lives, we have a sporadic moment where you have a thing. This was now, it's happening now, it's happening now, it's happening now. Like it was continuous nerve spasm. I was like, it was a spiral for me. It was a point where I had dark thoughts. So I was just like, I can't live my life like this. So I understood really at that point, the first time depression hit me and I couldn't reframe it as being positive. I couldn't say this is put a positive spin on it. There was nothing. So I had the mental thing. So I was getting, I kind of signed up for a good, to be someone who, you have to experience certain things to be able to speak on it. And I get that now. So it's like, okay, well, you've come here to, to on mission to do this, you're gonna have to feel pain physically. You're gonna have to feel heartbreak. You're gonna have to feel anxiety and abandonment of your body. You're gonna have to feel all these things. And then I hope that you get to a point where you get the memo, which I've now fully understood the memo. I don't need to be doing dead lists and I don't need to be training like the way I trained before. I can stay healthy. And more importantly, what people enjoyed from me was music that had never changed. And I realized that from when I came back to London, it was like, people just wanna hear music and they were cool. They were just happy. And this version of me, and I love all the other versions 'cause they all played a part. This isn't a judgment thing. They're like, oh yeah, we always tend to be like, yeah. And now the album comes out. You're like, yeah, it's no good thing. Well, this is the one. No, they all played a part to me sitting here today and being able to break down things and unpack things. And as a man now, to be open enough to say, I know what depression feels like. I speak differently on things now. And the more I can open up and speak on the pain that I felt. And that back thing ran for years. It was like a couple of years, three years, I was like, I didn't even say the day I put my hands up. I'm still working out, do we decide you, do we not? Do we, it's dialed down incredibly. But it was a defining moment. It was pivotal to me. And it just was like, whoa. Like I said, depression, you'll have dark thoughts. Dark thoughts. You're just not having thoughts. So you're like, if this pain continuously goes on like this, then I can't, it sounds crazy for me because I'm like, obviously you're the nicest guy and you're so positive and you're like happy with it. But I was like, I just can't live like this. So you start not thinking about ways that you would say, take your life or to dip out. But you start having thoughts of something has to happen. Like this pain is intolerable. I can't even style it out. There's nothing for it. And I think that that, when it started to dial down and we've done it from injections and all different kinds of things, conservatively and strengthening the, the, the, the multifidists and the parasitinals and the flutes. I know my body so well now, it got me back into my body more importantly. I started to understand the mechanics of how my body works and every listen to things. You know, you get a little ache and a pain or you get a little thing. Tell, tell, sign that 10 years ago, you got a blowout and then it blows out again. And you didn't listen, you keep going. All it does is just amps up the sound till you get the one, you got the memo now. Okay, cool. Now you've got the memo. That's how the universe works. So I'm really in tune with my body. When it starts telling me stuff, I'm like, I need to check for this early. Because I don't want that five year thing and the thing's going to let me know the hard way. - All right, man. - It's dialed down. Thank God. But all part of the plan, because it's put me in a place where I can physically go out there and do my shows like I love. I can go out there and perform like I love. I don't need to be putting the extra work in in a gym to satisfy anything that's I can go swimming. I can move my body. - And I can, the things I can dial it up and we can get, whatever would we look for, but who is it for? It's not for anyone anymore, I don't need that.
Being back and in a better place (01:24:59)
- But you are back. You're back in the UK now? - Back in the UK. - Back in the UK. And you said this quote, you said to a lot of people I'm at my destination, I've arrived, I'm back. But no, I'm still on my journey. And I'm not taking my foot off the gas. Now that phrase foot on the gas, right? It kind of sounds, it has hints of a former Craig. - Yeah, when you even said foot off the gas, yeah? I don't know what day I was saying that or what I was - Did you mean it? - Yeah. When you said it to me then, I knew exactly as you were gonna say that was this foot on the gas thing. 'Cause that would suggest that your headstrong, running to it. - Running for some. - Yeah, yeah, yeah. - I get the sentiment, but then also the phrase that terminology is a little bit troubling, right? - Yeah, yeah. It's like we're not taking the foot off the gas. Just relaxed for the savior petrol. Just calm the city. - No, yeah. - Stay, sometimes staying still with the enough. It's actually the one. I recognize when I stay still and the world moves, it's like wow. - Pandemic. - That I've got to say had for everything and the pain it caused and the people who lost their lives and families that were suffering so deeply and still are. When you look at just how it was a pause on the whole world and it just had people recognizing that when they had to relinquish control, 'cause they got to a point where I can't control this. So, okay, break open the monopoly board. Let's have a gain then. All of a sudden, back into kid, back into the child again, the child was seen, play started to happen. And as much as like, we all like to say that we need to be, the thing of doing, doing, doing, but sometimes doing nothing. Don't think that the world isn't working for you behind the scenes, yeah, when you're doing nothing, like having a good night's sleep, resting. Trust me, for all the working out in the gym and all those kind of things, the rest was the actual thing where all the growth happened. So why would that be no different for the way that we are when, let me sleep on this. Let me slow down and, man, it's a blessing to see someone who has inspired and conscious as you putting it out there and allowing people like myself to come through, speak our truth, have people have a platform to speak and feel open and not feel like they're boxed in, having to kind of, got the media training here to be there to open out. Because that's what we need. We've done that. The old patriarchal system is crashing down. It's not working anymore. No one wants to divide and conquer. In fact, it ain't gonna work. We want love, we want a heart-based relationship. So... - That failed us, right? We tried that and it failed us. - It failed, it failed deeply, man. - Yeah, it really did. And as we look forward, you've got this album coming out, which I'm really excited about, called "22." And it's coming out on the 24th of June this year. Talk to me throughout this, it's been 22 years as well since you, your first album. - First album, yeah. - So 22 years later, your album "22" comes out. What can I expect from this? What is the inspiration? What is the art, the creativity, the pain? What is the, what is it? - Okay, so we know born to do it was, was the most my baby, it broke out, everything for me, it was the moment where, everything I built up until that point, it was me getting the golden ticket. Let's say it's the golden ticket, we're entering into the Chocolate Factory now, excited, but not the ending, right? Then I had to go through life a little, and now I'm landing at this place in my life where, and during the pandemic gave me a lot of time to write a lot of songs, got a studio at home, so I was just, I was writing a lot of songs and I had no rush, it felt like, how I was when I made my first album. If I wanted to do a verse today, call, if not, I'm gonna go downstairs to the kitchen and maybe I'll throw on a movie, and maybe I'll come back up. I was grateful that I had that, then privileged to be able to do that, and to make home as productive as if I wanted it to be, or as relaxed as I want it to be, it feels like it has all the feels, it feels like it has all the feels, of my first album, "I Want to Do It", I feel like the kid again. And I keep using the word feel, because I think that's the most important, that's the only thing I can really gauge, how am I feeling? I've got big sub-speaker in my home in London. - Again. - Same thing. Literally, I got to, I literally just patterned the same thing with a couple of blue lights, the big, little bit, I was there, 2.0 version of the same, but same big speaker, I can play it loud, I've had people come over and I've said, "You need to understand what bass is, like really?" 'Cause they think they know what bass is, you got a lot of the Sonos system, it's all cool, got a couple subs, no, no, no, no, listen to this, and you get that. What is this different? So, I feel like I've got the R&B on there, I've got the garage on there, I've got songs that I feel that we've, a beautiful journey of where I'm at now, I feel I'm speaking on things that, it's coming from a place where I can still have the lingo and the languaging that doesn't set you off as being like, or you were like in the 2000s and your, no one says that anymore, no one's saying tipsy in the club anymore, no one's even really saying it and wavy anymore, that's sort of like a bit, a couple years back, don't mean it's what's the need to be. So, working with young artists, working with young fresh songwriters, they'll give me languaging that allows me to get my messaging across, but in a way that it can get the most broadest kind of reach, I just feel like we've, yeah, I don't wanna gas it because it feels like, yeah, it feels like, yeah, it feels like, just, it feels really true to where I'm at right now and I've got, I listened to it and I'm excited to listen back to this album. And as I have done since really the following my intuition album, since I came back 2016, did that one, time is now, and this one, but this one feels like with that, I'm a journeyman, that's the cover album cover is me on a journey and I feel like that journeyman of just 22 years in now. And as I said, to the Woody Wonka element, I feel like Charlie, who's now going through the test, he got a little caught up, which if you clock it, it was his grandpa who kind of got him to take that fizzy lifting drink and he started to go up into the thing, it wasn't really Charlie, he was calm, he was actually being the good one, of course, it was his granddad that kind of grown, right? To get to the end where they're everlasting Godstopper part, where he has a choice to sell himself out, go sell it for 50,000 pounds, I think, to the competitor, chocolate maker of Slugworth, or does he go back and put it back on Woody Wonka's desk? And do the right thing, knowing he's going away with nothing. I feel like I'm at that place where I'm in, I've created an album and I'm willing to trade in all of the things that I, up until this point, this pretense that maybe I had behind the scene that people didn't, I've, there's always getting 80% of me, but there was a 20% and that's enough, or 10% of me that's not, it's enough, it's like the princess and the pea, trust me, it's underneath there and it will keep getting you, it's like the thorn in the foot, it's like it doesn't have to be big, it's not some big drama, but it's getting you, right? I wanna pull the thorn out, I wanna find the pea, all right, I wanna say, I wanna sleep on my night in my mattress, where I'm not feeling slightly uncomfortable 'cause I know there's something underneath there, there's a needle in the haystack, and I know it's in there, yeah, we gotta find it. I'm at that stage where I'm dropping this album, that I feel I've put the last thing Godstopper back, and I have no idea if Woody Wonka's gonna turn around and say, "Charlie, you did it, I knew you did it, "I had to test you, I had to test you." It's like, what, what, the chocolate, no, more than the chocolate, what is it? You've got the whole chocolate factory, you've got the whole chocolate factory and his family can move in and everyone can be part of it, and that's how I'm feeling now, everyone can be part of this. This is different now, so I'm excited, man. - Oh, I'm excited. And you know, I was excited before, but hearing your description of it and feeling your energy about where this is coming from and it's coming from that place of like, your intuition, your wisdom and your maturity, and over those 22 years, all of that unbelievable, twisting journey that you've been on to create a record now, which sort of collects all of that wisdom and all of that emotion and truth and pain and experience is really something to be excited about as a Craig David fan. So thank you for giving us another project. I've not heard it yet. They wouldn't let me hear it, but I can't. - Oh, you know what, on the real, not just that, 'cause I always feel like these moments have always more than, like you've done your moment together, but I just feel there's a friendship building here anyway. - No, I've been there. - I'll walk out and I'll play the album, we'll get some food and we'll vibe, so it's calm. You'll be well ahead of the game. - No, do you know, from the minute you walked in the door, I felt like I'd known you a long time, and that's a credit to you, 'cause I meet a lot of people here, right? So sometimes people come in and maybe they're a little bit colder and like that, you know, there's a lot of things going on in their lives which I'm unaware of, so I've got to have empathy for that. But the minute you walked in through the door, it was like you and my brother. And it was like we'd known each other for the next time. And that's, honestly, it's a credit to you. So thank you, thank you so much for your time.
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The last guests question (01:33:59)
We have a closing tradition on this podcast, which is the previous guest writes, and the next guest, a question. - Nice. - So I'm good. And I don't get to see what it is until I open the book. - Nice, nice. - So the previous, and this is a very good one, in fact, very fitting, the previous guest wrote, "If you could whisper in the ear of your 14-year-old self, what would you whisper?" "Oh, that's nice, good. That's good, that's good." Listen, Craig. I know it's about freaking you out 'cause you're hearing a voice in your ear right now, but trust me, I'm a little older version of you. And everything you're about to do right now is gonna change your life in the most beautiful way. And I want you just to enjoy every moment. And know that there will be times that will be quite hard, but know that I'm here, know that I'm always there holding your hand along the way. And I promise you that once you get through them, the feeling you will have will be like the euphoria you are just about to experience in a couple of years' time. So get ready and trust me, the crowd are gonna go off when they hear something soon, okay? Love to you, my man. - Oh. It was like a prayer. Thank you so much, Craig, God bless you. - My pleasure. - Thank you, honestly. It's a huge honor. And your vulnerability and openness, you don't know. You won't ever get to see the impact it has. I probably will. I'll get the comments and the messages and you will as well. But the impact of you being self-aware enough and man enough to be vulnerable, I think is really something which I applaud you for because you just don't, you know, the impact you're gonna have on a lot of young men specifically is profound and yeah, long lasting. So thank you, - Thank you. - And for you this mutual man, we're genuinely appreciate you. - Thank you.