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Jas feels the Miami Heat

CATCHING UP ON OLD TIMES: Jasmine and Craig David

SO I get a request to meet with one of the biggest male acts the UK scene has ever produced – Craig David. I wondered how much he would have changed since I last worked alongside him. We greeted eachother with chit chat, before we got down to the serious stuff. I had to applaud him on the focused train- ing he constantly champions on Twitter. It’s called eat- clean-train-dirty and when I see Craig’s half naked, uber fit, sun streamed pics from Miami I try not to hate, really, I do. But I hate. Explaining how he keeps so trim Craig said:

“When it’s cutting cold outside it’s hard in the UK to main- tain a focus on training. You have to get up early in the morning for inter- views, promotion and the rest. If my mind and body can be stronger I have to win.”

My career journey has mirrored Craig’s over the past couple of decades. I first met him when he won a competition to write a b-side to boy band Damage’s song. Then he became a fast garage star with chart hit after hit and sell out tours all across the world. Next I had a Stay In Your Lane moment with my MTV USA colleagues as we fought over filming his MTV CRIBS show here in North London- a shoot I had set up and nearly had taken away. We cer- tainly have history!

He’s come along way from the days when we first met, so I asked Craig what his career highlight has been so far?

“Aside from making my mum and dad really proud and happy, it’s the accolades like the MTV second greatest album ever after Michael Jackson and landmark moments like that, that have stood out for me. I’ve learnt to not live in the past. I’m not the kid that made Born To Do It. The essence of writing songs excites me but I don’t like to reference my old material anymore. If you want that iTunes 99p is you. Music stars get into a routine, they make the album, do the press, do the tours and start the cycle everywhere and there’s no free time. But I wanted to break the routine and live life and now come back into it.”

I know Craig is generous and giving - he once bought his manager Colin Lester an Aston Martin. He likes the good life! I teased Craig about his Instagram photos of his sports car outside his crib that just looked like a fantasy life. He smiled; “Do you know what Jas; I bought my dream car recently, a Ferrari. When I was in Miami at this steakhouse and after dinner I left and jumped into the car and it wouldn’t start. I started to get stressed about people seeing me unable to start the car and then I sat back and I thought I am here in Miami, in my dream car, what’s the worst-case scenario here? It’s one night of partying you’re missing compared to hundreds more nights in your life, so I embraced the sitting back and enjoying the moment.”

Craig’s new album is imminent. He’s been in the studio a while and the new material is tentatively titled Following My Intuition. The really intriguing thing about his new music is that Craig has reconnected with his old music midas touch making partner, Anthony Marshall (who used to be a part of the UK music producers Ignorants) at Snap Studios. Craig explained the link up “My manager Colin saw Marshall in a club and Marshall played him some new stuff and Colin suggested we con- nect again.”

Craig and Marshall have all the equipment and necessities you’d expect in a music studio; keyboards, tracks, mics, a grand piano where they try out all their songs and... immense amounts of chicken from Mr Cee’s Caribbean food shop in North London! There is one thing that Craig doesn’t like in the studio though ‘’We have Fifa competitions and the loser has to eat chocolate as punishment.... Marshall knows with my training and attention to healthy eating that eating vast amounts of chocolates like BOUNTY would kill me mentally , so I’d be sitting there sweating during Fifa dreading the calories I was amount to have to take in!”

Fun and games aside, I for one am ecstatic that he and Marshall are making music together again becuase I hated when Craig went all American with his production teams a couple of albums in. after all, why change an already great, award winning, no1 hitting formula?

Really Young music lovers might not re- member this but at one point Craig was one of the UK’s most successful male solo stars of all time and most certainly not recognised as much as he should have been. He has sold over 13 million albums, achieved multi-platinum status in more than 20 countries, amassed numerous awards from around the world but many of us still feel he were snubbed out of a lot of British awards that you more than deserved.

Looking back on that time I can see that he was defi- nitelyhavingthelastlaughliv- ing a very fun, fancy life. The MTV CRIBS show I made with him and my MTV USA crew was a highlight as was Craig on the front cover of Vibe magazine! Craig is back. Get on board or get out of the way cos his second coming is going to be bigger than his debut journey!

Jasmine Dotiwala is a TV producer, director and broadcast journalist. Email her Follow her on Twitter: @jasminedotiwala

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