British singer Craig David relaunching U.S. career

Mon Jun 2, 2008 8:08pm EDT
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By Gary Graff

DETROIT (Billboard) - Armed with a hot David Bowie sample and a successful overseas track record, British R&B singer Craig David is ready to re-invade America -- and says he's willing to work to make the Yanks care about it.

"I'm going to have to slowly but surely build momentum back in the States," David told He's not necessarily a stranger to the U.S.; his 2000 debut "Born To Do It" went platinum with hits such as "Fill Me In" and "7 Days," while 2002's "Slicker Than Your Average" was certified gold.

But, David said, "It's been a good, like, four years or so that I've been away from America. To come back in and say, 'I'm here! Accept me!,' I'd be fooling myself. America's not waiting for me. It's open with all arms if you're hungry and you go in and make things happen, so I know I've got to work from the grass roots upward."

With his fourth album, "Trust Me" (Warner Bros.) issued in the United States last month after a 2007 release overseas, David is busy trotting around the U.S., visiting radio stations to drum up excitement for the single "Hot Stuff (Let's Dance)," which is built on a Bowie-approved sample from his 1983 hit "Let's Dance." David, who has a second residence in Miami these days, then hopes to return with his band for a concert tour some time this summer.

"You have to split yourself off from the success you may be having elsewhere," said David. "You're playing (London's) Wembley Arena, and the next thing you're in a program director's office playing to that one person acoustically ... while the person's messing around with his sticky notes and talking to people on the phone. But you're hoping that record gets added, which you know can create an incredible ripple and domino effect, so you do what you have to do to make things happen."

And, David added, he's willing to be patient about that process. "I'm young -- I'm only 27 now -- and I've got a new record and I'm excited. If this album just stars the ripple to which I drop a next record, then that's what it's all about. I'm not expecting to just come here and, bang!, Craig David's back. I have to work it hard."


<p>Singer Craig David from Britain performs on a stage during the final of the Elite Model Look competition in Prague, April 21, 2008. REUTERS/Petr Josek</p>