?I?m not the guy who was creeping around with the girl from next door in Fill Me In,? says Craig David. ?I?m not that same teenager. I?ve just grown up a few more years.?
The confident David takes listeners ?through a journey of the past 18 months? on his sophomore album, Slicker Than Your Average, released last week. He deals with more personal issues on this album than he did on his multi platinum selling debut, Born to Do It.
?It?s been one of those experiences that was important for me to lay on the line and put it all out there, to show that things have changed,? he tells andPOP, over the phone from New York.
David, now 21, was confined to his hotel room for a week after the terrorist attacks on the Unites States on September 11, 2001, which inspired him to write World Filled With Love.
?[I was] thinking, ?I?m actually in this world that?s filled with madness, with this drama that?s going on.? Some of the things we were talking about in music, in the big picture, are so trivial,? he says. ?At the same time, I thought music is a form of escapism, so I used it to write a song hopefully for positive means to say, ?we are in a world that?s filled with love.? It?s just that sometimes, there are so many negative things in front of us, whether it be poverty or famine, things you watch on CNN; sometimes we miss that.?
The title of the album can be looked at in two ways, he says.
?On one hand, it?s coming across like I?m arrogant. I?m saying, ?hey I?m better than what?s out there.? On the other hand, it?s saying I have a lot more composure on the album. I was able to say the things that I wanted to say, musically take you to where I wanted to go and have focus, so I feel I?m kind of trying to push the envelope, and push what?s average and make it something that?s better.?
Included on the album is a duet he recorded with Sting, Rise and Fall. Reports last year indicated David would be teaming up with Justin Timberlake, but things didn?t work out this time around because he was busy working on his own album.
?We?ll definitely make it happen in the near future. I have such a respect for him as a songwriter too. I think we could create something incredible vocally. I really look forward to working with him.?
If David has his way, he would be working with Timberlake a lot sooner, in a different retrospect however. David says he would love to tour with Timberlake and Usher.
?I think that would be really interesting. I?d be definitely open to have conversations about doing something like that. I think it would have to be for the right reasons and in a way that?s not contrived.?
The album was leaked to the internet several weeks in advance of its release. While some artists cringe at the mention of the word ?MP3,? David says it didn?t bother him.
?I was cool with it because it spreads the word. It actually builds an expectation to the actual release of the album.?
When David initially came to North America, his record label requested that David replace his guitar player, Fraser T. Smith. It was suggested that with a black guitarist, it would be easier to break into the urban market. While he understood their perspective on the matter, he refused.
?There is a big image thing when it does come to R&B and hip hop. The principle was that it didn?t matter what creed or colour you are, it?s how talented you are. And I just felt that Fraser is a great player.?
Besides Jennifer Lopez (who reportedly used to make out with then-husband Cris Judd to Born to Do It), David has a fan in President George W. Bush. David heard through his manager that Bush invited him to play at the White House sometime next year.
?It will be very different from playing at [New York?s] Madison Square Garden for a radio show.?