As a 19-year-old, Craig David lived with his mum in a small Southampton flat and worked at McDonald's.
He dreamt of a life gardening, inspired by his grandma.
“To have a little garden space like that my grandma had...I was like ‘wow that’d be really living the dream’ to have my own little garden. Whenever I used to go around to see her, I’d see her nurturing the roses, picking out some fresh apple off the tree for me, that was for me the height of success,” he told Jim Mora.
In the evenings when his mates went out on the town David would stay in, crafting his music.
Those nights gave birth to songs like Walking Away and the song that would become his debut single, Fill Me In.
Fill Me In shot to the top of the charts in 2000 and David became one of the biggest singers of the early 2000s.
“All of my dreams were fulfilled in such a short time that I would never change any of that, it was the most amazing jump on the surfboard and ride the wave.”
This year he’s releasing his first book What's Your Vibe? and a new album 22, to celebrate his 22 years making music
David remains at the helm of his own unique, authentically British sound - a sound that’s made waves across the globe, making him the voice of one of the most pivotal eras in UK music, and in turn, making him one of the most successful artists in UK chart history.
His first album Born to Do it was named by an MTV UK audience as the second-best album ever, beaten only by Michael Jackson’s thriller.
David says its title came from perhaps the most unexpected of places - Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
“Where the little boy runs into the candy shop and he says to the candy man ‘how does he do it?’ and the candy man says, ‘well my dear boy, do you ask a fish how it swims?’ and the boy says no, he goes ‘do you ask a bird how it flies?’, the boy says no. He says ‘no siree you don’t, they do it because they were born to do it’.
“And I was like, that’s the title I need for the album!”
It’s a movie that continues to score his career, he says.
“I kind of thought oh my gosh, maybe I’m part of all these different characters and a bit like The Wizard of Oz where they’re all these different facets of Dorothy.”
David says he’s keen to live life fully and is conscious of how he is in the world.
“I kind of feel like by having that kind of zest for life you can leave this place saying, you know what, I made a difference in people’s lives.
“That’s what I called the book What’s your Vibe?, because you can only leave a vibration, a feeling with people, when we leave this place so I'm leaving it with music and just the way I am as a human being.”