Born to Do It

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Born to Do It
Studio album by Craig David
Released 14 August 2000 (2000-08-14)
Recorded 1999–2000
Length 45:40
Craig David chronology
Born to Do It
Slicker Than Your Average
Singles from Born to Do It
  1. "Fill Me In"
    Released: 3 April 2000
  2. "7 Days"
    Released: 24 July 2000
  3. "Walking Away"
    Released: 31 October 2000
  4. "Rendezvous"
    Released: 19 March 2001

Born to Do It is the debut studio album by English singer Craig David, released in the United Kingdom on 14 August 2000 by Wildstar Records and in the United States later in 2001 by Atlantic Records. Following exposure from his work with British group, David began performing vocals for garage duo Artful Dodger. During this time Wildstar Records became aware of David offering David a development deal before offering David an album contract. The recording for the album began in 1999 before David had acquired a record contract, the recording lasted until 2000 and was composed by David himself and Mark Hill.

The title Born to Do It comes from a quote describing the character Willy Wonka in the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. "Born to Do It" is an 2-step garage and R&B album, backed by electro beats, garage and hip hop. The album's songs contain acoustic guitars and insistent thumps of beats and bass, with lyrics that revolve around themes of romance, the complexities of relationships, and clubbing. Upon release the album was met with rave reviews from music critics and was listed as one of the Greatest Albums Ever by MTV.

Commercially the album was a huge success, eventually selling over eight million copies worldwide, making it one of the biggest albums by a UK R&B artist. The album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart becoming the fastest-selling debut studio album ever by a British male solo act, and eventually being certified six times platinum in the region. The album spawned four singles including the UK number ones "Fill Me In" and "7 Days", and the successful "Walking Away" and "Rendezvous".


David's earliest exposure came when he worked on a B-side to British group Damage's cover of "Wonderful Tonight", he then began performing vocals for a few tracks with garage act Artful Dodger. Wildstar Records first became aware of David when the artist's then manager Paul Widger met the label's co-owner Colin Lester and played some of his music.[1] Lester later told HitQuarters that he was particularly impressed by the first song he heard, "Walking Away".[1] The Wildstar boss was further won over when, on later visiting the artist's home in Southampton, he found that David's tiny bedroom stacked from floor to ceiling with 12" vinyl records, commenting: "That convinced me he was the real deal and not just some kid acting out the part."[1] At that point Lester offered him a development deal with his label. When Lester later heard the song "7 Days", he said he immediately heard a number-one record and promoted the contract to an album deal the same day.[1]


Fraser T Smith served as the album's programmer.

After David and Mark Hill met, Hill enlisted David to feature on the Artful Dodger's debut studio album, Hill found it hard to pay David for his appearances so instead offered him studio time and help with production at a small recording studio in Southampton.[2] The album's recording began in 1999 and lasted through until 2000, Hill took responsibility for the album's production along with David, whilst David wrote the majority of the album's lyrics with co-writing from Hill. Hill stated that because there was no label during this time the pair had more creative freedom when creating the album;

The album was solely produced by David and Hill, whilst the latter also provided backing vocals, engineering and mixing.[3] Ceri Evans also served as one of the album's producers, alongside Wayne Lawes who also provided drum programming, programming, remixing and vocal production, Fraser T Smith also provided programming.[3] A variety of other people were called up during the album's production Dick Beetham helped with the mastering of the album whilst Andy Ward served as of the album's mixing engineers, with Goetz who provided engineering and mixing, Steve Fitzmaurice also provided mixing.[3] Around the time that "Re-Rewind (The Crowd Say Bo Selecta)" began to gain commercial success, the majority of the album was recorded and produced. The last song to be recorded was the album's lead single "Fill Me In".[2] Hill stated he wanted to create a song that contained a garage element in order to bridge the gap between Craig’s project and his previous work with The Artful Dodger. Following the album's recording David acquired a recording contract.[2]


Born to Do It merges smooth-soul over cascades of glistening keyboards, circling guitars, and sophisticated rhythms. The album merges current R&B vocal stylings and U.K. garages beats, creating a "pristine and immaculate" album.[4] Ernest Hardy of Rolling Stone described the album as composed of electro-rouged beats of two-step garage, which Hardy compared to that of Teddy Riley and Timbaland, however Hardy stated the album was also different from Rileys and Timbalands due to the album's ability to strike balance between traditional pop and R&B, using modern production flash as the bridge. The album's music contains acoustic guitars and prominently placed strings, layered just so over the insistent thump of beats and bass, even in the ballads.[5]

Excerpt from "Rewind" by Artful Dodger featuring Craig David, which fused the 2-step rhythm with R&B vocals. This excerpt also demonstrates the prevalent use of samples, such as glass breaking and a backspin.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

The album's lyrical content focusses on themes of romance, the complexities of relationships, and clubbing.[4] The album was noted for a range of lyrical themes from "the kind of sappy fare that lovesick teenagers play for one another late at night over the phone" to more self-conscious songs such as "Booty Man."[5] Davids vocals were described as "creamy" by Ernest Hardy of Rolling Stone who continued to describe his vocals has giving "texture", stating the David sounded like a boy becoming a "smooth" man. Davids vocals were seen as being able to "flutter" over the album's "stuttering beats" and "race ahead of those same beats while still keeping time."[5]

The album opens with "Fill Me In", a garage and R&B song built over plinky keyboards and sticatto strings, that lyrically speaks on a modern-day tale of forbidden love.[6] Tracks six and eight ‘Last Night’ and ‘Time To Party’ both take influence from hip-hop and contain spoken rap-like breakdowns, while relaying on a dance production.[7] "Time To Party" also includes a brief sample of Busta Rhymes's "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See".[6] "Booty Man" features a folky acoustic guitar-driven production that features "overtly cocky lyrics."[6] "Rewind," is a collaboration with two-step band Artful Dodger, the song is a bass-heavy track that features no R&B influences unlike the rest of the album.[6]

Release and promotion[edit]

Born to Do It was released first in the United Kingdom on 14 August 2000 through the independent record label Wildstar Records and was later released in the United States in 2001 via Atlantic Records. In 2007, Wildstar Records and Atlantic Records released the album for digital download.[8] The album was also released in Singapore in a limited edition bonus CD single format, the release featured four remixes including a radio edit, an Ignorants remix, DJ Chunky remix and a Better Day remix.[9] The title Born to Do It comes from a quote describing the character Willy Wonka in the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

The album was promoted with the release of four singles; the first "Fill Me In", was released on 3 April 2000 and became a commercial success debuting at number one on the UK Singles Chart making David the youngest British male to have a number one.[10][11] On 28 December 2009, when BBC Radio 1 presenter Nihal revealed "The Official Top 100 Songs of the Decade", "Fill Me In" was at number 93.[12] The song also saw success internationally peaking at number fifteen in the United States.[13]

The album's second single "7 Days" was released on 24 July 2000, on 30 July 2000, the song debuted at number one the UK Singles Chart after selling more than 100,000 copies in its first week,[14] giving David his second consecutive UK number-one single and spending fifteen weeks inside the UK top seventy five.[10] It became David's only top ten single on the US Billboard Hot 100, where it reached number ten. The song also reached number four in Australia and number six in New Zealand. The album's third single "Walking Away" was released on 31 October 2000, the song fared well on charts and became a huge success in New Zealand where it reached number one and became the number one song of 2001 in the region, combining both sales and airplay.[15]

Commercial performance[edit]

Born to Do it debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, selling 225,320 copies in its first week, in doing so the album became the fastest-selling debut studio album ever by a British male solo act, a record the album still holds.[16] The album has since been listed as the 45th fastest selling album ever.[17] The album went on to be certified 6× Platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for shipments of 1,800,000 copies.[18] The album went on to become the 35th best selling album of the decade in the United Kingdom.[19] It has sold 1,860,000 copies in the UK as of April 2015.[20]

Born to Do It was a huge success worldwide: in Australia, it debuted at number eight on the week of the 24 September 2000, the album went on to peak at number two on the Australian Albums Chart, where it stayed for five weeks. Born to Do It spent 52 weeks (one year) on the chart and was certified four times platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association for shipments of 280,000 copies.[21][22] The album saw similar success in New Zealand where it also peaked at number two on the charts and spent a total of 51 weeks before eventually being certified platinum.[23]

Prior to the album's US release, it had sold 3.5 million copies worldwide.[24] Born to Do It peaked at number eleven on the US Billboard 200 and spent 62 weeks on the chart, and was eventually certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipments of one million copies.[25][26] The album was listed as the 156th best selling album on the year in the United States.[27] As well as appearing on the Billboard 200, the album also peaked at number twelve on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.[28] The album has sold 8 million copies worldwide.[29]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[30]
NME 8/10 stars[31]
Robert Christgau (*** honorable mention)[32]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[5]

Born to Do It received critical acclaim from music critics.[33] Davey Boy of Sputnik music described the album as an "excellent debut" continuing to state that David was a "mature 19 year old singer-songwriter whose soulfully smooth voice will result in fans thinking he is singing to them and only them."[7]


David holds the record for the fastest-selling debut studio album ever by a British male solo act.

At the 2001 Brit Awards, the video for the album's second single "7 Days" was nominated for the Award for Best Music Video, but lost out to the video for "Rock DJ" by Robbie Williams.[34][35] Following the album's release, David was nominated for three MOBO Awards, including best newcomer and best album for Born to Do It. David was also nominated for four Brit Awards in 2001, including Best British Album.[24] Born to Do it became the fastest-selling debut studio album ever by a British male solo act, a record the album still holds.[16] The album has since been listed as the forty fifth fastest selling album ever.[17]

With the album's lead single going to number one in the UK, David (at 18 years and 334 days old), became the youngest British male to have a UK number-one single since Jimmy Osmond, and was the youngest solo artist at the time to have his debut single go to number one in the UK. This record has since been surpassed by Gareth Gates, who was 17 years and 255 days old when he debuted at number one with "Unchained Melody" in March 2002.[36] The album would serve as a musical inspiration to producer Rodney Jerkins during his work on Brandy's third studio album, Full Moon, following a gig in London, England months before where he was exposed to the UK garage collaborations between David and Artful Dodger.[37]

Charles Ingram's £32,000 question on the ITV quiz show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? asked him to identify the artist behind the album. Ingram claimed to have never heard of Craig David but went for the answer regardless, correctly answering the question. Ingram was famous for cheating on this question and many others on the show.[38]

In a 2009 poll devised by MTV to find the Greatest Album Ever, MTV viewers voted Born to Do It as their second most favourite, behind Michael Jackson's Thriller.[33]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Craig David and Mark Hill except where noted. 

UK version (2000)[39]
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Fill Me In"     4:16
2. "Can't Be Messing 'Round"   Craig David 3:54
3. "Rendezvous"     4:37
4. "7 Days"  
  • David
  • Mark Hill
  • Darren Hill
5. "Follow Me"     4:01
6. "Last Night"     4:31
7. "Walking Away"     3:24
8. "Time to Party"     4:04
9. "Booty Man"     3:48
10. "Once in a Lifetime"     3:30
11. "You Know What"     3:34
12. "Rewind"     5:32


Credits adapted from AllMusic.[3]


Weekly charts[edit]


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[65] 4× Platinum 280,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[66] Platinum 100,000^
France (SNEP)[67] Platinum 300,000*
Germany (BVMI)[68] Platinum 300,000^
Italy (FIMI)[69] Platinum 100,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[70] Gold 100,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[71] Platinum 80,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[72] 3× Platinum 45,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[73] Platinum 100,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[74] Platinum 50,000^
Sweden (GLF)[75] Platinum 80,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[76] 6× Platinum 1,860,000[20]
United States (RIAA)[77] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Australia 14 August 2000
New Zealand
United Kingdom
United States 17 July 2001


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External links[edit]