Born to Do It
|Born to Do It|
|Studio album by Craig David|
|Released||14 August 2000|
|Genre||2 Step, R&B|
|Producer||Craig David, Mark Hill|
|Craig David chronology|
|Singles from Born to Do It|
Born to Do It is the debut studio album by English R&B recording artist Craig David. It was released in the United Kingdom on 14 August 2000 via Wildstar Records and in the United States in 2001 via Atlantic Records. Following exposure from his work with British group, David began performing vocals for garage act 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 R&B, 2-step garage and soul album, backed by electro beats, garage and traditional pop. 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 commercial 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 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. Lester later told HitQuarters that he was particularly impressed by the first song he heard, "Walking Away". 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." 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.
After David and Mark Hill met, Hill enlisted David to feature on the Artful Dodger's debut 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. The albums recording began in 1999 and lasted through until 2000, Hill took responsibility for the albums production along with David, whilst David wrote the majority of the albums 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;
|“||When we started writing Born To Do It, there were no labels involved or managers or anything. We’d written the majority of the album before any of us was signed, so it was very much an organic process and it was just the two of us working on it without anyone. I remember when we were taking demos around the industry trying to get a deal, we had ‘7 Days,’ ‘Walking Away,’ ‘Time To Party’ and others and those ended up being the final versions of the album.||”|
The album was solely produced by David and Hill, whilst the latter also provided backing vocals, engineering and mixing. Ceri Evans also served as one of the albums producers, alongside Wayne Lawes who also provided drum programming, programming, remixing and vocal production, Fraser T. Smith also provided programming. A variety of other people were called up during the albums production Dick Beetham helped with the Mastering of the album whilst Andy Ward served as of the albums mixing engineers, with Goetz who provided engineering and mixing, Steve Fitzmaurice also provided mixing. 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 albums lead single "Fill Me In". 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 albums recording David acquired a recording contract.
"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. Ernest Hardy of "Rolling Stone Magazine" described the album as composed of electro-rouged beats of two-step (UK 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 albums ability to strike balance between traditional pop and R&B, using modern production flash as the bridge. The albums music contains acoustic guitars and prominently placed strings, layered just so over the insistent thump of beats and bass, even in the ballads.
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.
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The albums lyrical content focusses on themes of romance, the complexities of relationships, and clubbing. 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." Davids vocals were described as "creamy" by Ernest Hardy of "Rolling Stone Magazine" 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 albums "stuttering beats" and "race ahead of those same beats while still keeping time."
The album opens with Fill Me In a garange and R&B song built over plinky keyboards and sticatto strings, that lyrically speaks on a modern-day tale of forbidden love. 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. "Time To Party" also includes a brief sample of Busta Rhymes's "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See". "Booty Man" features a folky acoustic guitar-driven production that features "overtly cocky lyrics." "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.
Release and promotion
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 an Atlantic records released the album for digital download. The album was also released in Singapore in a limited edition bonus CD single format, the release featured four remixes including a radio edit, a Ignorants remix, DJ Chunky remix and a Better Day remix. 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 April 3, 2000 and became a commercial success debuting at number one on the UK Singles charts making David the youngest British male to have a number one. 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. The song also saw success internationally peaking at number fifteen in the United States.
The albums 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, giving David his second consecutive UK number-one single and spending fifteen weeks inside the UK top seventy five. 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 albums 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.
"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 album ever by a British male solo act, a record the album still holds. The album has since been listed as the forty fifth fastest selling album ever. The album went on to be certified six time platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for shipments of 1,800,000 copies. The album went on to become the thirty fifth best selling album of the decade in the United Kingdom.
The album was a success worldwide in Australia the album debuted at number eight on the week of the 24 September 2000, the album went on to peak at number two on the Australian album charts where it stayed for five weeks. "Born to Do It" spent fifty two weeks (one year) on the chart and was certified four times platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association for shipments of 280,000 copies. The album saw similar success in New Zealand where it also peaked at number two on the charts and spent a total of fifty one weeks before eventually being certified platinum.
Prior to the albums US release "Born to Do it" had sold 3.5 million copies worldwide. "Born to Do It" peaked at number eleven on the US Billboard 200 and spent sixty two weeks on the chart, and was eventually certified platinum by platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipments of one million copies. The album was listed as the one hundred and sixty fifth best selling album on the year in the United States. As well as appearing on the Billboard 200 the album also peaked at number twelve on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. The album has sold seven million copies worldwide.
Born to Do It received critical acclaim from music critics. 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."
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. At the 2001 BRIT Awards, the video for the albums 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. Following the albums release David was nominated for three MOBO Awards including best newcomer and best album for Born to Do It and was nominated for four Brit Awards in 2001 including Best British Album. "Born to Do it" became the fastest-selling debut album ever by a British male solo act, a record the album still holds. The album has since been listed as the forty fifth fastest selling album ever.
With the albums 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 Craig Douglas (who hit the summit with "Only Sixteen" in September 1959), as well as the youngest solo artist at the time to have his debut single go to number one in the UK. Both records have since surpassed by Gareth Gates, who was 17 years and 255 days when he debuted at number one with "Unchained Melody" in March 2002. Craig David was the correct answer to the £32,000 question in Charles Ingram's game of the ITV quiz show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, recorded on 10 September 2001.
|UK version (2000)|
|1.||"Fill Me In"||4:16|
|2.||"Can't Be Messing 'Round"||Craig David||3:54|
|4.||"7 Days"||Craig David, Mark Hill, & Darren Hill||3:55|
|8.||"Time to Party"||4:04|
|10.||"Once in a Lifetime"||3:30|
|11.||"You Know What"||3:34|
|US version (2001)|
|1.||"Fill Me In"||4:16|
|2.||"Can't Be Messing 'Round"||Craig David||3:54|
|4.||"7 Days"||Craig David, Mark Hill, & Darren Hill||3:55|
|6.||"Key to My Heart"||Craig David & Jeremy Paul||4:13|
|7.||"Fill Me In (Part 2)"||4:12|
|10.||"Time to Party"||4:04|
|12.||"Once in a Lifetime"||3:30|
|13.||"You Know What"||3:34|
|Singapore limited edition bonus CD single|
|1.||"Walking Away" (radio edit)|
|2.||"Walking Away" (Ignorants Remix)|
|3.||"Walking Away" (DJ Chunky Remix)|
|4.||"Treats" (Better Day Remix)|
|Australia (ARIA)||4× Platinum||280,000^|
|Canada (Music Canada)||Platinum||100,000^|
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||Platinum||15,000^|
|Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)||Platinum||50,000x|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||6× Platinum||1,800,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
|Australia||14 August 2000||CD, vinyl||Atlantic|
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