craig david and goldlink teach you how to have a great 2018
Their new Kaytranada-produced single is called Live in the Moment, so we asked them to show us how.
GoldLink, Craig David and Kaytranada have just teamed up on a new track titled Live in the Moment, and, unlike the fridge magnet you got from your office Secret Santa extolling the same advice, this one’s actually good. The earworm of a Kaytranada-produced bop combines Craig’s upbeat vocals with GoldLink’s honey drenched voice, a marriage that makes so much sense it’s hard to believe it hasn’t happened already. Kaytranada’s inimitable production has previously underpinned tracks from Craig and GoldLink, with both appearing on two of the standout tracks from the producer’s 2016 album 99.9% -- GOT IT GOOD and TOGETHER respectively. “With Kaytranada you'll sift through and there are nuggets of gold in the mix of all the songs that he'll send over, and the Live in the Moment instrumental, it stood out. It felt right,” Craig says of the song’s genesis. “It's RnB, but it felt like it was forward-thinking RnB. It had the old-school elements, but still felt fresh.” The addition of GoldLink’s verse was a serendipitous, right place/right time situation: “I never had any plans to do anything,” GoldLink adds, “I just wanted to meet up or whatever. But I heard the song and was like yo, this is incredible. And I was like yo, I would love to jump on it. Made on the spot and everything.” We’re lucky it actually happened at all. “We don't work on the same schedules -- like I work on holidays, and people have festivals, or we have press days, things like that,” he says. “So for this to work out was rare.”
Another rarity? An artist like Craig -- who’s been churning out tunes since the start of the century -- to maintain an impressive relevance and output. And not just courtesy of our unquenchable thirst for nostalgia, which sees us throwing caution to the wind and hazarding a listen to a new Robbie Williams’ track. Conversely, Craig’s new music has genuine legs, a credit to his ability to stay plugged in to the current music landscape. This manifested itself in a decent line up of collaborators on his 2016 comeback album Following My Intuition (including Big Narstie, Sigala and Blonde), an approach he’s reprised for his upcoming record The Time Is Now, out 26 January. As well as GoldLink and Kaytranada, there’s the grime upstart AJ Tracey and promising young pop ingenue Ella Mai. “To be honest I attribute the success that's happened more recently to that,” he says of his desire “to lean in and work with the new up and coming artists and producers.” Which might just be the key to avoiding the cringeworthy comebacks of yesteryear’s pop heros rehashing their glory days. Not that we can’t indulge in the classics: “It's ok that you can say to me, I love Fill Me In and Seven Days. It can be sort of past tense.”
But while bopping down memory lane with Rewind blasting through our walkman is a good time, we’re not here for past tense. We’re here for following the profound wisdom of Craig, GoldLink and Kaytranada -- we’re here to Live In the Moment. But it’s hard -- it’s focusing on the task at hand, it’s downloading Headspace and actually doing it, it’s chewing slowly. Which is why we sat down with GoldLink and Craig David to get their hot take on good habits. So, with no further preamble from someone who’s still trying to figure out how to do their tax-return, here’s the pair on how to have a great 2018.
1. Slow down, take stock, you’re doing amazing sweetie
Craig: What I've learnt over the 17 years that I've been doing this for now, is that there's a point at which -- when you achieve a lot of things along the way -- you need to slow down and appreciate what you have. Because you realise that the goal posts continuously keep on shifting. And if you never realise that, you're always chasing something -- and when you get it, you dismiss it and you're on to the next. So I slowed things down. And that's why everything is just so much more fun now.
GoldLink: Oh, just copy and paste exactly what he said.
2. It’s ok to take a backseat for a bit
GoldLink: I’m very self-aware. To piggyback off what [Craig]’s saying, I'm kind of the opposite... I'm a younger artist, I haven't done anything for that long, so for me I'm always thinking about the next thing, and the next thing. So I try to find balance in my career and try to put myself in the passenger seat and the backseat sometimes, because when you're always driving it's really hard to look at how far you've come. So for me it's just remaining self-aware.
3. Take note of Craig David’s last album Following My Intuition and follow your intuition
Craig: The reason I chose that title was because when I was that kid, in a council estate in Southampton, my friends were calling up to my flat saying ‘Let's go out clubbing! Let's go out raving!’ and I was like no, I need to finish this song. And 9 times out of 10 I'd hold back. I didn't know what intuition was when I was a kid, I just knew there was something pulling me, saying ‘Finish this song, finish this song.’ And those songs became Rewind, Fill Me In, Seven Days, Walking Away, Born to Do It -- an album that changed my whole life. So for anyone who's on the come up, who intuitively is doing their thing but feels kind of against it -- stick in there. Follow your intuition. Because trust me, someday you're going to look back and be like, I'm so glad I did that, and didn't falter from the course.
4. Hone your craft, not your Instagram profile
GoldLink: The best thing I could tell somebody is what Rick Rubin told me after the first album -- because you have that sophomore slump where you're scared of what's gonna happen next. And that's when he was really hands on. The thing about Rick was that he wasn't really hands on with the music, he was just hands on with me as an artist in my career. He said -- if you just create the best art that you can possibly make, everything else will fall into place. And I didn't understand what that meant -- I was just like, 'Ok whatever, I don't really understand what that means but I'll just do that.' So I focused on the music, and when you look up you're like, oh, Grammy nominated, platinum number one. So I think that's the best thing to do, just make the best art you possibly can and everything else will just fall into place.
5. We repeat, try not to get too distracted by Instagram
GoldLink: The music is what got me here, that's what people resonate with, that's what they like, that's what they're there for. How I look, how I dress, that's cool -- those are like toppings on a cake. But I always remember what got me here.
6. Yes actually, you’re allowed to be proud of your own work
GoldLink: It's like landing a skate trick. When you have an idea, you do it and lay it down, you hear it back and you're like -- yes. That's the fulfilment.
Craig: When a tune really resonates with me, I've gone home and wanted to play it to myself. Listening back I'm like, if it resonates in my soul hopefully it'll be the same mirror effect when you play it back. The big songs I've had in my career I've had that. I played Rewind on repeat -- my block of flats knew about that song, my whole council estate knew about that song. That bassline.
7. When the news makes you want to curl under your covers with two bottles of Baileys and a kitten, turn up the speakers
Craig: I personally use music as my way of allowing people to have a moment where they can step away from everything that's going on in the world. Because they can get this release. My new album is so positive and uplifting, like with Live in the Moment -- put your troubles to the side and just be in this. Otherwise you can get lost in that, and you can get to a very fearful frequency. Whereas with music, just go into that place. It heals in ways that speaks louder than words.
8. And if you have trouble finding the right pick me up, try these:
GoldLink: Chief Keef I Don't Like. Gets me right back to where I need to be.
Craig: A little bit of a curveball but I'm gonna go with Show Me Love by Robyn S. When that 'dun dunity dun dun dun’ bit comes in, you're back. Everything's all good.