Armed with a hot David Bowie sample and a successful overseas track record, British R&B singer Craig David is ready to re-invade America -- and says he's willing to work to make the Yanks care about it.
"I'm going to have to slowly but surely build momentum back in the States," David tells Billboard.com. He's not necessarily a stranger to the U.S.; his 2000 debut "Born To Do It" went platinum with hit such as "Fill Me In" and "7 Days," while 2002's "Slicker Than Your Average" was certified gold.
But, David says, "It's been a good, like, four years or so that I've been away from America. To come back in and say, 'I'm here! Accept me!,' I'd be fooling myself. America's not waiting for me. It's open with all arms if you're hungry and you go in and make things happen, so I know I've got to work from the grass roots upward."
With his fourth album, "Trust Me," just out after a 2007 release overseas, David, who has a second residence in Miami these days, is busy trotting around the U.S., visiting radio stations and playing acoustically to drum up excitement for the single "Hot Stuff (Let's Dance)," which is built on a Bowie-approved sample from his 1983 hit "Let's Dance." David then hopes to return with his band for a concert tour some time this summer.
"You have to split yourself off from the success you may be having elsewhere," David notes. "You're playing (London's) Wembley Arena, and the next thing you're in a program director's office playing to that one person acoustically ... while the person's messing around with his sticky notes and talking to people on the phone. But you're hoping that record gets added, which you know can create an incredible ripple and domino effect, so you do what you have to do to make things happen."
And, David adds, he's willing to be patient about that process. "I'm young -- I'm only 27 now -- and I've got a new record and I'm excited," he explains. "If this album just stars the ripple to which I drop a next record, then that's what it's all about. I'm not expecting to just come here and, bang!, Craig David's back. I have to work it hard."