Craig David has told Music Week that his bond with Colin Lester goes “beyond manager and artist”.
Speaking ahead of the release of his seventh album The Time Is Now later this month, the million-selling singer said Lester, his manager of 17 years, has “accepted me into his family”.
David and Lester appear on the cover of Music Week’s first issue of 2018, out now, and discuss their enduring relationship, the singer’s comeback and their plans for further success.
On the possibility of their partnership ever coming to an end David said: “Me and Colin are soul mates. I love him as a family member, so that question is completely redundant.”
“There’s not an artist/manager relationship anymore,” he continued. “You talk about the darker times to how it’s played out, you look back and think, ‘Were they dark times?’ On paper [yes], but they were necessary, those things have put you in a position you wouldn’t have been in. It’s a blessing.”
Addressing the same question, Lester echoed his artist’s sentiments. “If I fell out of love with the job I do, I would still manage Craig, assuming he wants me to,” he said. “Craig’s family to me. It’s always been that way, it’s personal. Obviously it’s a business and I’m commercial, but Craig is family, I never think in terms of how long will I continue being the manager. I’ve got no plans to ever stop managing Craig.”
The pair also looked back to the initial stages of their time together, when Lester signed David to Wildstar Records around the turn of the millennium. Other labels including Sony and BMG were also interested but, David told Music Week, there was only ever going to be one outcome.
Obviously, it’s a business and I’m commercial, but Craig is family… I’ve got no plans to ever stop managing Craig
“The way Colin spoke to me resonated from a different place than a lot of the people I was meeting,” he said. “Colin was speaking about a career, and allowing me to be creative, whereas Sony and BMG weren’t quite sure what to do. Colin was the only person to have a deal on the table. He came down to Southampton and met my mum and grandma, and he was like, ‘I can’t guarantee success all the time but I promise that I will protect him.’”