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Craig, also known as Dr. Nsuku Craig Masonto, is a South African musician who also happens to be a successful dentist. Having always had a keen interest in musical composition, Craig gradually honed his songwriting skills whilst studying in Dental School. Having dealt with mental health issues such as depression, Craig made the decision to channel his emotion through the medium of music; adding an authenticity to his sound that comes from his honest creative channeling. Inspired by the likes of Frank Ocean, James Blake, Matthew And The Atlas, James Vincent McMorrow, Travis Scott and Pusha T, Craig has formed his own unique sound that is a true reflection of his compositional talent.
When did You start singing and what grabbed your attention that you started writing your own music?
I started singing at church… lol, I think it was 2010, trying to get a girl’s attention, didn’t work anyway…
Music… man, I don’t know, we’ve been rapping for so long, I started singing in 2010 but making my own music… I’ve been rapping from the time 50 Cent dropped “Get Rich or Die trying”, trying to be a famous rapper but you know… I was just 13 by the time
What is the good and the bad thing about the music industry in South Africa according to your experiences?
The Good: A lot of people are open to listening to local musicians, there was a time where if a song was not from the states, they wouldn’t listen to it, especially if it is not like house or kwaito, and the other genres… but south Africa is just really welcoming… almost to anything they like, they are not putting any boundaries around their artists, so that’s great.
I don’t know, just feels like it’s difficult to break through a certain ceiling but I think once you get over that, the sky is the limit… but that’s probably how it is throughout the world as well
If there was one thing that you would wish to change in the music industry, what would it be and why?
Umm… It’s almost like, if you have no connections, nobody will really listen to you, or if you don’t have followers, it’s almost like, people have to love you first for you to get other fans, but that’s just probably how the world works, it’s like when you see a hot hun on Instagram and she just has like 20 followers, you like huh… suspicions, then you see a lot of followers, then you like huh, you must be a big deal… I don’t know, but people just follow what others are already following, it’s hard for people to follow you from scratch even if they vibe with your shit
You dropped your EP “Craig” during Lockdown, what challenges have you experienced on that period?
None at all, I was recording in my room, I had a lot of time because I was off work, almost no challenges, it was a smooth breeze.. aah but there was no alcohol… so it was hard sometimes lol… writing sober, but we did it
How is the response from family and friends towards your music Journey?
Man everyone has been really supportive, like every other day, even when I’m not marketing anymore, there’s just someone Sharing, someone be like “hey bra I’m listening to your shit”, or “hey I’m at a party and I just decided to play this music”..
they comment, they share and keep streaming, I mean.. there’s a lot of support there
You used your government name *Craig* as your stage name… what inspired you not to come up with a nick name like other artists do?
I don’t know, I always felt like it’s weird to give yourself your own nickname. If someone gave me a nickname while growing up, I would probably have went with that but nobody ever did, it was only just Nsuku or Craig… I’ve never had a nickname, and what would I have called myself? “Big bad wolf”? Lol… I don’t know, I just always felt weird about naming myself. I did try that but I never actually liked the idea of giving myself a name, just always felt so tacky, so I just went on with it
Most of your songs are about the experiences that you went through, if it was not that, would there be Craig the artist?
Huh… 🤔 Naaah man… lol, well maybe… cos I love music but it wouldn’t be the same, cos all my experiences have led to this exact moment, you know… it might not be a life I love or enjoy, but it’s honest… so everything, good and bad, mostly bad.. but everything has led to this and I can’t do nothing else but to appreciate it
How do you balance your profession as a dentist and your music craft?
Ah… there’s almost no balance.. lol. I’m both, when I’m work I’m singing, when I’m singing I think about work and when I’m singing I still think about work (dentistry) it’s like…
I didn’t need to come with a balance, I just all merged it to one big mess called Craig, like whatever else I have an interest in, I don’t know how to put my life into different segments, I just shuffle it, roll with it and have fun
Few years to come, where will Craig be?
Hopefully not dead?! lol…
But let me try and prophesy, three years to come, would have established my own dental practice, mainly Aesthetics cos I love art, i feel like I wanna improve in the art of dentistry of all kinds but mostly just Aesthetics and cosmetics, just making things beautiful and my music as well, I don’t know how big I will be in the music industry or how influential I will be but I know that I will remain honest to my craft and try to just keep making beautiful work, eventually growing more and more honest through it until it is just natural, I just want to be naturally brilliant in whatever I will be doing in a few years in content with a continuous goals
During your childhood, what funny character were you known for? 😅
Ha ha ha… Superman… I had a superman costume, I cried for it at Edgar’s (polokwane) I remember, I think I even got lost there, I forced my parents to get me a superman costume and I would rock that bitch everyday after school until it was worn out, it was funny, I was a chubby baby, I’m still a chubby man, and I was just like a big belly, big booty superman
Who do you want to send your Shout Outs to?
PsyKick (my brother, my producer, my friend) he’s been there through it all man like… yeah
Shout out to Phil, Shout Out to my baby sister, I love her to the moon and back
Shout Out to all my classmates from varsity, they’ve been amazing… uh you know… always helped me out whenever I sang at school, they just classmates but you know like… mates from varsity, they really did support me still, even at the medical university to just keep pushing and singing and…
Me… I’d like to thank me and Shout out to me, cos… shit lol.. yeah
And you know… all the love to Thusi, still Love you babe ❤️
Below is the Podcast of the whole article
Follow Craig On
Facebook – Craig
Instagram – @craignsuku
Twitter – @CraigNsuku