Based:  Johannesburg

Craig Hinds – The next chapter
His wasn’t destined to be an ordinary story. Now comes the next chapter in the evolution of an extraordinary musician.
Craig Hinds knows, perhaps better than anyone else in the country, how to craft a song that gets under the skin, seeps into your soul, and stays with you.
Making unforgettable pop songs is something he’s been doing for 15 years. As songwriter and lead vocalist he’s turned out archetypal performances, making Watershed not only a legendary band, but the number one acoustic rock outfit in the country. He’s penned some of the most memorable pop songs and radio hits of the last decade and a half.
And he’s done that without the skinny jeans, crazy make-up, or crackerjack marketing. For Craig Hinds and Watershed, the journey has been about creating solid music; craftsmanship has been their key, and their measure of success has always been in the songs rather than the band’s image.
A self-taught guitarist who grew up in a musical family, Craig knew from a young age that could sing and he knew he wanted to make music. He was never a poet, though. Nor was he in the school choir. He simply knew that he wanted to create music that would have wide appeal and speak to a big audience. He was raised on a diet of big, well-made songs with great, powerful melodies. His parents instilled in him an appreciation of finely-crafted music, and he was always into epic, lyric-driven bands.
Serendipitous, then, that he would end up leading an epic band of his own, making the kinds of songs that become anthems, blazing up the charts, and entering the collective imagination. Songs that you can sink your teeth into.
When Watershed’s first album went platinum in 2000, it was a pretty tight turnaround from Craig’s early acoustic pub gigs in 1995. He only began writing music and putting lyrics on paper in his mid-twenties; at the time he was supplementing his teacher’s salary gigging in bars and pubs. Quickly he figured that he was earning more moonlighting than from his day job-and he was doing what he loved. He also discovered that people loved hearing him perform, and that he was penning songs that made audiences sit up and pay attention.
“I’ve loved my career so far,” he says. “And I love that Watershed has always been about the music. We’re not about media image; we haven’t bothered with clever costumes; we’re not into gimmicks, really.”
Four great albums and more than a decade as the country’s number one pop-rock outfit has brought tremendous fulfilment, and Craig says Watershed will continue to record and tour.
“I’m in this business because it excites me,” he says, thrilled to have added another dimension to his career. A solo project is a natural progression for a singer-songwriter, and Craig felt ready for “a bit of ‘me’ time.” The other members of Watershed each have their side projects and alternative outlets, and whilst Craig has written songs for other artists, he’s been keen to do something more deeply personal. Fifteen years as Watershed’s front man has certainly given Craig the confidence for a solo career-and he felt vocally ready for the challenge of such an all-consuming project.
“Right now, I’m excited about Craig Hinds the singer, Craig Hinds the writer. This is something new for me.”
It’s been a long wait, but the singer-songwriter has emerged from his latest studio session with a new album under his arm. His first solo project, it’s a powerhouse recording that makes a paradigm-shifting declaration: “Craig Hinds is the real deal and he’s here to stay.”
The album, which will be released in May 2013, follows months recording in Hollywood in collaboration with international producers in what Craig calls a “creative adventure.” The album will be the most exciting pop album to come out of South Africa this year.
Strong testament to Craig’s acknowledged position as the country’s foremost writer of pop songs, the album satisfies on all levels: strong melodies; gripping rhythms; penetrating lyrics. Eleven songs executed with an elegance, poise, and depth of emotion that will tear deep into your soul. Here is that rare thing: An album that captivates from beginning to end.
As a prelude to the release in May, Craig has released ‘The Light’ the first single off his debut solo album. ‘The Light’ comes at a pertinent time when the issues of women are centre stage. Craig prides himself with having been surrounded by strong, creative women all his life but he knows how hard it is for women to acknowledge their greatness. This single is for them.