Craig's 'Shadow to Your Light' constitutes "a great song with poetic lyrics, catchy vocal melodies . . . great vocals and instrument rhythm as well as having an infectious chorus, dynamic arrangement with solid audio quality."
-My SongBro, United States, May 2019
“Living Waters is well constructed without a doubt, Craig certainly knows how to create good music in his genre.”
-HighClouds “Music Junkies Holy Bible”, Belgium, January 2018
“Craig’s songwriting is very coherent, certainly hear his inspirations shining through.”
-Crack in the Road (CITR) Pop Music Blog, United States, January 2018
"Living Waters is very catchy, with nice vocals. The track is very well crafted. I'm talking to a musician who knows his sh** and knows how to bring a finished track."
-humanhuman Music Discovery Blog, Belgium, February 2018
From taking the stage in the United States, United Kingdom and Japan to having his music played at retail outlets and businesses throughout Asia, multi-instrumentalist, composer, songwriter and vocalist Craig Donovan is finding the perfect way to infuse his music with a sense of multiculturalism. His unique sound, inspired by the atmospheres of Elvis Costello, Paul Weller and James Taylor as well as Japanese rock bands (Bump of Chicken, Radwimps, Asian Kung-Fu Generation), Craig’s music has captured the attention of everybody from music lovers in the United States to music blogs in Japan.
A student of piano and music composition at The Levine School of Music at Strathmore Music Center, Craig recently started work on the writing and production of his second EP. The first song for it, “Rise,” is a solo piano and vocal composition inspired by the story of Yuzuru Hanyū, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in men’s figure skating. Hanyū overcame an ankle injury and used his skating to provide hope to those impacted by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Sendai, Japan. This past September, Craig recorded a second song for the release, "Took a Chance on Me", a pop vocal duet with singer-songwriter, Danni Sheron. The song deals with the interspecies bond and unconditional love of an animal for its human companion.
The new EP follows Craig’s debut EP, SKYSHINE, which was released in 2018. That EP explored important themes ranging from nuclear war ("Living Waters"), the courage to walk one’s own path in life in the face of misunderstanding and discrimination based on sexual orientation ("2025"), and the journey of supporting a best friend challenged with mental illness ("Shadow to Your Light"). SKYSHINE is available for streaming and digital purchase through all major distribution services such as iTunes, Google Music and Amazon. Physical copies of the album, which feature original art from British artist Robert Clear, are available at Craig’s live shows and through his official website, CraigDonovanSongs.com.
In addition to performing live and working on new music, Craig has also seen his music licensed for use as background music at businesses throughout Southeast Asia (Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam) and East Asia. The licensing deal with Singapore-based EIM/EM Pte Ltd and approved by ASCAP in April 2018, covers four of Craig’s songs and has resulted in them being played at Asian businesses such as retail outlets, restaurants, bars and more.
Craig’s work has captured the attention of music blogs and podcasts. He has appeared on The Creative Muse Hour at M.L.E. Studios in Los Angeles and has been interviewed by Tokyo-based music blog FAB ON. 2019 was an especially noteworthy and successful year for Craig's music. Craig's music received several positive and insightful reviews of his songs from music blogs in the United States. Music critic, Joshua (J.Smo) Smotherman from Middle Tennessee Music ("Midtnmusic"), a Nashville music blog, called Craig's single, "Shadow to Your Light" a radio-ready song "potently pop as it is lighter sparking rock and roll" with a "strong infusion of J-rock" resulting in "a piano driven ballad" with "a lush, larger than life soundscape of chunky rhythm guitars, sparing electric leads, and everything we tend to love about radio ready, playlist worthy rock singles." Midtnmusic also has placed the song on their curated Spotify playlist, Indie Music Discovery "Indie Music Spotlight" as a "top indie music pick". In addition, Alternative Addiction (AA) Alternative Music and Music News featured Craig's song, "Shadow to Your Light" as the "Indie Song of the Day" on the blog's website and placed the song in a 6-week play rotation on their alternative music discovery site. Craig music has also been featured on the popular U.K. indie music podcast Roy@SaddestNightOut, which can be heard on iTunes.
Some of the many venues where he has performed in the United States include Columbia University’s Postcrypt Coffeehouse, Sidewalk Cafe, The Center at West Park, Singer’s Space at Symphony Space, The Bitter End, The Path Cafe, Caffe Vivaldi, Pete’s Candy Store, Cleopatra’s Needle, and Paddy Reilly’s Music Bar (NYC); Pig ’N Whistle, Kulak’s Woodshed, @131 in Topanga Canyon, and Tribal Cafe (Los Angeles, CA); Coffee Nature, Gypsy Sally’s Politics and Prose (Washington, DC); Teavolve Cafe and Lounge (Baltimore, MD); Brewer’s Alley, Frederick Coffee Company and Cafe (Frederick, MD) and 123 Pleasant Street (Morgantown, WV). Craig has also performed internationally to include the well-known izakaya and jazz and blues venue of Mutsukado, and the Choi-Waru Usagi Live House in the cities of Fukuoka and Nakatsu, Kyushu, Japan, respectively. In June 2018, Craig performed for the first time in the U.K. at The Reliance in Shoreditch, East End (London, England).
Away from music, Craig can be found navigating the legal world. He is a federal attorney specializing in intellectual property and environmental law and is a graduate of New York University, Columbia University and The George Washington University School of Law. He is also an advocate for the protection of biodiversity and has written several published articles on environmental law issues.
A lover of foreign languages and cultures, Craig has lived in several countries, including France, People’s Republic of China, and Japan. He also possesses a strong French and Japanese language background. In January 2020, Craig received the wonderful news that he successfully passed the difficult Japanese Language Proficiency Examination, administered by the Japanese government's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Technology (Monbu-kagaku-shō) at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Craig now plans to study for the extreme challenge of the final advanced levels. When he is not composing and performing, Craig is an avid chess player, swimmer and ice skater. He also is an advocate of environmental conservation, community service and LGBTQ rights issues through his dedicated volunteer work with The Jane Goodall Institute's Chimpanzee Guardian Program (Vienna, VA), Human Rights Campaign (Washington, DC), the MoCo Pride Center (Montgomery County, MD), and Manna Food Center (Montgomery County, MD). Craig loves traveling and enjoys playing and going on adventures with his Bengal cat, Dazai and a new family member, his standard poodle, Rúna.
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If you would like more information about Craig's music, upcoming album release and performances in the DC Metro area, New York City or abroad, please contact him at www.facebook.com/craigdonovansongs, www.facebook.com/craig.donovan2 and/or sign up to his mailing list on this site.