Craig David says that he and his manager Colin Lester are ''soul mates''.

The 36-year-old singer-songwriter has been working with Colin for the past 17 years, and has claimed that their relationship extends far beyond that of a conventional artist/manager dynamic.

He explained: ''Me and Colin are soul mates. I love him as a family member.''

Craig continued: ''There's not an artist/manager relationship anymore.

''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.''

And Colin feels similarly enthusiastic about their working relationship.

He told Music Week: ''If I fell out of love with the job I do, I would still manage Craig, assuming he wants me to.

''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.''

Meanwhile, Craig previously likened his music career to riding a bike, having re-entered the mainstream over the last few years.

He said: ''Your career is a bit like you jumped on a bicycle, and both the wheels are in sync.

''Then there's a point where the wheels can start to go out of sync. Some people might jump off. But if you stay on the bike, there's a moment they'll start to go back in sync again. And he used that as a way of describing my career. You stay on and it comes back round. And to see this, now, is madness.''