Rudimental are pondering just how much their lives have changed since releasing their debut album, Home, in April 2013. Since then, the album has gone platinum in the UK, selling over half a million copies and becoming one of the very few debut records to break through in the last 12 months. It also charted high across Europe and Australasia, as they picked up one BRIT Award (Best British Single for Waiting All Night) and were shortlisted for two more (British Group and MasterCard British Album Of The Year). They also won a MOBO Award (Best Album) and were nominated for the Mercury Music Prize.
The album has spawned five huge hit singles (including two UK Number Ones with Feel The Love and Waiting All Night), seeing them shift over three million singles worldwide, while their highly acclaimed videos have racked up over 183 million views on their YouTube channel. Meanwhile, Waiting All Night alone has clocked up over 100 million streams on Spotify. They’ve also toured the world and smashed it at every festival worthy of the name. And yet, here they are, back in their Hackney HQ, Major Tom’s Studio, where they conjured up that debut’s intoxicating blend of drum’n’bass, soul and pop, and where they will craft its highly anticipated follow-up.
Lightning looks set to strike twice on Rudimental’s new album – written and partly recorded on, and inspired by, their global travels, it showcases a band brimming with truly universal appeal, but one that will never forget its roots. It features the likes of Will Heard, Jess Glynne and Mahalia: a roll call of future superstars to equal their debut’s launch of Newman, Eyre et al. But, while such collaborations will confirm them as the band with the best A&R ears in the business, this time around you can also expect more of a soul-funk influence via outernational hook-ups with legendary musicians such as George Clinton and Donald Fagen of Steely Dan. Other big names could potentially join the cast before the album is finished but, ultimately, as Amor points out, the names don’t matter – the band’s motivation is to work “with people that inspire us.”
And so, with their talents being super-charged by every pioneering new collaboration or trail-blazing live show, its clear Rudimental’s long list of recent achievements is anything but complete.“Rudimental has been going for seven years,” points out Leon. “It took one song – Feel The Love – to open up the gates and change things for us. We’re thankful for that, but we also know we’ve still got a long way to go.”
And however they travel there, be it by plane, limousine or good old Hackney bus, expect Rudimental to do it in style.