In The Studio With… Rudimental
It’s the early hours of the morning but we’re up, fresh and ready to head over to a well equipped but even more well hidden studio in London’s Battersea. The sun is shining and the atmosphere is vibrant. The reason behind our early morning chirpiness? We’re going to spend the day in the studio with D&B chart toppers Rudimental, pioneers of the new wave of British dance music and their chosen emerging artist Bipolar Sunshine as they take on the entire A&R process in just 24 hours, culminating in an exclusive live performance at The Vaults, in Waterloo, London.
For what reason would the boys be undertaking such a madcap process to create new music? Well the answer is Bacardi Beginnings, a unique series of creative projects in which the debut event was to challenge Rudimental to write, record, release, rehearse and perform an original track within a single day. There is a great sense of anticipation as to what will unfold across the course of the day with the series opener having a lot to live up to after the success of last years projects which saw Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard and Friendly Fires mentor then rising stars AlunaGeorge and Jessie Ware.
Things start with a jamming session, Rudimental playing around with guitar riffs, keys, drum patterns and trumpets amongst a host of other instruments whilst former Kid British frontman Bipolar Sunshine begins layering in potential vocals , building the chorus, and so creating their first track together. Proceedings feel decidedly disco at first with a rock infused drum beat that several people present agree resembles the classic drumming of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Miss You’. Ideas build upon ideas and the track quickly starts to take form as the melody–driven, funk laden, feel good track that is ‘Distance’. Energy flies around the room and it’s important to note that this is a very instrument led process, to the point wherein the production process almost feels like a piece of theatre illustrating the pain staking effort that went into recording music in disco’s 1970’s heyday as opposed to many of the laptop dominated productions of today.
It’s lunchtime and as the trays of piri –piri chicken come in and the guys take a break we get our first chance to grab a word with the producers as they add media commitments into the most packed of schedules. Speaking in regards to their meteoric rise from small independently signed band to chart topping, international artists Rudimental show a humility lacking in many similarly successful outfits and speak of how fortunate they feel to be in their position as band member Kesi explains “Since we’ve been successful it has been amazingly quickly how things have developed but we’ve been working hard for years. It wasn’t always an easy journey and we’re just loving every day as this is what we love doing. Making music”. As Kesi hints at, the road hasn’t always been easy and their route to the top has been one which has required a great deal of determination and several incarnations of the outfit until the struck the right balance. “At first a lot of labels didn’t really get us, they saw we had a D&B influence but would then get confused by us mixing that in with guitar solos and trumpets! I think you can hear our music takes influence from a broad spectrum. We all love music and have wide eclectic tastes so when you have four guys with that type of attitude then you’re band to have something that draws inspiration from a variety of places.”