Rudimental Kesi Dryden, Piers Aggett, Leon Rolle and Amir Amor. | Photo by Ollie Grove.

Rudimental’s Awakening

The foursome fuses unlikely instrument pairings with unbelievable artist collaborations

Globetrotting Rudimental consists of four artists from the U.K.: Piers Aggett, Amir Amor, Kesi Dryden and Leon Rolle. Las Vegas fans will get to see them live at The Foundry on May 21, but fans everywhere will be excited to learn about Rudimental’s fusion of Ed Sheeran’s cool vibes and The Game’s charged-up lyricism. Back in 2014, both Sheeran and The Game announced that they had been working together on collaborative tracks. Two years later, the tracks still haven’t officially been released, but from what Rolle tells us, they’re ready to hit the airwaves … or maybe an after-hours DJ set near you.

Listening to your music, I would assume your live show would be a DJ set.

Yeah, well that’s the beautiful thing about Rudimental. Our DJ set, we like to make it different. Want to bring that live element as well. We bring our trumpet player who comes into our DJ set. We probably do a lot of after-[DJ] shows after our live sets as well. It’s like we’re a [jack]-of-all-trades type of band.

Do you play your own instruments?

We all play our instruments, from keys to guitar, but we also bring on—we don’t like to call them “extra” musicians, because they’re part of the family. We bring a drummer along, we bring vocalists along, because none of us sings—out of the four, that is. We bring some brass as well. That adds another spice into the Rudimental show. That’s pretty much how you could imagine a full live band, full live show; that’s what we bring.

When you record, do you start with traditional instruments, or do you create the music electronically and then learn to play it on traditional instruments?

Our studio is basic. We get our instruments out, and we jam. Then we add the electronic process to it. It’s not really high-tech in our studio; it’s just our keyboards and guitars and basses.

What’s the goal of Rudimental?

Our goal is not to have a goal. Just to go in there and try to make music as organically as we possibly can, because that’s when I feel like most of our best music comes out, when we don’t get inspired by outside sources or what’s hitting in charts right now. It’s about Rudimental doing what Rudimental tries to do best.

You’ve been crossing over from more of a niche electronic fan base to a more mainstream crowd. Is this deliberate?

We don’t plan to make tracks for the mainstream, or the underground scene. We just try to make music that we’re really happy with. When you come to a Rudimental show, and you look at the audience, it’s not just teenage adults bouncing around. There are teenage adults, there are middle-aged people and there’s a more mature crowd. It’s exciting to think that we’re bringing these people together wherever we go in the world.

Ed Sheeran, with whom you’ve worked, is such a huge pop star now. How did you end up in the studio with him?

We’ve known Ed for years. He wasn’t as big and famous as he is now. I remember when he was playing at birthday parties just trying to get his name around and get his talent known. It’s good to see him come from where he came from to where he is now, because it’s kind of a similar story to ours. We always knew that at some point we were going to work together. We’ve been on tour with Ed. That’s how “Bloodstream” and “Lay It All on Me” started.

Do you plan to continue collaborating or was that a one-time deal for just those tracks?

We did a session in L.A. with Ed and he called up [rapper] The Game. He told him to come down and write, to join up with us. We’ve got maybe six or seven tracks just sitting in the library with Ed Sheeran and The Game on them.

That’s such an odd pairing.

It’s a weird trio that you would never ever think would get together. Believe me when I say this, these tracks actually really work and they sound different, but yet sort of … oh, what’s the word? [They’re] addictive melodies. The Game kills it, and Ed comes in with his vocals and guitar, and then we add our Rudimental flavor to it. It’s just beautiful music, and who knows what will happen? They’re literally sitting in a computer.

Ed seems chill and sensitive to the public eye, while The Game seems to have a tough-guy persona. How was it to work with both personalities in the studio?

Game is actually a sensitive man, and Ed is a tough guy. I reckon Ed would beat up Game in a boxing match. The songs we did together show a deep and insightful side to The Game. Really powerful.

Any fun anecdotes from the work sesh?

A little trivia: The Game wrote most of his lyrics on the loo, while we were blasting the instrumental on loop from the main room. I stopped it and heard a voice from the loo saying to put it back on!