Rudimental takes to the sky with groundbreaking gig eight miles above the Atlantic

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Rudimental in concert. Pic: 3FM Serious Radio

Hackney group Rudimental will hit a new high on Thursday when they play a gig eight miles above the Atlantic Ocean which is to be streamed live here.

The event has been organised by Virgin Airways to publicise the first flight of their new 787.

Since the release of “Feel the Love” in 2012, Hackney quartet Rudimental, has grown in popularity earning some of the biggest awards the music industry has to offer.

The group is made up of four guys – Piers Aggett, Kesi Dryden, Leon Rolle from Hackney and Amir Amor who is from Camden.

ELL caught up with Piers Aggett to find out how life has changed for the group since leaving the streets of Hackney and what advice they can offer to new musicians.

“The past few months have been hard work but unbelievably amazing; we performed at V Festival in front of 60,000 people, rented a studio-bus to finish our second album during our U.S tour, and played in five European countries in one week.

“A few months ago we were in the studio with Nile Rogers and 20 talented young people for a work experience initiative with the O2 and Bauer Media called GoThinkBig. Helping young people is something we are very passionate about, and will do more in the future, so it was an honour to be asked to get involved,” said Aggett.

When they are not performing around the world, Rudimental are based in London and regularly perform at venues in and around the city; O2, The Roundhouse, The Village Underground, and O2 Brixton Academy.

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Rudimental performing in Essen, Germany. Pic: Piers Aggett

According to Aggett growing up in Hackney played a vital role in what Rudimental is today. He described himself as a sponge soaking up sounds not only from his parents, family and friends but from his neighbourhood too. Talking about his childhood in the early nineties, Aggett told ELL:

“Hackney played such a big role in shaping me as a person and as a musician and producer. Growing up, I was surrounded by different cultures, people, languages, music, food – everything. On my street we lived near an Irish, Indian and Jamaican family, so as a kid I absorbed all of those flavours.

“We all used to host parties. Leon (Rolle, of Rudimental) and I would DJ in one of our bedrooms and local MCs, from different backgrounds, would freestyle.

“When I make music now all that comes out – Garage and Grime, Jungle, Drum and Bass – influences from my friends but also from my older sister.

“That’s why I’m so happy the front cover of our first album ‘Home’ is the mural in Dalston.”

The newly completed Dalston Peace Carnival Mural in 1985. Pic: Alan Denney

Rudimental pay tribute to their roots by making the Dalston mural their front cover.                 Pic: Alan Denney

“What Rudimental is and what we represent is a melting pot of styles and cultures; a sound that you only get when the four of us make music together. I’m secretly into Blues and Jazz because of my dad’s passion, Kesi loves Hip Hop, Amir’s into Funk and Leon loves House, Garage and Jungle, but what unites us all is the love for Soul music. When we come together, we bring all of our influences together.”

The quartet has spent the past year finishing their second album due for release early 2015. ‘Home’ features an array of artists from Emeli Sande and Ella Eyre to Alex Clare and Foxes and collaborations with artists on their second album – which is yet to be named – are set to be just as impressive.

Aggett told ELL: “Album one, Home, was us scratching the surface of Rudimental in the early stages of us working together. Now after the past year and a half our sound is more cohesive, more soulful and funky, our true colours; influences from our mums and dads 60s and 70s vinyl collections, like Marvin Gaye and George Clinton, are coming together and will feature on album two.

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Rudimental attending the Snowbombing Festival in Austria. Pic: Piers Aggett

“I’m so excited that we have made two tracks with music legend George Clinton; it was a surreal experience and so amazing to meet him. We’ve also managed to meet and work with Nas, who is another childhood hero of ours, especially for Kesi. Kesi has brought every Nas album released, so it was an incredible shock this year to be in a studio making music with him.”

Aggett said he first began releasing records at Leeds University where he studied alongside another Rudimental member Kesi Dryden.

Offering advice to other musicians who may be struggling Aggett added: “Work hard, as it’s not going to happen overnight. You may have to get a part-time job, or a full-time job just to pay the bills – that is what we all did. A lot of people think everything will be given to them on a plate, but that is not the case. Be prepared for knock backs and be prepared to put a lot of work in, but most importantly keep going.”

Keen to work with new unsigned artists Rudimental is launching an independent record label, Major Toms, in 2015.

Aggett told ELL: “There are lots of exciting collaborations with new talent that will be launched through our own label, Major Toms. Working with new talent is still very important to us.”

Catch Rudimental’s live performance this Thursday 23 October with Virgin Atlantic here and stay up-to-date with the group via their website, Twitter: @RudimentalUK or Facebook page.

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