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Hackney Homeboys: Rudimental

WHEN HACKNEY natives Rudimental made headlines by hitting the number one spot on the album charts earlier this year with debut Home, the four-piece decided to take their celebrations on tour.

With confirmed slots at Glastonbury, Latitude, T in the Park, V Festival and Lovebox, the group, made up of members Piers Aggett, Kezi Dryden, Amir Amor and DJ Locksmith are well and truly dominating the festival and live music scene.

Though their music is best described as a hybrid of Drum and Bass, Electro and Liquid Funk, the boys are quick to point out that there are a number of artists across a range of genres who have influenced their sound.

Amongst their melting pot of influences, they say, are the likes of British soul group Soul II Soul and crooners Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye.

But it’s former Fugees star Lauryn Hill who tops their list of dream collaborations.

“We heard Lauryn Hill has got a new album coming out and even though she has tax problems she is one icon we would love to work with,” says Piers.

Reflecting on the group’s success without any US endorsement, Piers added: “Going to number one on the album charts was amazing especially in such a short space of time. We have been celebrating constantly after gigs and having lots of fun on the tour bus”.

“We’ve also been celebrating on stage,” adds fellow band member Kezi.

The childhood friends, who went to school, played football, learnt to DJ and how to make beats in their Hackney hometown, formed Rudimental in 2007. But it wasn’t until 2011, with the arrival of fourth member and fellow Londoner Amir – and the release of their single Spoons that Piers says “Rudimental started to sound like Rudimental.”

The group rose to prominence in 2012 when their single Feel The Love, featuring singer John Newman, topped the UK singles chart. Their latest single Waiting All Night also took the top spot, further cementing their place on the UK music scene. They are keen to pass on their successes and lessons to young people hoping to hit it big time in music.

Consequently, they have signed up with youth charity National Citizen Service (NCS) to help create work experience opportunities in the music world for 16 – 17 year olds in the UK.

It All Starts at Yes is a unique three-week residential programme packed with activities that help students build skills for work and life and will take place throughout the summer.

“We have always been up for working with young people even before we made it,” explains Piers. “We used to do a lot of work in schools, I actually used to run a community studio in Tottenham, so we’ve got quite a lot of experience working with young people.”

He adds: “This is something we desperately want to continue because it’s something we believe in. We like creativity and the challenge of showing young people what opportunities there are out there. That is why we got involved with the charity.”

Spurred on by their passion and continued support of young people, Piers says he hopes to stress the importance of networking to the young people on the course.

“I think one of the main things that is so important is the art of networking and meeting new people because that sort of thing put us where we are today,” he says. “Networking with lots of people, making friends in the industry that’s very important.”

Kezi adds: “Also, I think so is seeing the different types of jobs that are available in the industry. It’s not just about singing and it’s not just about performing, there are loads of jobs out there.

“There are technical jobs, managerial and administration roles and even event organising. There are so many different ways you can get involved which you can find useful as a young person.”

In keeping with the charity’s slogan It All Starts at Yes, what amazing opportunities has Rudimental said yes to?

“I think for me and the other Rudimental boys it was not really knowing them at the time and saying yes to working with them. And getting a good vibe off them,” says Piers.

“Basically, saying yes for us was getting in tune with each other because that was the main thing that helped us. We are quite a tight team and working together and listening to each other helped that,” he adds.

Kezi says: “I think that one thing that held me back when I was younger was saying yes to help. I was always afraid to say yes if somebody asked me if I wanted help. It’s a great way to learn and a quicker way to grow in the field in whatever you want to really.”

To sign up for the NCS programme this summer, visit www.ncsyes.co.uk, Facebook.com/ncs or follow @NCS on Twitter

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