Rudimental Breaks Down 'Toast To Our Differences' Album: Exclusive

Dean Chalkey


Rudimental began in 2010 as a four-piece drum'n'bass band, but by 2019, it has grown to incorporate much of the world's sonic palette in all manner of tones and tempos. The group's latest LP Toast To Our Differences is a celebration of diversity in turbulent times. Its lyrics contain positive stories of personal strength and caring, while its compositional players bring its theme of equality to life. Musicians from the group's native U.K. are joined by Africans, Americans, Jamaicans, Iranians and more.

Recorded over a period of three years, Toast To Our Differences plays with pop, funk, d'n'b, reggae, even a little gospel. It's a beautiful tapestry that shows how lush a pattern can be created from varied strings. It features some huge voices and definitely packs a lot of star power into its 16 tracks.

Billboard Dance caught up with Rudimental to hear more about the creative process and messaging behind each of the album's tunes. Read all about it in this exclusive album breakdown below.

1. "Toast To Our Differences" Feat. Shungudzo, Protoje & Hak Baker

“Toast To Our Differences" actually inspired us to make this album. We wrote the track with Shungudzo in our Major Toms studio in Hackney, East London. We were just vibing on our instruments in the studio, and she came up with this really relevant, sentimental lyric for the chorus – “Carry me on your shoulder when I don't know what my limit is” – and it really rang true with us. The rest of the record follows this theme of celebrating our differences and cultures -- especially during such a politically and socially volatile time, not just in the UK, but around the world.

2. "Let Me Live" With Major Lazer Feat. Anne-Marie & Mr Eazi 

We started this song when Mr Eazi came through London and did a session with us. We ended up changing the key and got Anne-Marie to vocal it, which took the song to a whole new level. We then ended up sending it to our friends Major Lazer who flew to London to work with us on it. After that, we heard Lady Blacksmith Mambazo were in town, and they ended up recording the BVs in the middle eight. Again, this track sums up the theme of the album -- we have West African, South African, British and American influences on it. It's so much fun to play this one live.

3."Dark Clouds" Feat. Jess Glynne & Chronnix

"Dark Clouds" is actually one the older tunes on this record. We wrote it with Jess a couple years ago. We produced it up and gave it more of a jungle feel, then got Chronnix to record a verse on it when we were out writing in Jamaica. He's such a talent. It's one of those more underground tracks but also has elements of soul and funk in it. Jess's vocals are amazing on it too.

4. "Walk Alone" Feat. Tom Walker

This was one of the earlier tracks we wrote for this record. We had so many different artists vocal it, and then Tom Walker came to the studio to try it out. It just sounded so good and really brought the song to life. His vocals made this song.

5. "These Days" Feat. Jess Glynne, Macklemore & Dan Caplen

This track actually started with our mate Dan Caplen. He came to us with this amazing idea, and we loved the sentiment of the song. We ended up asking Jess to sing it and then called up Macklemore after meeting him a few times. The song is really important to us. It actually ended up being our third number one single and the biggest Rudimental song of our career.

6. "Sun Comes Up" Feat. James Arthur

We wrote this one in Major Toms as well. It was tricky finding the right vocalist for this, but once James Arthur cut it, it took the song to a whole new stratosphere.

7. "1by1" Feat. Raye & Maleek Berry

This track came out of a session we did with Raye in London. This one came to be really quickly with Raye on the topline. We then got Maleek Berry to come down and drop his verse. It just has a really cool vibe.

8. "Last Time" Feat. Raphaella

Raphaella is an incredible Iranian-British artist that we've been watching for years. She produces her own music and is a good friend of ours. It has a more club/dance vibe about it. We can't wait to introduce this one to the live show.

9. "No Pain" Feat. Maverick Sabre, Kojey Radical & Kabaka Pyramid

We wrote “No Pain” with our old friend Maverick Sabre. We're so excited to have two songs with him on this album. Kabaka and Kojey's verses are some the best on the album as well. It's a stand-out on T2OD.

10. "Scared of Love" Feat. Ray BLK & Stefflon Don

Big love to Ray and Steff for bringing this track to life. We're huge fans of these women. They’re empowering and really socially conscious.

11. "Summer Love" Feat. Rita Ora

We wrote this song with Rita in Los Angeles. The sentiment behind this tune is about a relationship you have on holiday and reflecting on it. It's one of the more classic Rudimental tracks on the album and is a real moment when we play it on stage. Rita sounds amazing on it, too.

12. "They Don't Care About Us" Feat. Maverick Sabre & YEBBA

Mav also wrote this one with us in London. Rising star YEBBA came to Major Toms from America and cut the track. If you don't know who she is now, you need to listen to her music. She totally completed the song. Her vocals are insane. It's one of our favorites, and we’re super excited to share it with you.

13. "Do You Remember" Feat. Kevin Garrett

We wrote this with Kevin in New York. He's an incredible singer-songwriter. We love the groove of this one.

14. "Leave It For Tomorrow" Feat. Elli Ingram

We originally wrote this track with YEBBA. We wanted to find a vocalist that would deliver the vocals in the same way as YEBBA did. Elli Ingram is an exciting artist from Brighton and really smashed it.

15. "Adrenaline" Feat. OLIVIA

We actually wrote this one with the incredible Sigrid not long ago. We got our little sister Olivia Dean, who comes on the road with us often, as the vocalist to cut it. She's one to watch. Check her out.