British drum’n’bass troupe Rudimental scored hits through collaborations with John Newman, Emeli Sande and others on its 2013 debut, Home. For follow-up We the Generation (Sept. 18, Major Tom’s/Big Beat), the quartet upped the ante, scoring several dream duets. Member Amir Amor, 30, previews what its iconic collaborators brought to the table.
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Donald Fagen Got Poetic
Steely Dan‘s frontman recorded a spoken-word verse for the album after Rudimental brainstormed about bucket-list guest features. “We were kicking shit around, and as a piss-take I said, ‘Steely Dan,’ ” recalls Amor. “Two weeks later, we were in a studio in New York with [Fagen], which was hilarious.”
George Clinton Got Funky
“We went backstage at his gig in London, played him some music and he liked it,” says Amor of first meeting the Parliament-Funkadelic legend. “He does backing vocals and a couple bits on the album.”
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Bobby Womack Made Them Cry
Rudimental met Womack, featured on closer “New Day,” at a taping of Later… With Jools Holland in 2012, two years before his death. “We sent him instrumentals, and he came back with great ideas, but his health deteriorated,” says Amor. However, soon after Womack died, “his wife sent us a vocal he wanted us to work into a track. When we finished the production, we had tears in our eyes. It’s the last song he ever wrote.”
This story originally appeared in the June 27 issue of Billboard.