British youth culture is at boiling point. Check the charts – it’s rarely been so visible, so out in the open, with everyone from techno heroes to house dons, grime MCs to hip-hop stars getting in on the act.
It all needs a place to party, though, and that place could well be Wild Life. Kicked off last summer, the festival brought together the ruthlessly imaginative minds of Rudimental and Disclosure for a weekend’s worth of crucial music a few minutes outside of Brighton.
“It was amazing, you know… it was beyond our wildest dreams,” Rudimental’s Leon Rolle says to Clash, reflecting on the inaugural event. “The fact that we got to create our own line-up and have it actually evolve the way it did is amazing. It was a huge success and a really, really proud moment.”
Wild Life returns for a second installment this summer, with Rudimental and Disclosure uniting once more to present a weekend of thrilling music. “First and foremost we’re big friends, and then our music interests are very similar. We probably make a little bit more of a wider genre of music than they do, but it’s very similar and I think that was the basis we built, not only Wild Life on, but just our continuing friendship.”
It seems that Wild Life won’t restrict itself to the south coast, with the event set to expand still further. “We didn’t want it to be a one off,” he says. “If the festival does well then you know you’ve got a good opportunity to keep it going and take it to other territories - our original plan was to do that, anyway, but it was an added bonus that the first festival was a huge success, so we’re looking to take it to as many cities as we possibly can.”
Meshing together hip-hop, dance and more, Wild Life 2016 promises to be just as broad as its debut installment. Leon has already marked out a few acts that he personally can’t wait to check out. “I’m definitely looking forward to seeing Ice Cube! I’ve never ever seen him perform, you forget how many actual bangers he actually had in his day. Busta Rhymes I’m definitely looking forward to seeing, and one of my favourite DJs is Annie Mac so I’m excited about watching her perform.”
In many ways the breadth of the line up reflects the way Rudimental make music – switching from soul to drum ‘n’ bass, house to disco. “We loved pretty much most genres when we were young, but hip-hop thing is definitely something that’s installed in us. You can say all those names as well but the UK artists that are there are just wicked - you’re thinking, wow, how has he got Ice Cube next to Skepta on a line-up alongside Bastille? I don’t think there’s many festivals out there that could create a line-up like that, and that’s what keeps Wildlife exciting, I think.”
Fresh from playing – and selling out – London’s O2 Arena Rudimental are, by their own admission, having a bit of down time. Forever seeking out a new challenge, the group has their own ways of injecting fresh energy into proceedings.
“Well, new music always helps keep it fresh, and our live show is never ever the same. I think that’s what our fans appreciate the most, they appreciate the fact that if you come to one show it’s not going to be the same as the other show and that’s a credit to itself. I think that’s how you keep it fresh for ourselves, anyway.”
For now, though, Rudimental are concentrating on one thing: Wild Life. “Anyone who knows Rudimental knows that we do the best after parties, and Disclosure probably do the second best after parties, so it’s going to be a lot of fun! The whole vibe’s just going to be just really, really good, man, we’re really excited about it.”
As a special preview Rudimental have pieced together a new mix, featuring some of the sounds that inspire Wild Life.
Tune in first on Clash.
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Wild Life runs between June 11th and 12th at Brighton City Airport.