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Meet Cordi Elba, the collaboration we didn’t know we needed, but absolutely love to hear. Lime Cordiale and Idris Elba united during Idris’ visit to Sydney and the bromance was so good, they created a ‘mini’ album. “I listened to them on Spotify, fell in love with them very quickly,” Idris said of the Australian duo. The mini album features hypnotic hip-hop beats that Idris so smoothly raps over flowing into that classic Cordiale sound. “We’ve been catapulted into new territory with Idris and this has inevitably influenced the future of Lime Cordiale,” says Oli of Lime Cordiale. “He gave us permission to break out of our genre and it’s going to be interesting where this takes us with new music.” We spoke to the trio ahead of Cordi Elba dropping today:

Congratulations on such a fun, clever album. How did you meet? How did the decision to collaborate on an album happen? 

Oli: Louis and I were searching for someone to feature on a new rendition of “Unnecessary Things”. We didn’t know who this person would be but we were after something a little different. Our publisher called one day and said something like “Idris Elba is in town, has heard your music and is up for it”. That just blew our minds. 

Where did you write and create the album? 

Oli: We worked in a few studios in Sydney. It was all so last minute so we took whatever we could get! We mainly used smaller rooms when Idris was in Sydney as we just needed to record as much of his vocals as possible whilst he was still here. After he left back to the UK, we polished it all up with some live drums, keys, guitars etc.

We love What’s Not To Like and Ditto... the whole album feels really freshhh. What were you hoping to convey through this album? 

Oli: What’s Not To Like was the first original we all wrote together. It was also a bit of a turning point for us as a group. We got weird with this song. We let our guards down, we relaxed and the tone was set for the rest of the recording process. We could be ourselves without anything else getting in the way.

Who was inspiring you? 

Oli: Damon Albarn went from rock to hip hop with Blur and Gorillaz. For me that was a bit of an inspiration and similar to what we were doing but I know Idris has never delved deep into Gorillaz. We pulled up a few references here and there, from Madness to Arctic Monkeys, but for the most part we were just doing our own thing. 

Which song are you guys most proud of? Tell us about it. 

Oli: Holy Moley is my favourite song. I know it hasn’t been released yet but I’m really keen for everyone to hear that on January 14. It’s a bit more of an art piece than a single. Idris sounds insane on it and it’s very different to a Lime Cordiale track. 

You can hear through the music that you guys had a great time making this - what is your favourite memory of creating Cordi Elba? 

Oli: There were moments when we'd put the microphone in the middle of the room and all sing gang vocals. There’s a bunch of that in What’s Not To Like. We'd just yell and laugh and it brought a lot of personality to the tracks. Other than that, Idris would often bring yummy bottles of Tequila in with him… but my memory of those moments is a bit foggy.

Lime Cordiale - what has Idris taught you about yourselves and the music making process? 

Oli: Idris thinks quite visually with music. He might say something like “let’s take off into space in this section”. That’s gotta come from movie making but we’ve applied this to our recent writing. We get so bogged down in the musicality of it all and need to remember that listeners create a scene in their heads to fit the audio.

And Idris - what did you love about creating music with Lime Cordiale at this point in your journey? 

Idris: I feel like i have rediscovered being creative again.  I’m in the most purely creative point in my life where I’m able to be free and express myself musically in the way I want to.  Working with Oli & Louis really brought that out of me.  It’s been a freeing process and I’m thankful for where I’m at in my life, as a musician.

Lime Cordiale, you said Idris gave you permission to break out of your usual genre. What do you think you brought from your respective genres into this album? 

Oli: We always crave doing something different with our music. We grew up playing classical and jazz but ended up in an indie-rock band. Sometimes it feels like that’s what we NEED to deliver to our listeners but it’s not the genre we always want to be writing within. With Idris suddenly in the group, people were EXPECTING a change. That gave us the freedom to explore new territories. 

Where would you love to perform songs from the album? Where is the ultimate Cordi Elba show?

Oli: We’ll be playing in London on the day of the album release. Idris has a busy schedule but at the moment, it’s in his diary. That’s the ultimate show. We’ve done Sydney together. London is the next stop.

We’re looking forward to everyone hearing this album. How do you hope people listen to the album? What do you hope they take from it?

Oli: If Idris had a few more weeks in Sydney, we would’ve kept writing. If we’d recorded more than these 6 songs, I think we would’ve made Cordi Elba the artist name. A whole new group. I hope that’s how people see this album. It’s not Lime Cordiale and it’s not Idris Elba, it’s something else.