In March this year, actor/musician/DJ and record label boss Idris Elba joined Australian chart-topping duo Lime Cordiale on stage for an explosive, surprise performance of ‘Unnecessary Things’. Today, they reunite to share their jaunty new single ‘Apple Crumble’, alongside the track’s official video. The song will feature on their forthcoming mini album, Cordi Elba, available Friday 14 January via Chugg Music and 7Wallace Music.
Recorded in Sydney this year while Idris was in town shooting a movie, ‘Apple Crumble’ is a pure art collision between Lime Cordiale and Idris Elba. Directed and produced by Joe Neathway, the visual accompaniment takes viewers into a kaleidoscopic, freewheeling animated kingdom. “We only just managed to record everything we needed before Idris flew back to the UK, says Oli Leimback of the clip. “When it came to the music video, we decided to do it from afar. We took a range of photos and recruited Joe Neathway Brown to bring them to life. We’ve worked with Joe plenty of times but with this new collaboration, we decided to go with this different collage-style animation. This animation takes you into our minds and follows the story of our song ‘Apple Crumble’.”
Lime Cordiale and Idris Elba’s partnership began when Lime Cordiale asked if Idris wanted to guest on a new version of Lime Cordiale’s ‘Unnecessary Things’ – a song that first surfaced on the ‘relapse’ reissue of their 2020 No.1 album 14 Steps To A Better You. Idris did his research and was instantly sold. “I listened to them on Spotify, fell in love with them very quickly,” he says.
The Luther, The Wire, Thor, The Suicide Squad and Mandela star didn’t know it, but he was already in Lime Cordiale’s orbit – the duo regularly blasted Idris’ 2019 hit Boasty backstage before each show. Once the new version of Unnecessary Things was finished, this new partnership hit a creative streak and they kept on making more songs with Lime Cordiale’s longtime producer/co-writer David K Haddad.
On Boasty, Idris raps that he doesn’t need a ghostwriter. Indeed, Cordi Elba is a genuine creative collaboration with Oli, Louis and Dave. “We wrote everything together,” Oli says. “We were all writing lyrics – it wasn’t our music or his music, it was smack bang down the middle with every lyric.”
“I wanted to collaborate,” Idris adds. “We agreed about the vibe and the song was there. They were really open to ideas; it was an opportunity for me to write songs I normally wouldn’t write. Ultimately, this is a step into a new universe musically for me.”
A DJ since his teens – and long before he found success as an actor, Idris not only continues to spin from Coachella to Ibiza, he is also a musician, rapper and producer. Cordi Elba contains a first: he unveils his singing voice, encouraged by Oli and Louis “They filled me with a lot of confidence,” Idris admits. “I come from a DJ background, have always rapped, but never considered myself a singer. They encouraged me to put vocals down, I didn’t expect to be singing.”
Not only does Cordi Elba contain some of the finest musical work of both parties, it is unlikely to be a one-off alliance. There are tentative plans for Idris to join Lime Cordiale on a UK tour in early 2022. “I’d be honoured to help their exposure in the UK,” Idris says. “I am hoping to jump on stage with them when they tour.”
As Lime Cordiale starts work on their third album, Cordi Elba has changed them forever. “We’ve been catapulted into new territory with Idris and this has inevitably influenced the future of Lime Cordiale,” Oli says. “He gave us permission to break out of our genre and it’s going to be interesting where this takes us with new music.