Long distance can take its toll on even the strongest relationships but London producer Paul White and Florida vocalist Eric Biddines built a pure connection through a shared love of soulful sound and positive vibes. The pair have only spent a week together IRL, choosing to utilise the power of the internet for most of their collaboration, but are set to release their debut album Golden Ticket this week. Conjuring comparisons to Outkast and scoring a feature from Yasiin Bey, this new duo are already setting pretty high expectations for themselves. We chat to Paul and Eric about their beautiful sonic union and the making of Golden Ticket.
You were introduced by listening to each other’s music—what drew you to the other’s sound?
Paul White: What drew me to Eric was his soul and message, his voice and melody, his flow and lyrics, his heart.
Eric Biddines: Paul’s production is very raw. I’m used to working with more sequenced style beats that are pretty much locked on tempo. His choice of drums, percussion and samples are so refreshing and loose. I was just drawn to that freedom.
Your collective sound definitely transcends traditional genres—how would you describe it?
PW: Golden funk and soul, via hip-hop, rock, folk, blues, jazz, and life.
EB: Definitely soul, funk, some storytelling elements from country music. Obviously hip-hop and positivity.
What was the inspiration behind Golden Ticket?
PW: Our lives and experiences up until now, from the books we read to the food we eat, both coming together to create one message and soul! Wanting to do something different but without trying.
EB: We are both good people so we wanted to create a symbol that represented that. And it’s the Golden Ticket. Your going to learn so much inside of this album.
What’s the perfect listening environment/situation for this album?
PW: You can listen to this anywhere. The perfect situation to listen to this in is when you’re feeling inspired to change your life for the better, to become your own Golden Rule.
EB: Stuck in traffic on a rainy day with no one else in the car. With your seatbelt on, of course.
You both seem to have quite different musical influences, why do you think that works so well together on Golden Ticket?
PW: We both have a big soul music background, blues music too, folk music, and obviously hip-hop music. Music with soul, spirit, and passion, and is real to the artist, so adding in all the individual experiences we’ve had in life, you get one big message that says the same thing between us. It shows that everything in life and in this universe is tied up as one rather than being different, separate things. One Love!
EB: Although our background and influences are different, there’s one thing our choices have in common and that’s a message. With that key ingredient it made it easy to agree and mesh well as a unit.
How do you guys navigate this long-distance relationship? How often do you find yourselves working in the same room?
PW: We only worked in the studio together once for this album. We spent a week together, the rest was done over the world wide web, and that worked. We could take our time with no pressure, and were both pleased with how natural and organic this came together! It felt like we were long lost brothers or something for me!
EB: We’ve been lucky to have a team behind us that make sure we are physically together. And Skype, messaging apps etc help. To me, it feels like we’ve known each other for years. The music does that to us.
How did the Yasiin Bey link come about? What was it like working with him?
PW: Ben at Because sent him the beat, he dug it and was down to record, so I hooked up with him in London and we recorded the song. It was a great experience of course, a dream, we’re very pleased to have him on Golden Ticket! Look out for the bonus cut of that song with another special guest on it too!
EB: Yasiin Bey is a fan of GREAT! Music and that worked in our favour. Paul was there with him, I was back in Florida working on my second verse when I found out. The verse was amazing and the respect from a artist of his calibre was even amazing-er.
Do you guys have any other collabs in the works?
PW: We want to get Sade on the next album!
EB: We primarily collaborate with each other but production-wise and stage show we want to collaborate [with others]. I see us collaborating with non-musical creators also—we have some things up our sleeves. Still waiting on that Sade call lol.
What tracks/artists are you bumping the most right now?
PW: Open Mike Eagle’s ‘Dark Comedy’, Sade, Eska, Tame Impala, Angus & Julia Stone, D’Angelo, Elijah Brown, Sonny Terry, to name a few.
EB: Oshun, Big K.R.I.T., Oddisee, Cee-Lo, Golden Rules, Lauryn Hill.
Any tour plans on the horizon?
PW: Indeed, yes!!! Hopefully we’ll be coming to you guys Down Under soon!
EB: Of course, our horizon right now is full of views. Along with visuals, we have a decent amount of plans for our live show aspect in most territories.
Golden Ticket is released on Friday August 7.