London duo Equals has collaborated with U.K. rapper Essa on “Old Habits,” a soulful tale of an artist struggling with an addiction to alcohol. Against a background of sparse production, Equals’ singer Ade Omotayo’s seductive and longing vocals emphasize the artist's deep desire for something he knows he shouldn’t have but isn’t complete without: a drink. Can't celebrate without you there/ You're good with all my friends/ Can't be the man I want to be on my own, he sings. The tone changes when Essa arrives on the beat. His flow is strong and fierce, voicing the consequences of excessive drinking: You still took everything from me, money/ Even took my wedding ring from me / Might as well take the rest of me/ Said I’d die for you/ You’re the death of me.
“When Essa agreed to rap on the track it all came together," James Low of Equals told The FADER. "He really vibed with the lyrics, which took their lead from the drunken synth sound on the chorus. The lyrics are inspired by creative people's on-off love affair with alcohol; the verse from the perspective of the drunken besotted, the chorus the sober creative, and the pre-chorus the bottle. Essa wrote the perfect verse to end the track, reflecting on where that path can lead.” Fresh Selects and Senseless Records will release Equals' Old Habits EP on November 20th (pre-order it here).