Finley Quaye

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Finley Quaye
Born (1974-03-25) 25 March 1974 (age 40)
Edinburgh, Scotland
Genres Electronica, reggae fusion, alternative rock, trip hop, acid rock
Years active 1993–present

Finley Quaye (born 25 March 1974, Edinburgh, Scotland)[1] is a Scottish musician. He won the 1997 Mobo Award for best reggae act, and the 1998 BRIT Award for Best Male Solo Artist.


Quaye is the youngest son of jazz musician Cab Kaye, the half-brother of guitarist Caleb Quaye, and half-brother of jazz musician Terri Quaye.

Born in Edinburgh, Quaye went to school in London, Manchester and Edinburgh. However, he left school with no qualifications. Before making records he took employment spraying cars, smoking fish, making futons and as a stage-rigger and scaffolder.

His father was born in London, but considered himself as African. Although known as Cab Kaye, his full name was Nii Lante Augustus Kwamlah Quaye and he was a Chief of the Ga tribe centralized in Jamestown, Accra, Ghana. Kaye was the son of the pianist Caleb Jonas Quaye a.k.a. Mope Desmond, who was born in Accra, Ghana. Kaye did not grow up with his father and only found out, in his twenties, about his father's history as a musician. Mope Desmond, Cab Kaye and Finley Quaye have all played Glasgow's Barrowlands, Wolverhampton's Wulfrun Hall and London's Cafe de Paris. Finley was on tour with his band when he met his father for the first time in Amsterdam.[citation needed]

Finley Quaye was inspired early on in his childhood by jazz musicians Pete King, Ronnie Scott, who started his musical career making tea and running errands in Finley's father's band, and Lionel Hampton. Additionally, Duke Ellington was Finley Quaye's godfather.[citation needed] Quaye heard jazz as a child living in London with his mother, who would take him with her to Ronnie Scott's jazz club to catch performances of American jazz musicians touring Europe such as Buddy Rich, who recorded his live album there in 1980.

In April 2012, Quaye was charged with a racially aggravated assault in Edinburgh.[2] He was subsequently found guilty and sentenced to 225 hours of unpaid work.[3]


Quaye made a solo recording contract with Polydor Records and moved to New York City. He began working with Epic/Sony when Polydor let him out of contract, and in late 1997 he reached the UK Top 20 twice, with "Sunday Shining" and "Even After All".[4] His reputation was established by Maverick A Strike, released in September 1997. It went gold in less than three weeks later, and led directly to the BRIT Award victory. The album is now certified multi platinum. In 1998, Quaye performed George Gershwin's "It Ain't Necessarily So" for the Red Hot Organization's compilation album Red Hot + Rhapsody, a tribute to George Gershwin, which raised money for various charities devoted to increasing AIDS awareness and fighting the disease.

Two more albums were released on Epic, Vanguard (2000) and Much More Than Much Love (2004). "Spiritualized" became his last single to score a top 40 landing in the UK chart when it was released in September 2000, reaching number 26. In 2004 the single "Dice" was released in collaboration with William Orbit and featuring Beth Orton. The song featured in Fox Network's The OC and on the season 1 soundtrack, becoming a minor hit.

He released the EP "Pound for Pound" with Intune Records in 2008, with Norman Grant of the Twinkle Brothers featuring Sly Dunbar and Lloyd Parks.


Singles and other contributions[edit]

  • "Finley's Rainbow" - White Label (1993)
  • "Finley's Rainbow" on A Guy Called Gerald's Black Secret Technology (1995)
  • "Sunday Shining" (1997)
  • "Even After All" (1997)
  • "It's Great When We're Together" (1997)
  • "Your Love Gets Sweeter" (1998)
  • "Ultra Stimulation" (1998)
  • "It Ain't Necessarily So" album Red Hot + Rhapsody (1998)
  • "Spiritualized" (2000)
  • "Caravan" on Timo Maas' album Loud (2002)
  • "Stranges Changes" on A Guy Called Gerald's To All Things What They Need (2005)
  • "For My Children's Love" (2006)
  • "We Are Dreamers" on Cathy Claret's album Gypsy Flower (2007)
  • "After Tonight" on Ava Leigh's La La La (2007)
  • "Shine" on 28 February Rd (2012)


Albums and EPs[edit]

  • Maverick A Strike - LP (1997)[4]
  • Vanguard - LP (2000)
  • Dice - EP (2004)
  • Much More Than Much Love - LP (2004)
  • Oranges and Lemons - EP (2005)
  • The Best of the Epic Years 1995-2003 - LP (2008)
  • Pound For Pound - EP (2008)
  • 28th February Rd. - LP (2012)


  1. ^ Music Scotland - The Vault - Biogs. BBC (1974-03-25). Retrieved on 2014-04-19.
  2. ^ "Reggae star Finley Quaye in Leith assault charge". BBC. 11 April 2012. Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Reggae star Finley Quaye sentenced to 225 hours of unpaid work". BBC. 23 October 2012. Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. p. 786. ISBN 1-84195-017-3. 

External links[edit]