Young Fathers

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Young Fathers
Young Fathers in 2018
Background information
OriginEdinburgh, Scotland
Years active2008–present
  • Alloysious Massaquoi
  • Kayus Bankole
  • 'G' Hastings

Young Fathers are a Scottish group formed in Edinburgh in 2008. Their second EP, Tape Two (2013), won the Scottish Album of the Year Award. In 2014, they won the Mercury Prize for their debut album Dead. A second album, White Men Are Black Men Too, followed in 2015. Their third album, Cocoa Sugar (2018), peaked at number 28 on the UK Albums Chart and earned the band their second Scottish Album of the Year Award. Their fourth album, Heavy Heavy, was released in 2023.


Formed in Edinburgh in 2008 by Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole and Graham 'G' Hastings, the group started performing in nightclubs when the band members were all in their teens.[1]

In 2012, they signed to LA-based label Anticon and released their introductory mixtapes, Tape One and Tape Two, with Tape Two winning the Scottish Album of the Year Award[2] ("The SAY Award").

Young Fathers in concert 27 April 2014

The trio then signed to Big Dada and released their debut album, Dead, which was released in 2014. The album gained a lot of critical attention and went on to win the Mercury Prize. Dead entered the UK albums chart at number 35 and topped the independent UK album chart.[3]

Following an extensive world tour the band decamped to Berlin to begin work on their second album, White Men Are Black Men Too, which was released in April 2015.[4] It peaked at number 41 on the UK Albums Chart.[5]

In June 2017 Young Fathers played in the Royal Festival Hall at the Southbank Centre as part of M.I.A.'s Meltdown Festival.[6]

Six tracks on the T2 Trainspotting soundtrack feature Young Fathers, including "Only God Knows", written specifically for the film. In a statement the director Danny Boyle described the song as "the heartbeat for the film".[7][8]

Young Fathers' third studio album, Cocoa Sugar, was announced with the single "In My View" on 17 January 2018. The album was released on British independent label Ninja Tune on 9 March 2018.[9] The album entered the UK Albums Chart at number 28, making it the band's highest-charting album.[10] It won the Scottish Album of the Year Award for 2018.[11]

The trio released their fourth studio album, Heavy Heavy, via Ninja Tune on 3 February 2023.[12]

While not an overtly political band, Young Fathers have spoken about issues such as racism and the treatment of refugees[13] Due to their support of the BDS movement, the band was dropped from the 2018 Ruhrtriennale line-up.[14]

The band were featured on the FIFA 19 and FIFA 23 soundtracks, with the songs "Border Girl" and "Rice" respectively. [15][16]


  • Alloysious Massaquoi was born in Liberia and moved to Edinburgh at the age of four, where he attended Boroughmuir High School.[17]
  • Kayus Bankole was born in Edinburgh to Nigerian parents. He spent several years living in Maryland and Nigeria before moving back to the city of his birth, in his teens. He went on to attend Boroughmuir High School in Edinburgh, the same school as Alloysious and the two became close friends.[18] Bankole has commented that Scotland's history in relation to slavery[19] should be taught in schools to help overcome systemic racism[20][21]
  • Graham "G" Hastings was born in Edinburgh and grew up in the North Edinburgh housing scheme of Drylaw.[22]


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions





Dead 21 35 1 102
White Men Are Black Men Too
  • Released: 6 April 2015
  • Label: Big Dada
19 41 6 20 95
Cocoa Sugar 9 28 4 13 37 173 79 89 [A]
Heavy Heavy
  • Released: 3 February 2023
  • Label: Ninja Tune
2 7 2 [B] 73 98 84 65
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Title Album details
Tape One
  • Released: November 2011
  • Label: Anticon
Tape Two
  • Released: 11 June 2013
  • Label: Anticon


Title Year Peak chart positions Album


"Straight Back on It" 2008 Non-album singles
"Automatic / Dancing Mantaray" 2010
"Fevers Worse"
"The Guide" 2013
"I Heard"[34] 196 Tape Two
"Queen Is Dead"[35] 33
"Low" Dead
"Get Up" 2014 39
"Soon Come Soon" 63 Non-album single
"Rain or Shine" 2015 White Men Are Black Men Too
"Only God Knows"
(feat. Leith Congregational Choir)
2017 5 T2: Trainspotting
"Lord" 2018 Cocoa Sugar
"In My View"
"Border Girl / Cocoa Sugar" Non-album single
"Geronimo" 2022 Heavy Heavy
"I Saw"
"Tell Somebody"
"Rice" 2023
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  • "Girlfriend (Young Fathers Remix)" by Phoenix from Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (Remix Collection) (2009)
  • "Nicotine Love (StraightFace Remix)" by Tricky (2014)

Guest appearances[edit]

Title Other artist(s) Year Album/EP
"Turn Up the Dial" Simian Mobile Disco 2009 Temporary Pleasure
"Leader" Stanton Warriors 2011 The Warriors
"Voodoo in My Blood"[36] Massive Attack 2016 Ritual Spirit
"He Says He Needs Me" 3D Assassin's Creed (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
"#UNIVERSALBASICINCOME" Massive Attack 2020 Eutopia

Music videos[edit]

Title Year
"Deadline" 2012
"Romance" 2013
"The Guide"
"I Heard"
"Queen Is Dead"
"Get Up" 2014
"Shame" 2015
"Old Rock n Roll"
"Lord" 2018
"In My View"
"Holy Ghost"


  1. ^ Cocoa Sugar did not enter the US Billboard 200, but peaked at number 14 on the US Heatseekers Albums Chart.[31]
  2. ^ Heavy Heavy did not enter the ARIA Albums chart, but peaked at number 23 on the Australian Digital Albums Chart.[32]


  1. ^ MacInnes, Paul (4 April 2015). "Young Fathers Tour South Africa". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  2. ^ Didcock, Barry (20 June 2014). "SAY Award winners Young Fathers talk friendship, hip hop and civil war". The Herald. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  3. ^ Ellis-Petersen, Hannah (30 October 2014). "Mercury prize 2014: Young Fathers defy the odds to win". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  4. ^ MacInnes, Paul (8 December 2015). "Best albums of 2015: No 9 – White Men Are Black Men Too by Young Fathers". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  5. ^ "WHITE MEN ARE BLACK MEN TOO". Retrieved 2 February 2023.
  6. ^ Murray, Robin (19 April 2017). "Soulwax, Young Fathers To Play M.I.A.'s Meltdown". Clash Magazine. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  7. ^ Minsker, Evan (24 January 2017). "Young Fathers Share New Track "Only God Knows" From T2 Trainspotting". Pitchfork. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  8. ^ Robinson, Collin (10 January 2017). "Trainspotting 2 Soundtrack Revealed". Stereogum. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  9. ^ Daly, Rhian (17 January 2017). "Young Fathers announce new album 'Cocoa Sugar' and share new single 'In My View'". NME. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d e Peaks in the UK:
  11. ^ "Young Fathers win Scottish Album of the Year for Cocoa Sugar". BBC. 7 September 2018.
  12. ^ Ruiz, Matthew Ismael (20 October 2022). "Young Fathers Announce New Album Heavy Heavy, Share Video for New Song: Watch". Pitchfork. Retrieved 1 February 2023.
  13. ^ "Young Fathers: 'Everybody has a dark side. We're all complicit…'". the Guardian. 25 February 2018. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
  14. ^ Alex Marshall (July 2018). "Unwelcome Sound on Germany's Stages: Musicians Who Boycott Israel". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  15. ^ "FIFA 19 Soundtrack: This Year's Complete Playlist". 11 September 2018. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  16. ^ "FIFA 23 soundtrack: Artists, songs & music on new game revealed | UK". 22 September 2022. Retrieved 22 June 2023.
  17. ^ "Interview: Young Fathers on new album Cocoa Sugar". The Scotsman. 17 March 2018. Retrieved 22 June 2023.
  18. ^ Davidson, Gina (31 October 2014). "Young Fathers take on the world after Mercury win". Edinburgh Evening News. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  19. ^ "Slavery". National Library of Scotland. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
  20. ^ "Young Fathers star: Scotland's slavery past should be taught in every school". Retrieved 5 September 2021.
  21. ^ "Young Fathers star shines a light on Scotland and slavery". HeraldScotland. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
  22. ^ Bravo, Amber (28 September 2012). "Young Fathers "Deadline" MP3". The Fader. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  23. ^ Peaks in Scotland:
  24. ^ Peaks on the ARIA Hitseekers chart:
  25. ^ "Discografie Young Fathers Flemish". Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
  26. ^ "Discografie Young Fathers Wallonie". Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  27. ^ "Discographie von Young Fathers". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  28. ^ Steffen Hung. "Discography Young Fathers". Retrieved 20 November 2023.
  29. ^ "Discography Young Fathers". Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  30. ^ "Young Fathers – Chart History: Top Current Albums". Retrieved 20 November 2023.
  31. ^ "Young Fathers – Chart History: Heatseekers Albums". Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  32. ^ "The ARIA Report: Week Commencing 13 February 2023". The ARIA Report. No. 1719. Australian Recording Industry Association. 13 February 2023. p. 10.
  33. ^ "Discographie Young Fathers". (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 November 2023.
  34. ^ "Young Fathers 'I Heard' - Okayplayer". Okayplayer. Retrieved 20 November 2023.
  35. ^ "Young Fathers 'Queen Is Dead' - Okayplayer". Okayplayer. Retrieved 20 November 2023.
  36. ^ Promonews. "Massive Attack ft. Young Fathers 'Voodoo In My Blood' by Ringan Ledwidge | Videos". Promonewstv. Retrieved 1 June 2022.

External links[edit]