Young Fathers

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Young Fathers
Young Fathers concert Portland.jpg
Young Fathers in concert 27 April 2014
Background information
Origin Edinburgh, Scotland
Years active 2008–present
Associated acts Massive Attack Simian Mobile Disco
  • Alloysious Massaquoi
  • Kayus Bankole
  • 'G' Hastings

Young Fathers are a hip hop and pop group based in Edinburgh, Scotland. In 2014, they won the Mercury Prize for their debut album Dead.


Young Fathers were christened in 2008, named so because all three members have their fathers' names.

The group consists of Graham ‘G’ Hastings, from Drylaw, Edinburgh, Alloysious Massaquoi, originally from Liberia via Ghana, and Kayus Bankole, born in Edinburgh to Nigerian parents, but partially raised in Maryland in the USA, all 27 years old.

The group formed originally as 'Three-Style' after meeting at an under-16s hiphop night at the Bongo Club in Edinburgh when they were all 14 years old. Almost immediately they started writing and recording together, initially on an old karaoke machine plugged into a cheap cassette recorder at G’s parents' house.[7]

After going through various guises over several years and after hooking up with a local production company, they eventually settled on the name Young Fathers and recorded their first album with Tim Brinkhurst (AKA London) as producer.[8] The recordings included their first single, "Straight Back On It", which was given a limited release in 2009 and was received well enough to get them a couple of TV appearances, plays on BBC radio, some festival dates and the support slots with Simian Mobile Disco on a UK tour.

In 2011 the group decided a radical change was necessary and they finally disconnected themselves from the local production company and took control of their destiny. Recording mini-album (or ‘mixtape’ as it was called) TAPE ONE in just over a week, finishing a track a day and having it available for download within two weeks of recording gave them renewed vigour.[9] They quickly followed this up by recording TAPE TWO in a similar fashion. Los Angeles based alt-hiphop label, Anticon, discovered them and within a few months had signed them up for a short deal that saw both TAPEs officially released in 2013.[10]

The group, meanwhile, continued to tour, gathering a reputation as a fierce live act. They played all over Europe and made their US debut at SxSW in Austin, Texas, in March 2013.

In 2014, TAPE TWO won Scottish Album Of The Year[8] (‘The SAY Award’) and this was followed by their latest album, Dead, released this time on Anticon in the USA and Big Dada in the UK and Europe, receiving the Mercury Award for best album of 2014. They won as the underdogs and there was a minor controversy because they didn’t look particularly joyful at the presentation and because they refused to speak to some of the more right wing press covering the event.[11] Dead entered the UK charts at 35 and topped the independent UK album charts.

Immediately after winning the Mercury, Young Fathers travelled to Berlin where they continued making their new album in a freezing basement in a building near the railway yards. Returning to the more familiar (and warmer) basement studio in Edinburgh where most of their recordings were made, to finish the album, they ended 2014 by playing a home town show at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay New year’s Eve festival in front of several thousand people.

Young Fathers played over 140 shows during 2014. They toured the UK, large swathes of Europe and did a six-week stint in the USA. In 2016, they toured with Massive Attack.

In June of 2017 Young Fathers played in the Royal Festival Hall at the Southbank Centre as part of M.I.A.'s Meltdown Festival.[12]



Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak positions

Dead 21 35 102
White Men Are Black Men Too
  • Released: 6 April 2015
  • Label: Big Dada
19 41 95

Extended plays[edit]

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


Title Year Album
"Straight Back On It" 2008 Non-album single
"Automatic / Dancing Mantaray" 2010
"Fevers Worse"
"The Guide" 2013
"Low" Dead
"Get Up" 2014
"Soon Come Soon" Non-album single
"Rain Or Shine" 2015 White Men Are Black Men Too
"Only God Knows"
(feat. Leith Congregational Choir)
2017 T2: Trainspotting


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

Music videos[edit]

List of music videos, showing year released and album
Title Year Album
"Deadline" 2012 "Tape One"
"Romance" 2013
"The Guide" -
"I Heard" "Tape Two"
"Queen Is Dead"
"Low" "Dead"
"Get Up" 2014
"Shame" 2015 "White Men Are Black Men Too"
"Old Rock N Roll"


Young Fathers also were on Ritual Spirit EP (2016) by Massive Attack, track #3 "Voodoo In My Blood"


  1. ^ Petridis, Alexis (30 January 2014). "Young Fathers: Dead – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  2. ^ Cooper, Leonie (29 October 2014). "NME News Hip-hop group Young Fathers win Mercury Prize". NME. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  3. ^ Locker, Melissa (30 October 2014). "Young Fathers: Hip-Hop Group Win 2014 Mercury Prize — Who Are They?". TIME. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  4. ^ Mossman, Kate (27 March 2015). "Young Fathers interview: "Pop needs to represent culture as it really is"". New Statesman. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  5. ^ Schmid, Stefan; Rimmer, Jonathan (23 April 2015). "Young Fathers are truly original: It's all down in black and white". The National. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Jonze, Tim (26 June 2014). "Glastonbury 2014: Young Fathers – 'There are no rules!'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  8. ^ a b Barry, Didcock (20 June 2014). "SAY Award winners Young Fathers talk friendship, hip hop and civil war". The Herald. Glasgow. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  9. ^ Diver, Mike (2013). "Young Fathers Tape One Review". BBC Music. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  10. ^ "Young Fathers". Anticon. 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  11. ^ Jonze, Tim (30 October 2014). "Young Fathers: ‘Winning the Mercury doesn't tell us anything we didn’t already know’". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  12. ^ "Soulwax, Young Fathers To Play M.I.A.'s Meltdown". Clash Magazine. Retrieved 2017-06-13. 
  13. ^ Davidson, Gina (31 October 2014). "Young Fathers take on the world after Mercury win". Edinburgh Evening News. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  14. ^ Bravo, Amber (28 September 2012). "Young Fathers "Deadline" MP3". The Fader. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  15. ^ Peaks in Scotland:
  16. ^ "Official Charts - Young Fathers". Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  17. ^ "Discografie Young Fathers". Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 March 2016. 

External links[edit]