Dead right: Edinburgh trio Young Fathers win Mercury Prize

Posted on 30/10/2014 by


Young FathersExperimental Edinburgh hip-hop trio Young Fathers have scooped this year’s Mercury music prize.

The band, described as a  ‘Liberian/Nigerian/Scottish psychedelic hip-hop electro boy band’, saw off competition from R&B artist FKA Twigs, former Blur frontman Damon Albarn’s first solo album and singer/ poet Kate Tempest to win the prestigious music prize for their album, Dead.

They formed in 2008, clocked up appearances at numerous festivals and have been described as a ‘psychedelic hip hop boy band’. The trio first met at an under-16s hip-hop night and have developed a reputation for making a unique blend of music, utilising diverse influences that reflect their different backgrounds.

Alloysius Massaquoi is from Liberia and Scots-born Kayus Bankole has Nigerian parents, while Graham ‘G’ Hastings’ origins are closer to home – he comes from Drylaw!

The winner of the £20,000 prize was announced by DJ Nick Grimshaw at north London’s Roundhouse.

Accepting the award, Alloysious Massaquoi said: “”We go out and do what we do. Thank you, we love you, we love you all.”

Graham ‘G’ Hastings told reporters:  “We’ll take it in our stride. We always wanted to make something bigger than the city we were living in.””

The Young Fathers album Dead was acclaimed by judges as ‘a startlingly original take on hip-hop. Brimming with ideas, a potent mix of pop, rap, rhymes and rhythms. Ominous and exciting.’

Chair of this year’s judging panel Simon Frith said: “Young Fathers have a unique take on urban British music, brimming with ideas – forceful, unexpected and moving.”