Young Fathers are a band based in Edinburgh, Scotland. In 2014, they won the Mercury Prize for their debut album Dead. The members are Alloysious Massaquoi, originally from Liberia via Ghana, ‘G’ Hastings, from Edinburgh, and Kayus Bankole, born in Edinburgh to Nigerian parents but partially raised in Maryland USA.
The group was once described as an “alternative lo-fi R&B trio”; another review said they “melt throbbing dub and roots reggae, righteously angry punk refrains, west African polyrhythms, and soulful R&B crooning into a floating miasma of trip-hop production”. A YouTube commenter describes their sound as “if Frank Ocean and Death Grips had a baby”.
The group formed after meeting at an under-16s hip hop night at the infamous Bongo Club in Edinburgh when they were all in their teens. 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.
In 2011 they set about recording a mixtape TAPE ONE in just over a week, finishing a track a day and having it available for download within two weeks of recording. They quickly followed this up with TAPE TWO, which was written and recorded in a similar fashion. Los Angeles based label, Anticon, discovered them online and within a few months had signed them for a short deal that saw both TAPEs officially released in 2013.
The group, meanwhile, continued to tour, gathering an impressive reputation as a formidable live act. They played all over Europe and made their US debut at SXSW in March 2013.
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