Scottish three piece Young Fathers have claimed this year’s esteemed Mercury Prize, awarded to the best British or Irish record of the last 12 months, beating presumed favourites FKA twigs and Royal Blood, as well as Damon Albarn, Anna Calvi and Bombay Bicycle Club in the process.
Made up of Alloysious Massaquoi, who was born in Liberia, Kayus Bankole, whose parents are Nigerian migrants, and Graham “G” Hastings, who hails from Edinburgh, Young Fathers describe themselves as a “psychedelic hip hop boy band” and in fact beat 11 other shortlisted acts for the £20,000 prize, with their debut record Dead.
“Young Fathers have a unique take on urban British music, brimming with ideas – forceful, unexpected and moving,” said the chair of this year’s judging panel, Simon Frith. When accepting the award, Alloysious Massaquoi said simply, “Thank you, we love you, we love you all.”
Recipients of the prestigious Mercury Prize are decided by a panel of judges from across the music industry. According to the BBC, Dead was the second lowest selling album on the shortlist, having sold just 2,386 copies since its release in February. Those figures will surely change now.
Last year’s event saw James Blake named as the winner for his celebrated album Overgrown. Other previous winners include Alt-J, Primal Scream, The xx, Damon Albarn, Portishead and PJ Harvey who is the only act to have won twice.
Young Fathers recently toured Australia as a part of the Listen Out festival.
Watch: Young Fathers – GET UP
Photos: Listen Out 2014 – Brisbane, RNA Showgrounds 05/10/14
Photographed by Rebecca Reid