Young Fathers: ‘I saw the excitement in my parents’ eyes and felt proud to be in this group’

Young Fathers: ‘I saw the excitement in my parents’ eyes and felt proud to be in this group’

The Edinburgh-based experimental rappers whose debut album, Dead, defied the odds to win the Mercury music prize

If you can say one thing about Young Fathers, it’s that they’ve always been confident in their ability to create groundbreaking music. The three members of the Scottish experimental hip-hop trio – Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole and Graham “G” Hastings – met in 2001 when they were just 14 at Edinburgh’s under-16s Bongo club.

“Afterwards, the guys started coming to my mum’s house to record music,” Hastings tells me when we meet to discuss their extraordinary year. “I didn’t know how anything worked. I had a £10 software system that made beats and I used to burn those on to a CD, and then put it into a karaoke machine that we’d sing over. Later, we’d walk to the bus stop singing the songs and imagining the videos. Even then we thought they were hits!”

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