Capital hip-hop band in running for music award

Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole and Graham 'G' Hastings could win the �20,000 prize for their album Dead. Picture: John Devlin
Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole and Graham 'G' Hastings could win the �20,000 prize for their album Dead. Picture: John Devlin
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A HIP-HOP trio raised in the Capital is in the running for a prestigious music prize won by stars such as Dizzee Rascal and Arctic Monkeys.

Edinburgh-based group Young Fathers have been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize for their second album, Dead, which judges described as “a startlingly original take on hip-hop”.

Described as a “psychedelic hip-hop boy band”, Young Fathers were formed in the city in 2008 by Liberian-born Alloysious Massaquoi, Nigerian Kayus Bankole and Scot Graham “G” Hastings, releasing their first album Inconceivable Child . . . Conceived later that year.

Dead faces stiff competition for the £20,000 prize from Blur star Damon Albarn and hotly-tipped rockers Royal Blood.

G told the Evening News: “When we found out, we were recording and it is nice to know that more people will soon know who we are.

“We have just always wanted to spread the word and make sure everyone hears what we put out there. For all the people who have supported us and who love us, we have nothing but love back for them.”

G, who grew up in Drylaw, added: “Of course we think we could win, that’s how we are. We are very proud of what we have done.”

The Mercury Prize judges described the album as “a startlingly original take on hip-hop” which was “brimming with ideas, a potent mix of pop, rap, rhymes and rhythms”.

The latest nomination is just another step in the band’s meteoric rise since meeting at an under-16s hip-hop night in the city.

Earlier this year the band beat established names such as Biffy Clyro and Mogwai for the Scottish Album of the Year award for their EP Tape 
Two.

But instead of celebrating their nomination, Young 
Fathers plan to go straight back into the studio to record new material.

Evening News music columnist Gary Flockhart said: “Young Fathers have been on my radar for a number of years, and I’ve always said the alternative hip-hop trio were destined for big things.

“The lads are starting to make serious waves overseas now, and their inclusion on the Mercury Prize shortlist could not come at a better time. It’s not only fantastic news for the band, but for the Edinburgh music scene as a whole.”

lizzy.buchan@edinburghnews.com