Mercury Prize 2022: Remembering when Edinburgh band Young Fathers shocked the music world with 2014 win

A host of household names including Harry Styles and Sam Fender will battle it out for the 2022 Mercury Prize – but in 2014 an unknown band put Edinburgh’s music scene on the map after scooping the prestigious award.

Young Fathers became the first band from the Scottish capital to win Mercury Prize – and remain the city’s only winners to this day.

The hip-hop trio trio won for their album Dead, beating 14-1 odds and competition from the like of Damon Albarn, Bombay Bicycle Club and FKA Twigs to claim the £20,000 prize.

Picking up the gong, the band – Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole and Graham “G” Hastings – made a very short acceptance speech, telling the crowd at the Roundhouse in London: “Thank you. Thank you. We love you all, thank you”.

Young Fathers became the first Edinburgh band to win Mercury Prize in 2014 – and they remain the Capital’s only winners to this day.

Advertisement

Hide Ad

It was a punch-the-air moment from wannabe musicians all over the country, as Young Fathers were virtually unknown outside of their home city prior to winning.

One of this year’s favourites to win the Mercury Prize, young Newcastle singer Sam Fender, was just one of those inspired by the Capital band's historic win.

He told BBC Radio 6 recently: “A lot of my favourite records have won the Mercury prize. Young Fathers – I found them because of their Mercury win, I was blown away by them.”

Speaking after they won the Mercury Prize, Young Fathers said the award “doesn’t change anything at all ... it’s just part and parcel of the industry”.

Advertisement

Hide Ad

The three-piece went on to win the 2014 Scottish Album of The Year (SAY) Award for their collection Tape Two.

Then, in 2018, they become the first act to win the SAY Award for a second time when they scooped the prize for their album Cocoa Sugar.

Yonng Fathers officially formed in 2008, after meeting in an under-18s hip-hop night at The Bongo Club in Edinburgh, when they were just 14 years old.

After their historic Mercury Prize win in 2014, Hastings told the BBC: “We started recording when we were younger and ever since then we've just been family really.”

Advertisement

Hide Ad

The 2022 Mercury Prize was postoned until a later date on Thursday (September 8) following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Read More

Read More
Young Fathers pick top haunts of ‘real’ Edinburgh