Put simply, you could call Young Fathers a lo-fi R&B trio. However, they don't completely fit in that box, with their wide-spanning spread of alternative rap, indie pop, reggaeton, and electronic music. Formed in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2008 by Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole, and Graham Hastings, the group started performing in nightclubs when the bandmembers were in their teens. A full-length, Inconceivable Child...Conceived, was recorded for Black Sugar Records, but it was shelved. Shortly thereafter, they teamed up with the Anticon label for 2012's Tape One and 2013's Tape Two, then signed to Big Dada. Their first commercially available full-length, Dead, was released in February 2014. Built on their knack for fusing inventive but gritty rhythms and sounds with incisive lyrics, the album gained a lot of critical attention and won the 2014 Mercury Prize, beating out considerably more famous competition.
A U.K. tour turned into a world tour with some dates in the U.S., and Young Fathers traveled to Europe, which included a long stop in Berlin to lay down tracks for their sophomore album. After recordings were finished back home in Edinburgh, their album White Men Are Black Men Too dropped in April 2015. In 2017, the trio returned with "Only God Knows," a collaboration with the Leith Congregational Choir that appeared on the soundtrack to T2 Trainspotting. Early 2018 saw the release of the singles "In My View" and "Toy" ahead of the tense, pared-down Cocoa Sugar that March. ~ Jason Lymangrover