Alloysious Massaquoi is originally from Liberia. Kayus Bankole is from Nigerian parents. 'G' Hastings is from the Drylaw "scheme" in north Edinburgh. Massaquoi moved to Edinburgh aged 4 and Bankole was born in Edinburgh but spent several years living in Maryland as well as Nigeria before moving back to the city of his birth in his teens. The trio has developed a reputation for making a unique blend of music utilising diverse influences which reflect their backgrounds.
Young Fathers formed in 2008, and recorded their first album, Inconceivable Child… Conceived, with producer Timothy London at his studio in Edinburgh. "Straight Back on It," their first single from the album, released on Black Sugar Records, was well received. The NME dubbed the band "locked somewhere between De La Soul and 3T, but re-imagined for the hipster generation."
Framing themselves as a "psychedelic hip hop boy band," Young Fathers spent the next three years touring the UK and Europe. During this time they released another single, "Automatic," appearing on Channel 4's Big Brother's Big Mouth in 2009 and performing at T in the Park, Creamfields, Wakestock, Belladrum and Sónar amongst other festivals, as well as main support on tours with Esser and Simian Mobile Disco.
By the end of 2011 Young Fathers had left Black Sugar Records. They released a mixtape, Tape One, as a free download and limited edition cassette in November 2011. Tape One showed a maturing group, developing their sound in a darker direction, very percussive with a heavy emphasis on bass. London's Time Out put the group in their top ten "best new acts to watch out for in 2012."
Young Fathers have continued with sporadic concerts through 2012, gaining support from BBC Radio 1 DJs Vic Galloway, Ally McCrae and Huw Stephens and favourable reviews on blogs such as Glasgow Podcart, RCRD LBL, Listen Before You Buy, Creamteam, and Popstache.
In September 2012, Young Fathers signed to Anticon. The band re-released Tape One on the label in January 2013.
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