Wonderland Sessions: Young Fathers

June 11th, 2014

We catch up with Kayus Bankole, Graham Hastings and Alloysious Massaquoi from genre-defying band Young Fathers, for an exclusive live session in Amsterdam

Pioneering their own blend of psychedelic sound, in which rap meets grime and where hip-hop is layered over electronica and elements of left field pop, Kayus Bankole, Graham Hastings and Alloysious Massaquoi collectively form the genre-defying three male band – Young Fathers. Each hailing from different countries – Liberia, Nigeria and Scotland to be more precise, their sound is resonant of different cultures on the globe, but classifying it into one comprehensive genre is pretty much impossible. So much so that when we ask them coin it themselves, their reply rings deep: “You Don’t”. So we’ve come to the simple conclusion – it’s best to just listen to it yourself. With lyrics which croon “I was raised in the rubble”, their cacophony of sound is heartfelt and utterly unique.

Catching up with the boys at Paradiso, Amsterdam ahead of their gig at Standon Calling festival this Summer, we filmed an exclusive live session with the trio, in which they performed ‘Just Another Bullet’, taken from their DEAD album. Check out the session and read our quick-fire Q&A with Kayus, Graham and Alloysisous below.

Young Fathers Music
How did you guys meet and how was Young Fathers born?Graham: We were sweaty boys who could dance the hip hop. Seven years of bad luck then we became Young Fathers. Now we’re here and so are you. (G)

Have you all always lived in the UK? If not how has that influenced your music?

Kayus: No we’re not all from the UK. We lived across the world so we’ve seen some shit and we aim to see some more…. shit. We’re loyal to no place.

What about songwriting, have you all always been interested in it?

Graham: Na, not always. We met when we were about fourteen and made up sweet-candy hooks to sing to girls and our families.

What is it that makes you guys different from other acts around at the moment?

Graham: There’s no one like us in any realm.

That’s true. Your sound is really distinctive you mix rap, grime, hip-hop and a whole load of other stuff, how would you classify it?Alloysious: You don’t.

Well your sound has progressively got darker since you first started out, is there a reason for this?

Kayus: You see darkness, we see light. It aint all doom and gloom if you listen. Were singing hope, no jokes allowed.

Okay what about Summer, other than Standon Calling where else can we see you?

All around Europe including Glastonbury and Latitude.

Some big names then. Finally what direction do you see Young Fathers moving in in the future?

Graham: If we knew that it would ruin it!

He’s got a point!

See Young Fathers at Standon Calling in Hertfordshire 1st – 3rd August. For more information please visit www.standon-calling.com

Video: Greg Barnes @ Cling Films

Images: Roo Lewis